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The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first

It’s famously said that Ginger Rogers did everything that her dance partner Fred Astaire did, but “backwards and in high heels.”

The pair twinkled across the silver screen in legendary song-and-dance films including Top Hat, Swing Time and Shall We Dance.

Born Virginia Katherine McMath, Ginger also had a hugely successful career in her own right, winning a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film Kitty Foyle, in 1941. She also appeared in the original screen version of 42nd Street, her first major screen role.

Off-screen, Ginger married and divorced five times, enjoying a quieter Hollywood career from the 1950s onwards. She made a successful return to Broadway in the 1960s, as the lead in Hello Dolly.

British audiences thronged to see her in London’s West End, when she starred in the musical Mame.The show’s producers spent a small fortune decorating a pink dressing room for the star, who arrived in England via ship in Southampton to be greeted by a legion of photographers.

“Looking back at my life’s voyage,” she later said. “I can only say it’s been a golden trip.”