BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. -- Hermes Pan, 79, the Academy Award-winning dance master who choreographed all but one of 10 films pairing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, died Sept. 19 at his home in Beverly Hills. The cause of death was not reported.
He choreographed nine films pairing Astaire and Rogers: "Flying Down to Rio," "The Gay Divorcee," "Roberta," "Top Hat," "Follow the Fleet," "Swing Time," "Shall We Dance" "Carefree" and "The Barkleys of Broadway."
He once said that he and Astaire "thought so much alike about music and rhythms. The minute I saw him dance, I said, 'Oh, this is the kind of dancing I love.' He seemed to be able to do everything I felt inside and wanted to do."
Mr. Pan, whose career spanned four decades, won an Academy Award in 1937 for the "Fun House" sequence in "A Damsel in Distress." It was the last annual Oscar presented for choreography. He won an Emmy in 1961 for his work on "Astaire Time: An Evening With Fred Astaire."
He was presented with a National Film Award for achievement in cinema in 1980 and received a special Joffrey Ballet award in 1986.
He performed in the films "Moon Over Miami," "My Gal Sal," "Sweet Rosie O'Grady," "Pin Up Girl" and "A Life of Her Own," in which he acted with Lana Turner and Ray Milland.
He was born Hermes Panagiotopulos in Memphis. He was a Broadway dancer from 1927 to 1930, performing with Rogers in "Top Speed." He came to Hollywood in the 1930s as part of a choreography team with his sister. He first met Astaire on the RKO set of 1933's "Flying Down to Rio.".
"Fred was having trouble with a routine that he had put together for himself," Rogers recalled. "The producer said he'd look for someone who would help him, and then told Fred to meet Mr. Pan on another set and Fred went over there. He showed Fred something he thought would fit well. It worked, and that was that."
Mr. Pan's other credits included "Moon in Havana," "Footlight Serenade," "Coney Island," "Irish Eyes Are Smiling," "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now," "Let's Dance," "The Student Prince," "Hit the Deck," "Silk Stockings," "Pal Joey," "Can-Can," "The Flower Drum Song," "Cleopatra" and "Darling Lili."
Survivors include a sister.