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Ginger Rogers

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Although it was Ginger's films with Fred Astaire that brought her stardom, moviedom first began to sit up and take notice of her when she played "Anytime Annie" (so-called because "She only said 'no' once and that was because she didn't hear the question.") in the lavish Busby Berkeley musical 42ND STREET (1933). A Best Picture nominee, this hit Warner Bros. musical story about an understudy who goes on for the star and becomes one herself also featured Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell, Una Merkel and Ruby Keeler (the understudy).

A less-successful film of Ginger's early years was STAR OF MIDNIGHT which she made in between her two 1935 musicals with Astaire, ROBERTA and TOP HAT. William Powell plays a lawyer/detective whom Ginger assists as he solves a theatrical murder-mystery. While most critics lauded her comedic efforts, they missed seeing Myrna Loy, Powell's partner from the THIN MAN series, opposite him in this kind of comedy/mystery.

Though Ginger continued to make successful musical films with Astaire throughout the 1930s, she was eager to prove herself a capable straight actress as well. Gregory La Cava's STAGE DOOR (1937) gave her that chance. 

It is the story of a group of aspiring young actresses who live together in a boarding house in New York, sharing their triumphs and heartaches. The cast is full of colorful characters including those played by Lucille Ball, Eve Arden and Ann Miller, and the snappy, biting dialogue is a riot. Katharine Hepburn (with Ginger above) plays the rich girl determined to make it on her own as an actress, but Ginger steals the show as her tough, sarcastic roommate.

More Memorable Quotations:

  • "You don't kiss like you look." --as "Purity Girl" Glory Eden in PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART (1933).
  • "I wanna sin and suffer, and now I'm only sufferin'." --as "Purity Girl" Glory Eden in PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART (1933).
  • "Cigarette me, big boy." --as Puff Randolph in YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN (1930).
  • "I wish I'd been born lucky instead of beautiful and hungry." --as Jean Maitland in STAGE DOOR (1937).
  • "When I get back to my room, you're the only thing I want to find missing." --as Jean Maitland in STAGE DOOR (1937).
  • "Well, I'll be there, my pet. You know me -- the lumberman's delight." --as Jean Maitland in STAGE DOOR (1937).
  • "We started off on the wrong foot. Let's stay that way." --as Jean Maitland in STAGE DOOR (1937).
  • "Goodbye. Thanks for calling. If you ever need a good pall-bearer, remember I'm at your service." --as Jean Maitland in STAGE DOOR (1937).
  • "Listen, when I want a family, I'll get married and do it right!" --as Polly Parrish in BACHELOR MOTHER (1939).
  • "I'm afraid I can't go out with you tonight. I sort of feel like I'm going to have a headache." --as Polly Parrish in BACHELOR MOTHER (1939).
  • "I'm not going to rub any oatmeal into this baby's navel." --as Polly Parrish in BACHELOR MOTHER (1939).

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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