Ginger Rogers (July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer who appeared in film, and on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century.
During her long career, she made a total of 73 films, and is noted for her role as Fred Astaire's romantic interest and dancing partner in a series of ten Hollywood musical films that revolutionized the genre. She also achieved great success in a variety of film roles and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940). She ranks #14 on the AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars list of actress screen legends.
Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri, the daughter of William Eddins McMath, an electrical engineer, and his wife Lela Emogene Owens (1891–1977). Ginger's parents separated soon after her birth, and she and her mother went to live with her grandparents, Walter and Saphrona (née Ball) Owens, in nearby Kansas City. Rogers' parents fought over her custody, with her father even kidnapping her twice. After her parents divorced, Rogers stayed with her grandparents while her mother wrote scripts for two years in Hollywood.