Movie Star Monday: Ginger Rogers

Glamorous.  Academy Award-winning. A triple-threat. These are the words that describe Ginger Rogers, an alumna of Fort Worth ISD’s Central High School.

Virginia Katherine McMath, known professionally as Ginger Rogers, was born in 1911 and moved to Fort Worth in 1922. She landed a vaudeville contract as a teenager when she won a Charleston dance competition in Dallas. It was just the beginning of her journey to stardom.

Rogers made her Broadway debut in the musical comedy “Top Speed” in 1929, setting the stage for her transition to Hollywood. Over the next 35 years, she appeared in more than 70 films, establishing herself as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid and most sought-after stars. She is best known for her partnership with the dance legend Fred Astaire, with whom she appeared in 10 films.  

In 1940, Rogers received the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a working white-collar girl in “Kitty Foyle.” The American Film Institute (AFI) ranks her No. 14 on its “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars” list, celebrating the nation’s greatest screen legends.

Rogers’ talent and contributions to the arts were further recognized in 1992 when she was inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, which celebrates lifetime artistic achievements.  

Throughout her career, which spanned more than six decades, Rogers appeared in vaudeville, on stage, on radio, television, and in film. She died in April 1995 at the age of 83.