Fred and Adele Astaire in 'Stop Flirting'

Fred and Adele Astaire in 'Stop Flirting'

Most people know Fred Astaire from his films with Ginger Rogers, but before that he was a great stage star in musical comedy with his sister Adele. This photograph shows them in Stop Flirting, the show in which they first appeared in London. At first it was not a success. So as publicity, the streets were littered with mock wallets, showing the top of a ten shilling note inside. When opened they revealed only the top part of a note - the rest was simply an advertisement for the show! Then, just as it was due to close, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, came to see it. Suddenly it became the show to see and it ran for over a year. Then came Lady Be Good and Funny Face. But in 1932 Adele married Lord Charles Cavendish, youngest son of the Duke of Devonshire, leaving a distraught Fred wondering if he would ever work again. Despite the success of his partnership with Ginger Rogers and others, some critics felt that Fred spent his life searching for another Adele.