Donald O'Connor's Showboat

Through a series of web searches I stumbled upon this brief review  of a Donald O'Connor performance from July 1975 . O'Connor, star of Singin' In The Rain(1952), had taken a gig as a headliner on a showboat in the Midwest as part of a Bicentennial show.

Says editor Noreen Murphy,
“Donald O’ Connor, of course, was the star of the show. And after, what he admitted was 50 years of performing, it was there, the old show business magic."
Ms. Murphy makes him sound like a ratty old sweater being resurrected from the basement.

"[The magic] flashed through in his smile as he tapped, sang, quipped, graciously handled a heckler who practically made it on stage before the police started to remove him (“Oh, he‘s just trying to have a little fun like the rest of us,”)....”

Sounds like a horrible night.

O‘Connor answered questions and danced
“in between such songs as ‘Walking My Baby Back Home’ ‘Make Someone Happy’  and ‘Singing [sic] in the Rain,’ to mention but a few, while batting away at the moths.”
Batting away at the moths. The irony. So sad, really.


  1. i was in the phoenix airport and somebody said, "Donald O'Connor just walked by." I chased after him but couldn't find him, and he died a week later. :(

  2. Wow.

    That was 2003. I remember that year and 2004 as being filled with the deaths of Classic Film stars. A few months before his death Katharine Hepburn died. Gregory Peck also kicked the bucket, as did Bob Hope, who died at 100, so there was a big thing about that.

    I can't remember a big to-do about Donald O'Connor dying. I'm sure he was mentioned in the news and everything, but with so many of the greats dying, he was lost in the shuffle.

    The most recent of his public appearances that I remember is his being interviewed on CNN with Debbie Reynolds when Gene Kelly passed on. O'Connor was mostly quiet and Reynolds kept talking about the blood in her shoes from dancing on Singin' In The Rain.

  3. It would be ironic if Donald's death got lost in the shuffle.

    I went to school with Gregory Peck's son and one of my cherished memories is of Peck standing by the student union with my mom next to him (coming up about to his belt buckle, with her looking up at him in utter awe. He was impossibly handsome.

  4. "It would be ironic if Donald's death got lost in the shuffle." - joem18b

    LOL. I just now got the joke a month later. :)


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