SIGN in a coffee bar:Life is shortDon't sleep through it...

Salmagundi

April 27, 1995

SIGN in a coffee bar:

Life is short

Don't sleep through it

* * *

GINGER ROGERS, who died this week at the age of 83, will no doubt be remembered best for her dance partnership with Fred Astaire, who died in 1987.

A few quotations from Ms. Rogers' 1991 biography, "Ginger: My Story," help recall a long and lustrous show business career:

* "While our union (Astaire-Rogers) had a special kind of magic and produced a unique enchantment, it was not the be-all and end-all of my career. . . . Fred and I were colleagues, and despite occasional snits . . . we worked together beautifully. All you have to do to verify my statement is watch us; we had fun, and it shows."

* "I had more fun rehearsing than in actually performing. Inspiration comes during the preparation as you seek a better turn, step or jump. In performance, you do it once and that's it!"

* "As celebrities, whether we like it or not, we represent our country wherever we are. Our behavior and attitude are reflections upon ourselves and upon America."

* "Ask me today if I had any notion of what would spring from 'The Carioca' [her first movie dance with Astaire, in the film 'Flying Down to Rio'], and I'd have to say 'no.' Even looking at 'Flying Down to Rio' now, it is hard to believe that our brief assay onto the dance floor led to a string of musical films."

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