Shoot, the guy can dance!
Why have I never seen this 'old coot' icon before?
Well, YouTube is relatively new and my curiosity had been non-existent, I guess.
Also, from Wikipedia:
Clips showing Astaire's filmed dances are rarely shown in public today, although they have recently featured in films such as The Green Mile and, more controversially , in 1997 Dirt Devil commercials. Astaire always retained the sole rights to film clips of his dances and after his death, these rights - which are essentially rights of publicity - passed to his widow Robyn Smith Astaire - who charges a fee schedule for the airing of these clips that some program producers consider uneconomic. Mrs. Astaire has contended that the license fees are moderate and are used to help fund litigation to defend against copyright infringement of her late husband's estate.
In recent years, following the issuance of most of Astaire's films on DVD and the advent of sites such as Youtube which feature many of his most famous dance clips, the public is becoming increasingly exposed to his work.
I think this one with 'old bag' Ginger Rogers is even better - particularly the ending:
He was from a day that most people had a fairly well formed conscience, strong work ethic, and had to have talent to rise to the top of their field. He was exceptional in all three; his virtue, his ethics, and his talent. He defined dance and though slight in build, smooth and sleek, he never looked effeminate, even when dancing with a broom or a coat rack.
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