Dancing duo Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele Astaire, were two peas in pod! They had an “incredibly close” bond from the moment they were born, Fred’s grandson, Ty McKenzie, exclusively tells Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now.
In fact, the pair were practically inseparable. “Their close bond as brother and sister certainly nourished and helped illuminate their professional relationship,” The Astaires: Fred & Adele author Kathleen Riley also reveals. “They were fiercely protective of each other.”
The only difference between Fred and his older sister? Their personalities. “He was shy and politely reserved,” Riley admits. “She was vivacious, carefree and outrageous.”
Even though this may have seemed problematic for the duo, they actually used this to their advantage. “Part of the reason they worked so well together was their contrasting, complementary personalities,” Kathleen adds. “As a pair, they projected a wonderful youthfulness and sweetness — modernity yet vulnerability.”
Together, the two dancers became known as “Astairia” in the U.S and in the U.K. Once they took the stage, it wasn’t hard for them to command everyone’s attention in the room. “She was one of the first true pop stars of the 20th century,” Riley explained about Adele, who received excellent reviews from critics.
“Heaven doesn’t send every generation an Adele Astaire,” one reporter once gushed about the late star. Adele’s career was very promising until 1932 when she suddenly announced her retirement to wed Lord Charles Cavendish, a member of the British royal family.
However, after Charles passed away in 1944 from alcohol poisoning, she still managed to keep in contact with her showbiz brother — who was making it big in movies.
“Their relationship was very loving and mutually supportive,” Kathleen recalls. “Or, as a critic once declared, ‘Two Astaires are better than one.'”
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