Fred Astaire’s ‘request to never be portrayed on screen’ resurfaces amid Tom Holland biopic news

It’s believed the Hollywood icon was vehemently against being portrayed on screen

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 07 December 2021 10:29
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An alleged clause written in Fred Astaire’s will is being shared online after a new film about the actor was announced.

Spider-Man actor Tom Holland confirmed he will play the Hollywood star in a biopic, telling reporters: “The script came in a week ago – I will be playing Fred Astaire.”

The news has prompted an angry reaction as it’s believed the film goes against Astaire’s own wishes.

Since Astaire’s death in 1987, it has become a Hollywood urban legend that the actor and ballroom dancer was against having his story told on film.

He is quoted as saying: “However much they offer me – and offers come in all the time – I shall not sell”.

Astaire was allegedly so against granting permission that it’s claimed he included a clause in his will requesting no such film ever take place.

“It is there because I have no particular desire to have my life misinterpreted, which it would be,” Astaire is quoted as telling reporters.

While inclusion of the clause is unconfirmed, it’s notable that Astaire has never once been depicted on screen by another actor.

It’s believed Fred Astaire was vehemently against being portrayed on screen

However, in 1997, digital technology was used to make it look like Astaire was dancing with a vacuum cleaner for a heavily-criticised advert.

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His widow, Robin, granted permission for the rights, with the Hollywood star’s daughter from a previous marriage left “saddened” that his career was “sold to the devil”.

Another reason why it’s believed Astaire’s will features the clause is that there is yet to be a Ginger Rogers film. Rogers was Astaire’s frequent collaborator and no film of her life could be made without him appearing as a character.

Following news of the Astaire biopic, people have been highlighting the alleged clause on social media, with many urging Holland to reconsider the role.

Holland will next be seen reprising the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is released in cinemas on 15 December.

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