Resources



Resources

Researchers interested in finding holdings related to Donald O’Connor’s film, television and radio career should check the university and museum archives
listed below. Most items must be viewed on site or may be preservation copies, not available for viewing. Click on the heading to go to the catalog or website.
Other useful websites are listed under “Webliography.”



UCLA Film and Television Archives

University of California in Los Angeles has an extensive collection of archived material and a searchable catalog. Search by Credits to find 53 hits. Films, television and commercials.
Below are a just a few of them.

ITEM DATE FORMAT
DESCRIPTION
Colgate Comedy Hour 2/3/1952 Television, Variety Show Host Donald O’Connor, guests Kay Starr, Ben Blue, Corinne Calvert, Gwen Carter and Donna O’Connor, 60 min.
Colgate Comedy Hour 1951-55 Television, Variety Show Host Donald O’Connor, guest Dinah Shore, 800 ft. preservation copy
Jimmy Durante Show 10/2/1954 Television, Series Premier Host Jimmy Durante, guest Donald O’Connor, 30 min. excerpt
Tonight Show 9/26/1962 Television, Talk Show Host Donald O’Connor, guests Lisa Kirk and Jack E. Leonard, 20 min. excerpt
Donald O’Connor Show 1968 Television, Talk Show Host Donald O’Connor, 400 ft. preservation copy
Talk of the Town 1995 Television, Talk Show Thalians 40th Anniversary Ball, host Ruta Lee, honorees Donald and Gloria O’Connor, 30 min. excerpt



The Museum of Broadcast Communications


This new museum opens in Chicago in 2007. Their online catalog is a little tricky, but worthwhile. Here is a sampling of their collection.

ITEM DATE FORMAT
DESCRIPTION
Steve Allen Comedy Hour 11/11/1980 Television, Variety Show Host Steve Allen, guests Kaye Ballard, Foster Brooks, Martin Mull, Donald O’Connor, 60 min.
Celebrity Sharks 12/16/1974 Television, Game Show Host Marty Ingels, guests play pool for charity; Larry Linville, Jack Albertson, Pat Paulsen, Chuck Norris, Louis Nye, Monty Hall, Donald O’Connor, Arthur Godfrey, Jaye P. Morgan, Marty Feldman, Gail Fisher. 15 min. excerpt
Remembering Bing 9/29/1987 Television, Documentary Host Dorothy Lamour in chronicle of life and career of Bing Crosby; spots with Donald O’Connor, Paul Whiteman, Anthony Quin, Phil Harris, Victor Borge, Mel Torme, Kitty Carlisle, Mary Martin, Bob Hope, Bob Panama, Patty Andrews, 60 min.
Siskel & Ebert: Favorite Scenes (#640) 6/13/1992 Television, Talk Show Host Dorothy Lamour, guests Lisa Kirk and Jack E. Leonard, 20 min. excerpt
Donald O’Connor Show 1968 Television, Interview Motion Picture Criticism; Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel discuss favorite movie clips, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor among others.



The Paley Center for Media


This museum has two facitilities – one in Beverly Hills, CA and one in New York City. There is no online catalog, but visitors can access local catalog and view tapes of many early TV shows and commercials. Excellent resource. Extremely helpful staff.

ITEM DATE FORMAT
DESCRIPTION
Colgate Comedy Hour 11/22/1953 Television, Variety Show Host Donald O’Connor, guests Dorothy Dandridge, Ralph Bellamy, Corinne Calvert, Sid Miller, 60 min.
Standard Oil 75th Anniversary 10/13/1957 Television, Documentary Host Donald O’Connor, 90 min.
Dupont Show of the Month 4/19/1958 Television, Special The Red Mill, with Donald O’Connor, Shirley Jones, Elaine Strich, Mike Nicholds and Elaine May, television adaptation of Victor Herbert Musical, 90 min.
Pontiac Star Parade: Gene Kelly Show 11/21/1959 Television, Special Gene Kelly hosts with guests Donald O’Connor and Carol Lawrence, 60 min.
Bell Telephone Hour 1/16/1966 Television, Special Song and Dance Man with Donald O’Connor
Bing Crosby: His Life and Legend, Part 2 5/25/1978 Television, Special Donald O’Connor guests. 60 min.
Tonight Show 8/31/1984 Television, Talk Show Host Johnny Carson, guests Donald O’Connor, Steve Schaffer, 60 min.
Tonight Show 4/19/1985 Television, Talk Show Host Johnny Carson, guests Donald O’Connor, Ornella Muti, 60 min.



New York Public Library Performing Arts Collections


Click on “Collections” to see descriptions of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, the Music Division, the Rogers and Hammerstein Archives and the Billy Rose Theatre Collection.
This author has not been able to research the Dance Collection first hand, but a search on Donald O’Connor results
in many hits. O’Connor was frequently interviewed in relation to dance history or famous performers he had worked with.

ITEM DATE FORMAT
DESCRIPTION
American Masters. Gene Kelly, Anatomy of a Dancer 2002 Documentary Donald O’Connor, interviewee, talks about Kelly’s style.
Tap City Gala: Act One 2004 Documentary Tribute to Donald O’Connor, Ann Miller and Gregory Hines as part of New York City Tap Festival, a project of the American Tap Dance Foundation.
James Cagney : That Yankee Doodle Dandy 1981 Documentary Donald O’Connor, interviewee, gives a brief demonstration of the Cagney dance technique.
Buster Keaton : A Hard Act to Follow 1987 Documentary Donald O’Connor, interviewee, talks about making the Buster Keaton Story and performing some of the stunts.
Gretchen Wyler 1964-1965 Television, Bell Telephone Hour Kinescopes of performances by Gretchen Wyler including Ragtime Medley. Yankee Doodle Boy performed by Donald O’Connor
Come to the Fair: Salute to 1964 New York World’s Fair April 21, 1964 Television, Bell Telephone Hour Donald O’Connor, host and performer.
Watch Your Step, Brother!: The Life of Maceo Anderson 2001 Documentary Donald O’Connor, interviewee. [Author’s note: Four Step Brothers appeared with O’Connor in When Johnny Comes Marching Home doing toe stands. In the finale, O’Connor does a couple himself.]
The Sound of Hope: Boy’s Choir of Harlem 1994 Sound Recording We Can Make it Better / Walter J. Turnbull, Frank Jones, Jr., Eddie Perez, Mike Cameron (Donald O’Connor) (4:12)


Other Collections

  • NBC Television Collection at the Library of Congress
  • SONIC Audio Collection at the Library of Congress