Ginger Rogers turns up on the season opener of ABC's "Hotel" this week playing a psychic who's a phony. That's the reason she took the role.
"Catherine Lee Scott plays my niece and Ted Shackelford plays her husband. He tries to kill her so he can get the family money. I tell him that I am a phony, and I am a phony. But that's why I took the job. I don't believe in any of that."
What she does believe in is Christian Science, "the mainstream of my life." At 76, Rogers says her health is good and she enjoys the California desert sunshine in Rancho Mirage, where she lives.
Back from a trip to France, she plans to stay home for a while. "I was supposed to go to Rome and to Pisa for a gathering of the world's best dancers but I have traveled so much recently. I couldn't see going so soon." Besides, "I've got to have a little quiet for myself -- nobody can do that for me."
Born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Mo., Rogers (her stepfather's surname) grew up in Texas where, at 15, she entered and won a Charleston dance contest. She appeared in in dozens of stage musicals, television and 73 films (the first "Young Man From Manhattan," the last "Harlow," with an Oscar for "Kitty Foyle"). But it was her graceful and energetic pairing with Fred Astaire in musicals such as "Flying Down to Rio" and "Top Hat" that immortalized both.
Rogers was last in Washington to protest Hollywood's new colorization process. "I am indeed opposed to it," she said.