I am truly saddened Ginger could not find a man willing to share their life with her but it is better to be single than be in a destructive unloving relationship. Ginger’s morality did not allow her to have a relationship with a man without marriage and she might not have trusted men after her five failures later on in life.
Ginger seemed to choose men who were overshadowed by her success and were not strong in their own self worth to overcome it. Ginger’s husbands did not love her enough to accept her for the wonderful person that she was. Some men today do not deal well with women who are more successful than they are either. I wish she could have found someone who really loved and understood her and could have shared her life with him. Ginger once said, “I like a man who doesn’t have to be somebody in the public eye as long as he’s somebody within himself. He doesn’t have to be chairman of the board or some other big shot.” However, she did not let failure in anything get her down; she always picked herself up, dusted herself off, and started all over again. She had an extraordinary life.
I was heartened when I read in an issue of The Friends of Ginger Rogers Society of an incident when Robertson E. Collins happened to be visiting Ginger while she was staying at her home in Rancho Mirage. Mr. Collins became acquainted with Ginger through her mother Lela while she was at the ranch in Oregon. This occurs during the last few years of Ginger’s life as she is confined to a wheelchair. Ginger was in her kitchen with Mr. Collins when the phone rang. Ginger took the call and it soon appeared to Mr. Collins that she would be awhile and went into the living room to read the papers. At this particular time Ginger was getting some unflattering press about how Fred’s dancing image was being used, as it included her image also, because Robin Astaire, Fred’s widow, was suing on the ill advice given her by her lawyers. When Ginger hung up the phone, Mr. Collins went into the kitchen when she begins wistfully that her caller is the nicest man and always seemed to call at the right time. When he asked who had called, Ginger told him it had been Lew Ayers.
I watch movies to be thrilled, emotionally touched, uplifted, and entertained while being left with HOPE and all it personifies. When dealing with the intimate and the less desirable aspects of life, it does not need to be depicted in every gruesome detail for the sake of realism. If the script is intelligent and the performers are real actors, and you have directors who understand the purpose of the film, then you have a movie with real substance. The thirties and the forties were the Golden Age of Hollywood because they did not need the fluff of exotic locations and computer histrionics in order to capture an audience’s emotional connection to what is being projected on the BIG SCREEN. The story was real with real people doing real things.
Ginger was asked what personal quality she was proudest of and replied, “The most important thing in anyone’s life is to be giving something. The quality I can give is fun and joy and happiness. This is my gift.” Every time I watch one of Ginger’s films, I am the grateful recipient of her splendid gift.
There are great dramatic actors, great comedic actors, and great song and dance actors. There are seldom great actors who can do all four splendidly. Ginger Rogers could do all four, exquisitely and effortlessly. She ran the gamut and her characters come alive for me as I watch her in action. Ginger is so effective with her acting, singing, and dancing because she never had to depend on dialogue and special effects as a way to pull in the audience to her character’s emotional turmoil, joy, and heartache. She used her whole body, especially her eyes and facial expressions, in order to entrap me and reel me into the soul of her character. I become one with her. I feel what she is feeling. I walk along with her as one. This is her area of expertise.
Ginger’s arduous work to perfect her craft has left me a never ending treasure of astonishing films to watch repeatedly as I cheer for the child, girl, and woman who beseeches me to partake in her particular adventure of the moment. Her ability to bring a sincere freshness and ease to her performances is her astonishing talent. Virginia Katherine McMath, aka Ginger Rogers, is truly one of the greatest actors to grace the cinematic screen. Ginger adeptness in portraying any characterization with ultimate perfection has no rival. She could do comedy, drama, sing, and dance the socks off anyone. She is awe-inspiring.
I love Ginger's voice and wish she were given more opportunities to sing in her musicals. Ginger's feathered dress from “Cheek to Cheek” heightened the sensuality of the dance. I am so glad Ginger stood her ground. Fred came around in the end and acknowledged the importance of the dresses Ginger wore for their duets. Ginger’s instincts for how to move, speak, sing, and dance were faultless. Her eyes, facial expressions, and body language often said more than any dialogue could ever express.
Ginger was much more than an exceptional actor she was an exceptional woman. I admire her as a woman as much as I admire her abilities as an actor.
Thank you MISS GINGER ROGERS for the continual pleasure of sharing your screen lives with me as we struggle, laugh, and cry through our journeys together. God Bless Virginia Katherine McMath. Your presence is still with me.