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Is Fred Astaire Gay? His Marriage, Wife, & Children

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There have been constant questions about Fred Astaire’s sexual orientation due to his close relationships with gay men and his frequent collaborations with male dancers. Furthermore, his demeanor and personality sometimes were considered more feminine, contributing further to the speculation.

So, was he gay? Read the article to find out!

Key Takeaways:

Fred has not revealed his true sexuality.
He has been married two times in his lifetime which might suggest that was straight.
He had two biological and one adopted child.
Astaire had a close relationship with many gay men.
Few of his works had gay themes, according to some people.


Here is a summary of him:

Full name
Frederick Austerlitz
Date of birth May 10, 1899
Place of birth Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Date of death June 22, 1987
Place of death Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Profession Dancer, actor, singer, choreographer, and presenter
Spouses Phyllis Livingston Potter, Robyn Smith
Children 2

Was Fred Astaire Gay?

There has been speculation about Fred Astaire’s sexual orientation, suggesting that he could have been gay or bisexual. However, due to the lack of a definitive confirmation or denial from Astaire himself, his true preferences remain uncertain.

Fred is rumored to be gay
Fred did not reveal his sexual orientation.

Moreover, Fred was married to two women during his lifetime, and he remained married until he died in 1987. This fact might lead some to question the validity of the claims regarding his potential homosexuality or bisexuality.

In addition to that, some portray Astaire as a womanizer, engaging in numerous affairs with his female co-stars throughout his career. Furthermore, it’s important to mention that Astaire’s relatives and those close to him have rejected the claims suggesting his homosexuality.

He Had Close Relationships With Gay Men

Fred maintained close relationships with several openly gay men, further fueling speculation about his sexual orientation. Notably, he had strong connections with individuals like Jack Cole and Orry-Kelly, both of whom were publicly known as gay.

Fred had a close relationship with several gay men
Fred and choreographer, Hermes Pan.

Further, Astaire’s frequent collaborations with male choreographers such as Hermes Pan and Roland Petit also contributed to the speculation surrounding his sexuality.

Some Comprehend Fred’s Work As Having Gay Themes

Some have interpreted some aspects of Fred’s work and performances as containing gay themes. For instance, his duet with Gene Kelly in the film “Ziegfeld Follies” has been noted for its subtextual exploration of same-sex desire.

Fred's work was believed to have gay themes.
Astaire, in the movie “Ziegfeld Follies”

Overall, the combination of Astaire’s relationships with openly gay individuals, his collaborations with male choreographers, and the presence of perceived gay themes in some of his performances have contributed to the ongoing discussions and speculations about his sexual orientation.

However, it is crucial to recognize that without concrete confirmation from Astaire himself, any assertions regarding his personal life and sexual preferences remain speculative.

Fred Astaire Has Been Married Twice

In 1933, Fred married Phyllis Potter. She was born in Boston and resided in New York. Before marrying Fred, Phyllis had been previously married. Unfortunately, she passed away at the age of 46 due to lung cancer, which deeply affected Fred. Their marriage lasted for 21 years.

Fred married twice in his lifetime
Fred and his first wife, Phyllis Potter.

Moreover, during the time of Phyllis’s death, Fred was actively involved in filming the movie “Daddy Long Legs”. Overwhelmed by grief, he contemplated resigning from the film. In fact, he even offered to cover the production costs incurred up to that point. However, he was eventually convinced to continue with the project and fulfill his acting obligations.

Additionally, despite the pain of losing his wife, Fred eventually found love again. On June 24, 1980, at the age of 81, he married Robyn Smith. Robyn had made a name for herself as the first female jockey to win a stakes race and had gained recognition by being featured on the cover of sports magazines.

Did Fred Have Children?

Fred had a total of three children. With his first wife, he had two biological children named Fred Jr. Astaire and Ava Astaire. Fred Jr. Their firstborn, was born in 1936, while Ava was born in 1942.

Fred Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps and appeared in the movie “Midas Run” alongside Astaire himself. However, he later pursued a different career path as a charter pilot and rancher, exploring his own interests outside of the entertainment industry.

Fred had three children
Fred and his family.

On the other hand, Ava chose to dedicate her efforts to promoting her father’s legacy. She embraced her role in preserving and celebrating Astaire’s contributions to the world of dance and entertainment.

Apart from his two biological children, Fred also had another stepson named Eliphalet IV, who was known as Peter. He was Phyllis Potter’s child from her previous marriage, and Astaire embraced him as his own.

Also Read: Is South African Comedian Trevor Noah Gay? Details

Kritika Udas

Kritika Udas is a skilled content writer with two years of experience in the entertainment niche. With a deep passion for the industry, she crafts engaging articles, blog posts, and reviews that keep readers informed and entertained. Her expertise spans film, television, music, and celebrity culture. With a commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest trends, Kritika delivers high-quality content that showcases her talent and knowledge in the dynamic world of entertainment.

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