Picks and Pans Review: Astaire: the Man, the Dancer

updated 12/03/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/03/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Bob Thomas

Thomas, who's written a number of other Hollywood biographies, acknowledges up front the cooperation of his subject, as well as that of Fred Astaire's family and friends. So scrap objectivity. Still it's a chatty book and fun to read. Where else would you learn that Astaire was such a worrier that sister Adele nicknamed him Moaning Minnie? Most of us, like Dame Margot Fonteyn, think of him as the man "...who made dancing look easier than walking, more natural than breathing and indisputably masculine." If Astaire deserves a 21-gun salute, this is about a 15. (St. Martin's, $18.95)

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