Donald O'Connor
dancer, singer, actor
Donald O'Connor
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).
Biography
Donald O'Connor's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Donald O'Connor from around the web
'Hamilton' Casting Notice Reveals All The Musical's Original Inspirations
Huffington Post - 12 months
How does one describe the character of George Washington? You could use words like "powerful," "influential," "revolutionary," or "honest." But nothing beats the description Lin Manuel-Miranda's team used in an original casting notice for the hit musical "Hamilton":  Miranda's casting notes for Hamilton. https://t.co/uY0dM6ZFHt pic.twitter.com/GyfJ2cMI1n — southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) February 29, 2016 What better way to explain one of America's most beloved historical figures -- who is remembered as both sensitive and strong -- than by comparing him to an achingly soulful singer (John Legend) and the ultimate symbol of heroic leadership ("Lion Kings"'s Mufasa, obviously)? Such was the logic of "Hamilton," as outlined in the July 2014 notice, tweeted earlier this week. The list goes on. It describes Aaron Burr as a mix between the "Les Misérables" antagonist Javert and Mos Def; Hercules Mulligan as Busta Rhymes meets 1940s film star Donald O'Connor; Peggy Schuyler a ...
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Huffington Post article
<i>Singin' in the Rain</i> at SF Symphony
Huffington Post - about 3 years
It's one thing for an orchestra to accompany a silent film. It is something else all together for an orchestra to accompany a sound film, let alone a musical. The level of expectation, as well as the technical and performance challenges faced by musicians accompanying a movie whose original score has been stripped from its soundtrack, are considerable to say the least. That's the challenge the San Francisco Symphony will face on December 6 and 7, when the world renown orchestra accompanies the classic musical, Singin' in the Rain. The 1952 film, one of most beloved movies of all time, is widely considered the greatest musical ever made. In fact, the film has appeared in numerous top ten lists of the greatest films in history -- all genres aside. In 1989, Singin' in the Rain was among the first 25 films chosen for the then newly established National Film Registry, honoring motion pictures deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress. ...
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Huffington Post article
Porchlight's <i>Double Trouble</i> Creaks with Old-School Charm
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Donald and Gene. Bing and Danny. Adrian and Alexander. What do these three pairs have in common? Why, they're vintage sweater vest-sportin', Brilliantine in the hair-wearnin', singin' and dancin' duos who charm with their smooth moves and crooning tunes. They all have a song at the ready to express their new-found love, and it often involves a soft shoe shuffle and sometimes a broom or an umbrella dancing partner. While Donald (O'Connor), Gene (Kelly), Bing (Crosby) and Danny (Kaye) are household names and beloved musical comedy pairs, Adrienne and Alexander aren't familiar outside of Chicago's tight-knit theatre community. At least, not yet. Yes, Double Trouble is a charming and creaky (sometimes noisily so) two-hander musical comedy that celebrates sibling revelry. A labor of love by brother duo Bob and Jim Walton, Porchlight's snappy production features winning performances from Adrian and Alexander Aguilar -- each accomplished musical actors who steadily work across the city. ...
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Huffington Post article
Watch Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Barrington Patch - over 4 years
Librarian, film enthusiast and Patch blogger Doug Swiszcz presents today at 1 pm the second movie in his latest film lecture series, "Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!: The Evolution of Movie Musicals." The 1935 movie, Top Hat, is one of 10 musicals that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made together, said Swiszcz. It will play in the theater-like auditorium. Here is how Swiszcz describes the film: "A farcical storyline involving mistaken identity provides the narrative framework, but it is Fred and Ginger dancing to a wonderful Irving Berlin score that is the film’s raison d’etre. "Dance as a means of courtship between a man and woman—remember those times? Fred advances, Ginger demurs, but in the end we know that the pair will end up in each other’s arms. The dances were filmed as nearly as possible in complete takes to convey the performances as an organic whole. "The black &amp; white film runs for 101 minutes. It is unrated, and free and open to all." The remai ...
