Donald O’Connor was born on August 28, 1925, and was recruited into films from his family’s vaudeville performance, being a featured dancer in low budget musicals. A solo dance number in the movie Singin’ in the Rain (1952) found O’Connor to A-list status. He went to star in a number of other popular movies, such as There Is No Business Like Show Business (1954) before expiring on September 27, 2003.
He was the fourth living child of Effie and Edward O’Connor, two stars of vaudeville who’d first gained recognition as Ringling Bros. circus performers. Ten months after O’Connor’s arrival, his 7-year old sister Arline was hit with an automobile and killed. O’Connor’s Ruined dad died of a heart attack weeks afterwards. During the Great Depression, the remaining O’Connor’s traveled from city to city, performing for food if required. O’Connor joined the family act when he was only a toddler. He loved being on stage, which likewise served as getaway from his domineering mother.