Star of musicals has died

2003-09-28 10:19
Los Angeles - Entertainer Donald O'Connor, who combined comedy and acrobatics in the show-stopping "Make 'Em Laugh" number in the classic movie "Singin' in the Rain," has died at the age of 78.

O'Connor, who had been in declining health in recent years, died of heart failure at a retirement home in Calabasas.

O'Connor won an Emmy, but never an Oscar. He was best known for films he made in the 1950s...a series of highly successful "Francis the Talking Mule" comedies and musicals that put his song and dance talents to good use.

Songs in movie musicals are often touching or exciting, but O'Connor performed a rare feat with a number that were laugh-out-loud funny.

The best, 1952's "Singin' in the Rain," also starred Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds and took a satirical look at Hollywood during the transition from silent to sound pictures.

The American Film Institute's list of the top 100 American movies ever made ranked "Singin' in the Rain" at No. 10.

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