Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Ginger Here, Still a Dolly, by Golly

Cleveland Press November 13, 1967

Miss Ginger Rogers arrived in town yesterday looking as sharp and shapely as though she had just stepped out of one of those Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies that thrilled everyone back in the 30's.

Asked to pose for a photograph she crossed her slim legs and gave out with the familiar Rogers smile. She said that she had only three hours sleep and was tired. Few of us look so good with three times as much slumber.

The famous actress is here to star in "Hello, Dolly!" which opens this evening at the Hanna for a one-week run.

Playing a role closely identified with another performer fazes her not at all.

"A role can be originated by anyone. It doesn't mean it belongs to that performer," she said.

"I've played parts that other actresses had done first and no one compared performances. In my second film with Fred Astaire, "Gay Divorcee," I played a Clair Luce role. I did the part Garbo played in "Grand Hotel," only the movie was called 'Weekend at the Waldorf" and no one compared me with Garbo. A good role, happily, can be done by many actresses.

GINGER ROGERS WAS RECENTLY HONORED by New York's Gallery of Modern Art with a two-week show called "A Tribute to Ginger Rogers." It included 11 of her early films and a compilation of excerpts from the nearly 80 motion pictures she has made.

Did it bother her to be enshrined in a museum?

"As soon as it happened I said that they're making a museum piece out of me -- before anyone else said it," she explained.

"And if you mean does it bother me that I've been on this planet so long the answer is no, not at all.

"They were fun," she said, recalling the Astaire-Rogers films," and it was fun being favorites for a while, having composers prepare special material for you.

"THERE NEVER WAS MUCH SPENT on those films -- $300,000 to $350,000. Of course, a dollar was worth more then but there is no comparison with today's musicals. Today's are bigger than life and a lot more thought and time are put into them. No, they're not original anymore. They start with hit properties.

"They're almost all costume pictures too," she pointed out. "When we were making dancing pictures they were afraid of costume pictures, figured they were death at the box office."