Fred Astaire

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


Curious about ethnicity

8 Responses

  1. sadie says:

    He was a wonderful dancer!

  2. Nighwayto1971 says:

    a Jewish father and a German mother.

  3. jjy says:

    he isnt German he is Austrian-American, duh.

  4. LiL V4CH4 says:


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.