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Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McMath; July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer. She won an Academy Award for her starring role in Kitty Foyle (1940), but is best remembered for performing during the 1930s in RKO's musical films (partnered with Fred Astaire). Her career continued on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century. Born in Independence, Missouri, and raised in Kansas City, Rogers and her family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, when she was nine years old. After winning a 1925 Charleston dance contest that launched a successful vaudeville career, she gained recognition as a Broadway actress for her debut stage role in Girl Crazy. This led to a contract with Paramount Pictures, which ended after five films. Rogers had her first successful film role as a supporting actress in 42nd Street (1933). Rogers made nine films in the 1930s with Astaire, which were some of her biggest successes such as Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935). After two commercial failures with Astaire, Rogers began to branch out into dramatic and comedy films. Her acting was well received by critics and audiences as she became one of the biggest box-office draws and highest paid actresses of the 1940s. Her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940) won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Rogers’ popularity had peaked by the end of the decade. She reunited with Astaire in 1949 in the commercially successful The Barkleys of Broadway. After an unsuccessful period in the 1950s, Rogers returned to Broadway in 1965, playing the lead role in Hello, Dolly! More lead roles on Broadway followed, along with her stage directorial debut in 1985 on an off-Broadway production of Babes in Arms. Rogers also made television acting appearances until 1987. In 1992, Rogers was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors. She died of a heart attack in 1995, at the age of 83.

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