Born: August 28, 1925, Chicago, Illinois
Died: September 27, 2003, at Calabasas, California at age 78
Schoolmate Ben Chadwell tells Mar-Ken.org that Donald O’Connor was a lifelong friend, who was enrolled at Lawlor Professional School but was never there physically. While on the road he had lessons mailed to him. Once O’Connor told Chatwell that the lessons, he thought, were mailed from New York. Chadwell recalls telling him that the school was in Hollywood. As O’Connor never attended the school, he didn’t know. This tale raises speculation that maybe the lessons were coming from New York, and that there was some connection between Mrs. Lawlor’s Professional Children’s School (later called Lawlor’s Professional School) and the New York Professional Children’s School. See the History section of this website.
According to friend and Mar-Ken student, Jean Porter, it was joked that Donald graduated from the Holly Spot. The Holly Spot was a hamburger joint a few blocks down Hollywood Blvd. from Hollywood Professional School, where a lot of the HPS students hung out, and it was joked that they spent more time there than in classes, thus the graduation from the Holly Spot joke.
Donald O’Connor was an actor, director, musician, comedian, TV/radio host, composer, choreographer and is probably best known for his dancing. He performed in vaudeville, on stage and in scores of movies and TV shoes. He was a member of the Jivin’ Jack and Jills.
Links to other resources about Donald O’Connor:
Internet Movie Database listing:
Biography and filmography on MSN Movies.com:
Biography from All Movie Guide:
Photos from Reel Classics:
Obituary from CBS News: