Statement on the Death of Fred Astaire

June 22, 1987

Nancy and I are deeply saddened by the loss of a very dear friend. Fred Astaire, an American legend, has died. We join the entire Nation in mourning his passing and our heartfelt sympathies are with his wife, Robyn, and his family.

Fred was, in every sense of the word, a ``superstar.'' He adapted a witty, sophisticated, casual air which belied the enormity of his talent. He was the ultimate dancer -- the dancer who made it all look so easy. But, we knew that when we watched him dance, we were seeing the absolute master of his terpsichorean muse.

Fred Astaire blessed us with his special gifts and with his friendship. Now we bless him with our prayers, our memories, and our affections. May he rest in peace.