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Barrington Patch article
How A Musical Number Prepared Joseph Gordon-Levitt For 'Premium Rush'
MTV News - over 4 years
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has had more than a few physical roles in his career as an actor. But flying around rotating hallways and running down the streets of Gotham are nothing compared to the work he did on a fixed-gear bike for "Premium Rush." [ video unavailable on this device ] &lt;div class="post_object"&gt;&lt;object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" id="player-mgid_uma_video_mtv.com_828613-object" name="player-mgid_uma_video_mtv.com_828613-object" width="512" height="320"&gt; &lt;param name="movie" value="http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:828613/cp~id=1692471&amp;amp;vid=828613"/&gt; &lt;param name="wmode" value="transparent"/&gt; &lt;param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"/&gt; &lt;param name="seamlesstabbing" value="true"/&gt; &lt;param name="swliveconnect" value="true"/&gt; &lt;param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/&gt; &lt;param name="allownetworking" value="all"/ ...
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MTV News article
'Singin' In The Rain,' 'Lockout,' And More: This Week On Video
MTV News - over 4 years
Pick of the Week "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) Director: Stanley Donen Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds Story: Hollywood, 1927: the silent-film romantic team of Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) is the toast of Tinseltown. While Lockwood and Lamont personify smoldering passions onscreen, in real life the down-to-earth Lockwood can't stand the egotistical, brainless Lina. He prefers the company of aspiring actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), whom he met while escaping his screaming fans. On the Disc: The 60th anniversary edition comes with all the special features included on earlier releases, plus a new documentary on how the choreography of the film changed dance forever. Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Metacritic: N/A Where to get it Amazon: Blu-ray - $13.86, Digital Download - $9.99, Digital Rental - $2.99 Apple: Digital Download - $9.99, Digital Rental - $2.99 (HD: $3.99) Netflix Instant: Not available "Lockout" (2012) Director ...
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MTV News article
Debbie Reynolds to Perform at Marin Center
San Rafael Patch - almost 5 years
So, what do you have planned this weekend? Looking for some ideas? Well then, take a look at what's on the San Rafael Patch Events Calendar. Does your kid have musical talent? Auditions for the musical Grease willbe held on Friday, April 20, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the San Rafael Community Center. Children from age 8 to 18 are welcome and should be prepared to sing a song! Celebrate the earth this Saturday at the Civic Center Lagoon Park. The Earth Day Marin Festival is a fun, free event for all ages with the goal of galvanizing a greater level of community action on environmental issues. The event includes music, speakers, workshops, a teen-led TeenSpot &amp; stage, a kid zone and the leading organizations, businesses, agencies and others moving us towards our a healthy environmental and positive future. The event is free and goes from 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come see the legendary Debbie Reynolds this Sunday at the Marin Center. For over six decades, our lives have ...
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San Rafael Patch article
Scene desk picks: Musicals to hang your hat on
Oregon Daily Emerald - almost 5 years
We all love music and movies, but for some reason, musicals remain underrated. Sure, some of them are awful, and they’re all pretty hard to believe, but some of them are fantastic. Bursting out into song might seem silly, but doesn’t it also look a little fun? Of course, in real life most of our impromptu songs would be off-key and full of filler lyrics. In any case, check out this week’s picks — our favorite musicals. “Singin’ in the Rain,” recommended by Rebecca Sedlak This light and fun 1952 musical depicts Hollywood stars transitioning from silent to talkie films of the 1920s. Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is a silent-film star with humble roots who has made it big in Hollywood by starring in countless films with his leading lady Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). But the 1927 release of “The Jazz Singer” — the first talking picture — changes the game in Hollywood as the public clamors for talkies. The studio wants to transition Don and Lina into the new technology, but Lina’s squeaky voice ...
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Oregon Daily Emerald article
'The Artist' is the buzz at the TCM Classic Film Festival
LATimes - almost 5 years
The TCM Classic Film Festival highlights decades-old movies, but one of the most buzzed-about titles at the event in Hollywood over the weekend was 2012 Oscar winner "The Artist." A silent black-and-white homage to Hollywood's early days, "The Artist" was name-checked several times at festival Q&amp;As, in concession lines and in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel where attendees mingled between films. The ubiquity of "The Artist" at the festival, which was attended by more than 25,000 people Thursday to Sunday, suggests the symbiotic relationship the movie has had from the beginning with ardent classic film fans. Outlets like TCM, which plays silent films on Sunday nights and programmed several silents at its festival, have helped stoke the fan base, while a well-funded Oscar campaign for the French movie about a silent era star (Jean Dujardin) having trouble transitioning to talkies brought newcomers into the fold. At a sold-out screening of Douglas Fairbanks' "The Thief of Ba ...
