[Donald O'Connor]

[St. Patrick's Day Page]




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Happy St. Patrick's Day! And Welcome to our special tribute to Donald O'Connor and some of the Irishmen he's worked with. (We figured the gentlemen deserved equal time after that Valentine's Day Tribute to the ladies.) Two of our featured Donald co-stars are genuine born-in-Ireland Irishmen. The other two are a couple of the most famous Irish-American performers. (Names are linked to the Internet Movie Database.)



[Gene Kelly]

Gene Kelly
Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He started his career in the thirties, performing and choreographing on Broadway. He made his screen debut in For Me and My Gal with Judy Garland. He went on to make many beloved and inspired musicals. Chief among these was, of course, the film in which he co-starred with Donald O'Connor, Singin' in the Rain, which Gene co-directed with Stanley Donen. Afterwards he had a successful directing career in addition to his dancing, singing and acting careers. Gene Kelly passed away in 1996. There is no shortage of information about Gene Kelly on the web. A few of our favorites. The Gene Scene and The Gene Pool.















[James Cagney]

James Cagney was one of films all-time greatest leading men. Donald O'Connor appeared in Cagney's last feature film, Ragtime in which Cagney portrayed Police Commissioner Rheinlander Waldo. Cagney was born in New York City to an Irish father and a Norwegian mother. He worked as an actor and "eccentric" dancer on Broadway and in Vaudeville. In 1930 he was cast in a film version of one of the Broadway show's he had done. But his role in The Public Enemy as a ruthless gangster ensured that most of his roles would be on the more dramatic side, with some notable exceptions, such as Yankee Doodle Dandy for which he won an Oscar.
Milos Forman, director of Ragtime had this to say about Cagney, "When we were shooting, he was 80 years old. He couldn't walk, he had diabetes, sciatica, he couldn't hear, his memory was gone. The only part of Cagney which was absolutely untouched by age was his talent. It was just amazing. The moment the camera was rolling, that man was there and I was just mesmerized."
Have a look at these pages devoted to James Cagney A Yankee Doodlee Dandy, One of a Kind, and Good Guy, Tough Guy, Dancer, Star


















[Michael Gambon]

Michael Gambon. appeared in Toys as the demented General Leland Zevo, the brother of Donald's character, Kenneth Zevo. Michael Gambon was born in Dublin, Ireland. He has appeared on stage and in many films in Britain and a few over here in the United States, including the recent Sleepy Hollow. He starred in the unusual British mini-series, The Singing Detective.












[Tommy Makem]


Tommy Makem. co-starred with Donald in A Time To Remember as the other Irish priest, Father Halloran. However, having been born in Ireland, Tommy Makem was the one with the genuine accent. Tommy Makem is better known as a folk singer and songwriter, but his acting credits include a BBC series and other television work in Scotland, Canada and locally in New York. For more information on this entertainer and his next generation, visit the Makem Web Page












[Donald and Heddy]

Donald is, of course, himself, Irish American. We don't know Donald O'Connor's family history beyond the stories of his parents, but here is an excellent web page on the O'Connor Clan in a more general sense. Also here's a little Irish music from a March Colgate Comedy Hour in 1953. Riverdance eat your heart out!


An Irish Jig
















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Some of our St. Patrick's Day clip-art was provided by . Bless their... shamrocks. Anything original is copyright 2000 by Teresa and Tracy Murray (a.k.a. T'n'T).
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