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Kathleen Riley tells the story of Fred Astaire’s 27-year dancing partnership with his sister, Adele.

Kathleen Riley tells the story of Fred Astaire’s 27-year dancing partnership with his sister, Adele.

Fred & Adele Astaire 1917 ~ Fred always replied when asked: 'Who was the best partner you ever danced with.? "My sister Adele".

Fred & Adele Astaire 1917 ~ Fred always replied when asked: 'Who was the best partner you ever danced with.? "My sister Adele".

The Astaires (Adele & Fred) in The Band Wagon (1931). Costumes by Kiviette. Photo by Vandamm Studio

The Astaires (Adele & Fred) in The Band Wagon (1931). Costumes by Kiviette. Photo by Vandamm Studio

Songwriter Irving Berlin and Fred Astaire during the filming of "Top Hat". Irving Berlin said, "Writing for Fred was different from writing for other singers. If I was writing songs for a picture with Bing Crosby or a show with Al Jolson or Ethel Merman, I just wrote the songs and they sang them. But with Fred, I wrote the songs with him in mind." It seems hard to imagine a higher compliment.

Songwriter Irving Berlin and Fred Astaire during the filming of "Top Hat". Irving Berlin said, "Writing for Fred was different from writing for other singers. If I was writing songs for a picture with Bing Crosby or a show with Al Jolson or Ethel Merman, I just wrote the songs and they sang them. But with Fred, I wrote the songs with him in mind." It seems hard to imagine a higher compliment.