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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (4)  | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (3)

Born
Birth NameMelody Dawn Miller
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Robyne Smith was born Melody Dawn Miller. Her biological father deserted her and her mother at her birth. Her mother was 17 when she was born. Melody's mother was declared mentally unstable and Melody was placed in a foster home. She was adopted and renamed Caroline Smith. Later, after a grueling court battle, she was returned to her birth mother. When her mother's mental illness reappeared, she was placed back in the care of her adoptive family. She may also have later spent time in a children's home. She became a jockey in 1969, winning the Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct in 1973 riding North Sea. She became the first woman to win a major race in the USA. At 5' 7", she was taller and heavier than most jockeys. She retired from racing in 1980. That same year, she married actor Fred Astaire. She was 45 years his junior. She remained married to Astaire until his death in 1987.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: slvrfox

Spouse (1)

Fred Astaire (27 June 1980 - 22 June 1987) ( his death)

Trivia (4)

Female jockey. Won her first career race at Ferndale on August 2, 1969.
Sister-in-law of Adele Astaire.
When Ginger Rogers received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1992, Robyn Smith, widow of Fred Astaire, withheld all rights to clips of Rogers' scenes with Astaire, demanding payment. The Kennedy Center refused and Rogers received her honor without the retrospective show.

Personal Quotes (9)

Now don't get the wrong impression. I'm not a recluse or anything. All those parties in Hollywood, I liked them well enough, I just had enough of that. Besides, it's just that I don't care if I'm seen. I'm not really impressed by anything. I mean that. Nothing impresses me. I guess I'm an iconoclast. I guess I'm the biggest iconoclast I know.
What the hell do I have to do? Eighteen percent I'm winning. Eighteen percent, and I don't have one ride. Ah, I should just forget about it and go shopping or something. There's jockeys who just love it when they can get a day off. But I don't have any ambition to do anything else. It's my whole life. I never knew it would be so satisfying to win. I love horses and speed, and I've always liked competition, but I never knew it would be so satisfying to win. Nothing makes me happier. I mean, some man could buy me something, anything, and it wouldn't mean as much to me as winning a race. I just love to win. It satisfies me mentally. If I don't win, I get very depressed.
[on starting out as an exercise girl] The horses weren't so scared, but boy, I was. Invariably, they'd run away with me, but it was dark in the morning that time of the year and [trainer Bruce] Headley couldn't see. One day, when it got lighter in the morning, he said, 'Gee, you don't gallop real good, do you?'
I'm going to be highly successful, so there'll be a much more interesting life for them to write about 10 years from now. But the main thing is I just don't want to do it, so I'm not going to. I just want to ride.
All my life people have said I'm not very friendly. But listen, I'm friendly with some people. I have real friends. I'm moody, but if I'm bitchy, I get it right out of my system.
I make my own conflicts.
I'm thin, but I'm strong. I always had good muscles. I'm a rare physical individual-and I'm not trying to be narcissistic about it. It's just that I'm very unusual in that way.
The men jockeys have treated me terrific, but then, all my friends have always been men. I resented being called a tomboy, though, because I wouldn't want to be a man. I like them too much. I just get along with them, period. Women resent this for some reason. My mother used to resent this. Like when she and my father would have people over, I'd hang around with the men.
I never think of myself as making progress on behalf of anybody but myself. I have no interest whatever in the women's movement except in the sense that I believe everybody should have the right to do what they want to do. I don't want to invade a man's world. I just want to ride horses. I'm not out to prove anything.

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