Fred Astaire

by ethnic on December 16, 2007

Birth 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.

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father, who was raised Catholic)
*German, including Alsatian (mother)

Fred Astaire was an American dancer, actor, choreographer, singer, and musician. His sister was entertainer Adele Astaire.

Fred’s father, Frederic Austerlitz (born Friedrich Emanuel Austerlitz), was an Austrian immigrant; he was born to a Czech Jewish family that had converted to Catholicism in Austria.

Fred’s mother, Johanna “Ann” (Geilus), was born in Nebraska, and was of German descent; she was from a Lutheran family, and had roots in East Prussia and Alsace.

Fred was married to jockey Robyn Smith, until his death. He had two children with his first, late wife, socialite Phyllis Livingston (Baker).

Fred’s paternal grandfather was Salomon Stefan Austerlitz (the son of Simon Juda Austerlitz and Ester Porges). Salomon was born in Prague, to Czech Jewish parents. Simon was the son of Juda Jakob Austerlitz and Ewa Slowa Neustadtl. Ester was the daughter of Abraham Moses Porges and Maria Pereles.

Fred’s paternal grandmother was Lucia/Lucie Hellerová/Heller (the daughter of Emanuel Abraham Heller and Anna Morawetzová). Lucie was born in Postoloprty, to Czech Jewish parents. Emanuel was born in Postoloprty, the son of Simon Heller and Judith Friedenbergová. Anna was born in Roudnice, the daughter of Catrina.

Fred’s maternal grandparents were David Geilus and Wilhelmine/Wilhelmina Klaatke. David and Wilhelmine were German emigrants, born in Sussemilken/Sumilken, and were of the Lutheran religion.

Sources: Genealogy of Fred Astaire –

Genealogy of Fred Astaire (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Creative Commons License photo credit: danceonair1986

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew June 13, 2018 at 2:33 pm

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has listed him and other figures with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry among “Czech Personalities in USA” –

andrew December 30, 2016 at 7:12 pm
sadie March 15, 2012 at 12:15 am

He was a wonderful dancer!

Nighwayto1971 January 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm

a Jewish father and a German mother.

dimitris August 29, 2011 at 2:36 am

and also gwyneth paltrow sarah jessica parker

jjy June 10, 2010 at 6:09 am

he isnt German he is Austrian-American, duh.

ethnic June 10, 2010 at 8:23 am

got proof?

LiL V4CH4 April 12, 2010 at 6:28 am


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