Donald O’Connor, 78, died yesterday of apparent heart failure. He was a comedian, a singer, an actor and an amazing dancer. Perhaps best known for starring with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in “Singin’ in the Rain,” he also shared screen credits with a mule in the popular (and just plain funny) “Francis the Talking Mule” films.
In a brief statement, the family said that among O’Connor’s last words was the following quip: “I’d like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get.”
I have little doubt that he will be proven right.