Donald O'Connor - Rotten Tomatoes

Donald O'Connor

Highest Rated:   100% That's Entertainment! III (1994)
Lowest Rated:   26% Toys (1992)
Birthday:  
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
38% Out to Sea
  • Jonathan
1997
100% That's Entertainment! III
  • Actor
1994
No Score Yet Bandit: Bandit and the Silver Angel
  • Uncle Cyrus
1994
26% 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
90% 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 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 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

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Guest
  • Actor
  • 1996
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • The Mock Turtle
  • 1983

Quotes from Donald O'Connor's Characters