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LATimes article
Composer Jack Hayes dies at 92 - Variety
Google News - over 5 years
He also collaborated with Tom Scott on the film score for &quot;Fast Forward&quot; and penned arrangements for singers including Donald O&#39;Connor, Pearl Bailey and Barbra Streisand. An ailing Bernard Herrmann enlisted Hayes to conduct his final score,
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Google News article
Debbie Reynolds on TCM: THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, THE SINGING NUN - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
But fan or no, there&#39;s much to enjoy in Singin&#39; in the Rain, including Reynolds and Donald O&#39;Connor&#39;s performances, several great songs from the 1920s, and Jean Hagen&#39;s high-pitched mix of Norma Talmadge, (the British) Mabel Poulton,
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Google News article
STATE v. RENDOWSKI - Leagle.com
Google News - over 5 years
Municipal Court Judge Donald O&#39;Connor conducted a trial and listened to the testimony from the officers. The judge concluded that defendant &quot;operated&quot; the car while her license was suspended because defendant was found inside the car, the keys were
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Google News article
Passion For Early TV Leads To Emmy Nods - TV News Check
Google News - over 5 years
He introduced me to everyone at the Friars club from Bob Hope to Red Skelton to Henny Youngman to Donald O&#39;Connor and Mickey Rooney.&quot; Boettcher spent the next several years interviewing as many pioneers as his time and money allowed
Article Link:
Google News article
chance to win Singin' in the Rain tickets - RTE.ie
Google News - over 5 years
Then there&#39;s Donald O&#39;Connor giving the performance of his life in the Make &#39;Em Laugh sequence; and Debbie Reynolds in delightful form as the young musical star hoping to make it in Hollywood. But Singin&#39; in the Rain is more than just a musical
Article Link:
Google News article
Bringing musicals to life - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
Where Donald O&#39;Connor runs up the wall?” While the songs are excellent, they&#39;re not, Wilson insists, the best thing about the show. “It&#39;s a dance-led show, and what&#39;s spectacular about it is the dance music.” At the NCH, Gene Kelly&#39;s character will be
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Google News article
Croswell's 'Singin' in the Rain' opens Friday - Adrian Daily Telegram
Google News - over 5 years
The 1952 movie classic starring Gene Kelly, Donald O&#39;Connor and Debbie Reynolds was first turned into a stage musical in 1983. And undergoing that process entailed a fair number of challenges. For one thing, obviously a stage show can&#39;t cut from one
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Google News article
'Movies by Moonlight' series travels back in time - Corvallis Gazette Times
Google News - over 5 years
Starring Gene Kelly, Donald O&#39;Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen and Millard Mitchell. Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donan. The song itself had been kicking around Tinseltown since at least “The Hollywood Revue of 1929,” but it found lasting
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Donald O'Connor
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2003
    Age 77
    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.
    More Details Hide Details His remains were cremated and buried at the Forest Lawn–Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles. O'Connor was survived by his wife, Gloria, and four children. Gloria O'Connor died from natural causes on June 4, 2013, aged 84.
  • 1998
    Age 72
    In 1998, he received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars.
    More Details Hide Details O'Connor's last feature film was the Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau comedy Out to Sea, in which he played a dance host on a cruise ship. O’Connor was still making public appearances well into 2003. The most distinctive characteristic of O'Connor's dancing style was its athleticism, for which he had few rivals. Yet it was his boyish charm that audiences found most engaging, and which remained an appealing aspect of his personality throughout his career. In his early Universal films, O'Connor closely mimicked the smart alec, fast talking personality of Mickey Rooney of rival MGM Studio. For Singin' in the Rain, however, MGM cultivated a much more sympathetic sidekick persona, and that remained O'Connor's signature image.
