Barrie went blond herself as Doris, a ditzy chorus girl in White Christmas.
Like Astaire in On the Beach, she also went dramatic. She played Diane Taylor, beaten after being picked up by Robert Mitchum's Max Cady character in Cape Fear.
On his great NBC specials with Barrie Chase, Fred Astaire challenged and reinvented himself. Hermes Pan did the choreography. The stars danced to the music Astaire introduced in his iconic original screen musicals with Ginger Rogers. They also put jazz standards and current pop music on the menu. They were quite a pair in the 1960s.
On their Emmy-winning first special, the age-defying Fred Astaire was nearly 60. Here's Astaire with Barrie Chase and jazzman Jonah Jones in a highlight from that special.
In a previous blog ("With Fred Astaire"), I wrote that one of my favorite high school teachers was lucky enough to have seen Astaire dance when he was a Broadway star. Miss McConarty was my English Lit. teacher at Verbum Dei High School in South Los Angeles. She knew that Astaire was my favorite entertainer and shared the theatrical experience from her girlhood with me. She told me that, as amazing as it would seem, you couldn't take your eyes off Adele Astaire when they danced. Fred's beloved sister was a wonderful dancer. They were a team. In hit Broadway musicals of the 1920s and early '30s that toured London, his co-star and his famous first partner was his sister, Adele. She never made a movie, although Fred tried to coax her into motion pictures. She happily retired after their Broadway hits and married an Englishman with a title.
The dancer/actress is scheduled to attend the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, which begins April 25th in Hollywood. It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Cape Fear will be show.
On network TV from 1958 to 1968, Barrie Chase and Fred Astaire were one terrific team.