Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist

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Fred Astaire at 85... fit, fun and still leading life a merry dance

Daily Mail 1984

FRED ASTAIRE celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday — looking as lithe and fit as in the dancing years that made him a Hollywood legend.

There was no top hat, white tie and tails. Instead, the genius who thrilled millions of moviegoers when he stepped out in style with his partner Ginger Rogers did what any good dancer would and took it all in his stride.

He and his 40-year-old wife Robyn had planned a drink with Ginger. Instead, they decided on a quiet toast- at their cliff-side home in Beverly Hills.
There Fred has established the routine that keeps him fit, active and full of fun despite the years.

He starts each day with the newspaper crossword, followed by a soft boiled egg for breakfast, then a constitutional around the streets of Beverly Hills.

His other great pastime is golf, which he plays with Robyn — who was America's top female jockey until she retired in 1981, Fred, who eats hamburgers and chocolate, and exercises only when he feels like it, puts his long life down to a relaxed attitude. 'I like the present,' he says. 'I live in it. It isn't a matter of staying young by exercising, or marrying a younger wife. It's just the way I am.'

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