Donald O'Connor

Dancer + Singer + Actor
Born Aug 28, 1925

Donald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor was an American dancer, singer, and actor who came to fame in a series of movies in which he co-starred alternately with Gloria Jean, Peggy Ryan, and Francis the Talking Mule. He is best known today for his role as Gene Kelly's friend and colleague in Singin' in the Rain (1952).… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Donald O'Connor.

  • 56d75f01150000ad000b11d6
    'hamilton' Casting Notice Reveals All The Musical's Original Inspirations
    Huffington Post - Mar 02, 2016
  • S us uk ca mini
    Singin' In The Rain At Sf Symphony
    Huffington Post - Dec 02, 2013
  • Porchlight's Double Trouble Creaks With Old School Charm
    Huffington Post - Sep 06, 2013
  • Watch Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
    Barrington Patch - Oct 03, 2012


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Donald O'Connor.


1925 Birth Born on August 28, 1925.


1937 11 Years Old O'Connor began performing in movies in 1937. … Read More
1940 14 Years Old In 1940, when he had outgrown child roles, he returned to vaudeville.
1941 15 Years Old In 1941, O’Connor signed with Universal Pictures, where he began by appearing in seven B-picture musicals in a row, starting with What's Cookin'? (1942) and ending with Mister Big (1943). … Read More
1943 17 Years Old On his 18th birthday in August, 1943, during World War II O'Connor was drafted into the United States Army.
1944 18 Years Old 1 More Event
Before he reported for induction on Feb. 6, 1944, Universal already had four O’Connor films completed. … Read More


1946 20 Years Old Upon his return, a merger in 1946 had reorganized the studio as Universal-International.
1949 23 Years Old In 1949, he played the lead role in Francis, the story of a soldier befriended by a talking mule. … Read More
1952 26 Years Old In 1952 O'Connor signed a three picture deal with Paramount. … Read More
1954 28 Years Old In 1954, he starred in his own television series, The Donald O'Connor Show on NBC.


1956 30 Years Old He married for a second time, to Gloria Noble, in 1956. … Read More


1968 42 Years Old In 1968, O'Connor hosted a syndicated talk show also called The Donald O'Connor Show.
1971 45 Years Old He suffered a heart attack in 1971.


1978 52 Years Old O'Connor overcame alcoholism after being hospitalized for three months after collapsing in 1978. … Read More
1981 55 Years Old 1 More Event
He appeared as a gaslight-era entertainer in the 1981 film Ragtime, notable for similar encore performances by James Cagney and Pat O'Brien. … Read More


1990 64 Years Old O'Connor had undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1990, and he nearly died from double pneumonia in January 1998.
1996 70 Years Old He had guest roles in 1996 in a pair of popular TV comedy series, The Nanny and Frasier.
1998 72 Years Old In 1998, he received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars. … Read More
2003 77 Years Old 1 More Event
He died from complications of heart failure on September 27, 2003 at age 78 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, in Woodland Hills, California. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on'Connor.
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