The three middle fingers of Fred Astaire’s left hand were blown off by the accidental explosion of an M-80 firecracker during filming of the 4th of July dance in the 1941 musical Holiday Inn.

Ever the trouper, Astair completed the sequence by holding his straw boater over his mangled hand until the end of the shot. Shooting was then delayed for an hour while a plaster prosthesis was fashioned by the Paramount prop department.

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