Donald O’Connor Biography
Donald O’Connor was a renowned American actor, dancer, stage performer, and television personality, best known for his impressive roles in classic musical films like “Singing in the Rain,” “Call Me Madam,” and “I Love Melvin” in the 1950s. He also graced television screens during the same era, becoming a familiar face to many.
Born on August 28, 1925, in Chicago, USA, Donald O’Connor’s parents were both circus performers named Edward and Effie O’Connor. Sadly, his father and elder sister passed away in an accident when he was just ten months old, leaving his mother to provide for him by performing for food. To escape the difficult circumstances, a young Donald discovered a passion for performing on stage.
Initially, Donald started his career as a child actor in the 1930s, featuring in movies like “Sing You Sinners” (1938), “Men With Wings” (1938), and “Unmarried” (1939). Later in 1942, he joined a new Hollywood dance troupe and acted in several B-musical films.
During World War II, Donald joined the Special Services Corps as an entertainer. Upon his return, he starred in films like “Something in the Wind” (1947), “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” (1949), and “Curtain Call at Cactus Creek” (1950). However, it was his breakthrough role in “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952) that propelled him to stardom, earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He quickly became a sought-after actor for big-budget musicals, and subsequent films like “Walking My Baby Back Home,” “I Love Melvin,” and “Call Me Madam” (all released in 1952) brought him tremendous success.
Towards the end of the 1950s and into the early 1960s, Donald’s film career dwindled. Instead, he found more frequent appearances on popular television shows and returned to his roots by performing on stage. He even earned an Emmy Award for his television performances. However, during this period, he struggled with alcoholism, and in the 1990s, he also fell ill with pneumonia.
Donald O’Connor was married twice. His first wife was Gwen Carter, and in 1956 he married Gloria Noble, who was a starlet. He passed away on September 27, 2003, in California, USA, due to a heart attack.
Born: August 28, 1925, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 27, 2003, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5′ 7″
Children: Alicia O’Conner, Donna O’Connor, Kevin O’Connor, Donald Frederick O’Connor
Spouse: Gloria Noble (m. 1956–2003), Gwen Carter O’Connor (m. 1944–1954)
Sing You Sinners (1938)
Men With Wings (1938)
Something in the wind (1947)
Cactus Creek (1950)
Yes Sir, That’s My Baby (1949)
Curtain Call at Cactus Creek (1950)
Singin’ in in the Rain (1952)