Did You Know?
The first Fred Astaire Hollywood Palace guest-host show was in Season 3, which was the first ABC TV "color broadcast" year. At the completion of the second season, during the 1965 summer, the Hollywood Palace stage/studio facility was converted into ABC's first "electronic color camera" West Coast studio. Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn became available for a guest spot. Nick Vanoff and Bill Harbach scheduled a taping of their performance of "The Black Swan - pas de deux" during their off season touring schedule; their performance was scheduled with Fred's first hosting! The ABC studio construction/paint shops duplicated the theater's proscenium stage, and a new background set; trucking drapery, the proscenium portal stage frames, footlights, scenery, delivered to CBS Television City, where their performance was taped as a "bank" act, in the middle of June, 1965. Rehearsing the ballet segment, neither Nureyev nor Fonteyn could perform on the glossy and slippery gray vinyl linoleum floor. Hub Braden (art director) had the stage vinyl floor replaced with 4'x8' Masonite sheets, which used the back-side of the material for the dance floor. The dark brown (reverse sided) Masonite had a rough tooth-texture finish, which the scenic shops painted a matching gray vinyl color. The delay gave Nureyev and Fonteyn more warm-up rehearsal, and social relaxed visit with Fred Astaire and the producers. See more