Donald O'Connor

Donald O'Connor

  • Highest Rated: 100% That's Entertainment! III (1994)
  • Lowest Rated: 30% Toys (1992)
  • Birthday: Aug 28, 1925
  • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • The son of a stage acrobat, American actor/dancer/singer Donald O'Connor was hoofing away as a child in his family's vaudeville act. He was discovered for films in 1938's Sing, You Sinners, spending the next few years in movies usually playing "the star as a child" -- that is, cast as the younger version of the film's leading man for prologue and flashback sequences. A 1941 Universal contract led to a string of peppy medium-budget musicals with such pure-forties titles as Get Hep to Love (1941) and Are You With It? (1949); O'Connor's most frequent costar was another teenage vaudeville vet, Peggy Ryan. In 1950, O'Connor was cast in the non-dancing role of a hapless army private who can't convince anyone that a mule can talk in Francis (1950). The film was a major moneymaker, leading Universal to inaugurate a Francis series starring O'Connor, Francis the Mule, and Francis' voice, Chill Wills. O'Connor bailed out before the final film in the series, Francis in the Haunted House (1956), complaining that the mule was getting more fan mail than he was. During the Francis epics, O'Connor was loaned to MGM for what is regarded as his finest film role, happy-go-lucky Cosmo Brown in Singin' in the Rain (1952). If he'd never made another film, O'Connor would be a musical-comedy immortal solely on the basis of his Rain setpiece, the athleticly uproarious Make 'Em Laugh (1952). When the sort of musicals in which he specialized went into a Hollywood eclipse, O'Connor concentrated on TV and nightclubs, save for a few less than satisfying cinematic assignments such as The Buster Keaton Story (1957) and the Italian-made curiosity The Wonders of Alladin (1961). When O'Connor returned to films for 1965's That Funny Feeling it was in support of the musical flavor-of-the-decade Bobby Darin. In 1967, O'Connor tried his hand at a syndicated talk-variety program, where he proved excellent as usual at performing but ill at ease as an interviewer. The 1970s were a maelstrom of summer theatre appearances, club dates and an on-and-off liquor problem for O'Connor; when he resurfaced briefly in 1981's Ragtime, movie audiences breathed a sigh of satisfaction that an old friend was back and seemingly as fit as ever. One of Donald O'Connor's most high profile later day film appearance was a cameo at the beginning of Barry Levinson's Toys (1992), wherein the verteran actor supplied a much-needed chunk of solid entertainment value to an otherwise ponderous project. A year after appearing as menacing witch Baba Yaga in the 1996 family fantasy Father Frost, O'Connor made his final film appearance in the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau ocean cruise comedy Out to Sea.In late September of 2003, legendary actor Donald O'Connor died of heart failure in Calabasas, CA. He was 78.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet Tcm Presents Singin' In The Rain 60th Anniversary Event Encore Actor 2012
No Score Yet Chip Off The Old Block Actor 2012
No Score Yet Pioneers of Primetime Actor 2005
No Score Yet Gene Kelly - Anatomy of a Dancer Actor 2002
36% Out to Sea Jonathan 1997
100% That's Entertainment! III Actor 1994
No Score Yet Bandit: Bandit and the Silver Angel Uncle Cyrus 1994
30% Toys Kenneth Zevo 1992
No Score Yet A Time to Remember Father Walsh 1988
No Score Yet Call Me Madam Actor 1986
No Score Yet Alice in Wonderland Lory Bird 1985
No Score Yet Pandemonium Glenn's Dad 1982
91% Ragtime Evelyn's Dance Teacher 1981
No Score Yet James Cagney: That Yankee Doodle Dandy Actor 1981
100% That's Entertainment Narrator 1973
No Score Yet That Funny Feeling Harvey Granson 1965
No Score Yet Le meraviglie di Aladino (The Wonders of Aladdin) Aladdin 1961
No Score Yet Anything Goes Ted Adams 1956
No Score Yet Francis in the Navy Lt. Peter Stirling, Sliker Donovan 1955
67% There's No Business Like Show Business Tim Donahue 1954
No Score Yet Francis Joins the WACs Peter Stirling 1954
No Score Yet I Love Melvin Melvin Hoover 1953
80% Call Me Madam Kenneth Gibson 1953
No Score Yet Francis Covers the Big Town Peter Stirling 1953
100% Singin' in the Rain Cosmo Brown 1952
No Score Yet Francis Goes to West Point Peter Stirling 1952
No Score Yet Double Crossbones Dave Crandall 1951
No Score Yet Francis Goes to the Races Peter Stirling 1951
No Score Yet Francis Peter Stirling 1950
No Score Yet The Milkman Roger Bradley 1950
No Score Yet Yes Sir That's My Baby William Waldo Winfield 1949
No Score Yet Feudin', Fussin' and A-Fightin' Wilbur McMurty 1948
No Score Yet Something in the Wind Charlie Read 1947
No Score Yet The Merry Monahans Jimmy Monahan 1944
No Score Yet Follow the Boys Himself - Guest Star 1944
No Score Yet Mister Big Donald J. O'Connor, Esq. 1943
No Score Yet Strictly in the Groove Actor 1942
No Score Yet Get Hep to Love Jimmy Arnold 1942
No Score Yet Give Out, Sisters Don 1942
No Score Yet Private Buckaroo Donny 1942
No Score Yet On Your Toes Phil as a boy 1939
100% Beau Geste Beau as a Child 1939
No Score Yet Sing You Sinners Mike Beebe 1938
No Score Yet Melody for Two Specialty Act 1937
No Score Yet Anything Goes Ted Adams 1936

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

94% Frasier
1993-2004
Guest
  • 1996
82% Tales from the Crypt
1989-1996
Guest
  • 1992
No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote
1984-1996
Barry
  • 1990
No Score Yet Highway to Heaven
1984-1989
Jackie Clark
  • 1987
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
The Mock Turtle
  • 1983
No Score Yet The Bionic Woman
1976-1978
  • 1976

QUOTES FROM Donald O'Connor CHARACTERS

Cosmo Brown
Talking pictures, that means I'm out of a job. At last I can start suffering and write that symphony.
R.F. Simpson
You're not out of job, we're putting you in as head of our new music department.
Cosmo Brown
Oh, thanks, R.F.! At last I can stop suffering and write that symphony.
Cosmo Brown
Make 'em laugh!
R.F. Simpson
Cosmo, remind me to give you a raise.
Cosmo Brown
Uh, R. F.?
R.F. Simpson
Yes?
Cosmo Brown
Give me a raise.
Don Lockwood
Call me a cab.
Cosmo Brown
Okay, you're a cab.