Widow of Fred Astaire files lawsuit over annual dance awards ceremony named “Fred and Adele Astaire Awards”
In early June, Robyn Astaire, widow of dance legend Fred Astaire, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, for the purpose of blocking use of Astaire’s name in conjunction with the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, to be held at John Jay College.
The awards ceremony, which seeks to recognize dance perofrmances and choreography work in Broadway productions and film, has been held for the last twenty-eight years. Based on the allegations in the complaint, Fred Astaire licensed use of his name in 1982 for the Astaire Awards, as they were known at the time. Robyn Astaire continued the tradition by occasionally allowing use of Fred Astaire’s name for the event, but in 2006 stopped giving such authorization because she felt the nature of the event had changed.
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