  • 1996
    Age 70
    He had guest roles in 1996 in a pair of popular TV comedy series, The Nanny and Frasier.
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  • 1990
    Age 64
    O'Connor had undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1990, and he nearly died from double pneumonia in January 1998.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1981
    Age 55
    O'Connor appeared in the short-lived Bring Back Birdie on Broadway in 1981, and continued to make film and television appearances into the 1990s, including the Robin Williams film Toys as the president of a toy-making company.
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    He appeared as a gaslight-era entertainer in the 1981 film Ragtime, notable for similar encore performances by James Cagney and Pat O'Brien.
    More Details Hide Details It was his first feature film role in 16 years.
  • 1978
    Age 52
    O'Connor overcame alcoholism after being hospitalized for three months after collapsing in 1978.
    More Details Hide Details His career had a boost when he hosted the Academy Awards, which earned him two Primetime Emmy nominations.
  • FORTIES
  • 1971
    Age 45
    He suffered a heart attack in 1971.
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  • 1968
    Age 42
    In 1968, O'Connor hosted a syndicated talk show also called The Donald O'Connor Show.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1956
    Age 30
    He married for a second time, to Gloria Noble, in 1956.
    More Details Hide Details Together they had three children; Alicia, Donald Frederick and Kevin.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1954
    Age 28
    In 1954, he starred in his own television series, The Donald O'Connor Show on NBC.
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  • 1952
    Age 26
    In 1952 O'Connor signed a three picture deal with Paramount.
    More Details Hide Details It was because of the Francis series that O'Connor missed playing Bing Crosby's partner in White Christmas. O'Connor was unavailable because he contracted an illness transmitted by the mule, and was replaced in the film by Danny Kaye. O'Connor's role as Cosmo the piano player in Singin' in the Rain earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical. The film featured his memorable rendition of "Make 'Em Laugh". O'Connor said he smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day during filming. Another notable role was as Tim Donahue in the 20th Century Fox musical There's No Business Like Show Business(1954), which featured Irving Berlin's music and also starred with Marilyn Monroe, Ethel Merman, Mitzi Gaynor and Johnnie Ray. O'Connor was a regular host of NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour. He hosted a color television special on NBC in 1957, one of the earliest color programs to be preserved on a color kinescope; an excerpt of the telecast was included in NBC's 50th anniversary special in 1976.
  • 1949
    Age 23
    In 1949, he played the lead role in Francis, the story of a soldier befriended by a talking mule.
    More Details Hide Details The film was a huge success. As a consequence, his musical career was constantly interrupted by production of one Francis film per year until 1955. O'Connor later said the films "were fun to make. Actually they were quite challenging. I had to play straight in order to convince the audience that the mule could talk."
  • 1946
    Age 20
    Upon his return, a merger in 1946 had reorganized the studio as Universal-International.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1944
    Age 18
    O'Connor was married twice and had four children. His first marriage was in 1944 to Gwendolyn Carter, with whom he had a daughter, Donna. The couple divorced in 1954.
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    Before he reported for induction on Feb. 6, 1944, Universal already had four O’Connor films completed.
    More Details Hide Details They rushed production to complete three more by that date. With a backlog of seven features, deferred openings kept O’Connor‘s screen presence uninterrupted during the two years he was overseas.
  • 1943
    Age 17
    On his 18th birthday in August, 1943, during World War II O'Connor was drafted into the United States Army.
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  • 1941
    Age 15
    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).
    More Details Hide Details Peggy Ryan and Gloria Jean were in four each. Before Mister Big (1943) was released, O’Connor’s popularity soared. Universal added $50,000 in musical numbers to Mister Big (1943) and promoted this B movie to an A. His subsequent films were all A’s.
  • 1940
    Age 14
    In 1940, when he had outgrown child roles, he returned to vaudeville.
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  • 1937
    Age 11
    O'Connor began performing in movies in 1937.
    More Details Hide Details He appeared opposite Bing Crosby in Sing You Sinners at age 12. Paramount Pictures used him in both A and B films, including Tom Sawyer, Detective and Beau Geste.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1925
    Born
    Born on August 28, 1925.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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