In addition to her films with Astaire, Ginger also starred in a variety of comedies and dramas in the 1940s and 1950s. They included Vivacious Lady, The Major and the Minor, Lady in the Dark, Weekend at the Waldorf, Storm Warning and Monkey Business. Her leading men included Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, David Niven, Burgess Meredith,, William Powell, Ronald Colman, Dennis Morgan and James Stewart. She was honored in 1940 with a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in Kitty Foyle, and in 1945 she was recorded as the highest paid female performer in Hollywood.

That same year, Ginger bought a 1000-acre ranch on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. She built a modern dairy complex and bred Guernsey milk stock for seven years. Some of the milk went to Camp White, where almost 25,000 soldiers came and went during World War II. Even today, in the Rogue River Valley, there still are strains of purebred Guernsey cattle with Ginger's name on their breeding records.

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