Saturday, April 24, 2010
Donald O' Connor. Was best known for his ability to do somersault against walls.
Donnald O'Connor, began his movie career in 1937. He performed with Bing Crosby in Sing, You Sinners, and at age 12 showed perfect comedic timing. Paramount Pictures used him in Tom Sawyer, Detective and Beau Geste. In 1940, he returned to vaudeville.
In 1942 O'Connor joined Universal Pictures. He played roles in four of the Gloria Jean musicals, and became a star in Mister Big (1943).In 1944, O'Connor was drafted into the Army. Universal Pictures rushed him through three films. After his discharge, Universal (now reorganized as Universal-International) cast him in musicals and comedies.In 1949, he played the lead role in Francis, the story of a soldier befriended by a talking mule. It was because of Francis that O'Connor could not play Bing Crosby's side kick in White Christmas. O'Connor became ill from an illness transmitted by the mule.
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.
Donald O'Connor was a regular host of NBC's popular Colgate Comedy Hour. He hosted a color television special on NBC in 1957. He also had a television series in the late 1960s.His career took off when he hosted the Oscar Awards, which earned him two Prime time Emmy nominations. He performed as a gaslight-era entertainer in the 1981 film Ragtime, known for performances by James Cagney and Pat O'Brien. O'Connor performed in, Bring Back Birdie on Broadway in 1981, and continued to make film and television appearances into the 1990s. Donald 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.
Donald O' Conner performing with Carmen Miranda.
Donald O' Conner performing with Angela Lansbury.