Played by Fred Astaire
The Band Wagon (1953)
Long past his heyday, song-and-dance man Hunter pairs up with a modern ballerina and an avant-garde director to put on a career-saving show. When the concoction falls flat out of town, all of Hunter's show-biz know-how—not to mention money and heart—is called on.
"It's my favorite Minnelli musical. I first saw it when I was 11, and I didn't understand the power of casting the postwar Astaire in that role. After the war, what are you going to do with Tony Hunter, what are you going to do with Fred Astaire? He is Tony Hunter."
A version of this article appeared in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.