Bobby Darin and
Donald O'Connor



Donald O'Connor & Bobby in 1973


Bobby looked up to and idolized singer/actor Donald O'Connor all of his life. They worked together in television and co-starred in the film That Funny Feeling. It wasn't a surprise that O' Connor was a guest on Bobby's TV show two times. Their friendship spanned many years, as Bobby explained below:

"Years and years ago, Donald was doing the Colgate Comedy Hour. I lived in New York at the time and I wanted to be in show business MORE than anything in the whole world ... and I only had one idol all my life ... truth as I stand here, the only idol I ever had, was this gentleman standing to my right, right now.

And so I went to the, I think it was on 68th street, around 68th, 69th street ... off Broadway ... the NBC theater there and they were doing the Colgate Comedy Hour and Donny was the host that particular week ... and just coincidentally, I was wearing the same kind of jacket, a blue jacket if you will, and gray slacks or a gray jacket or blue slacks (as Donald was) ... I only had two outfits ... I stood out backstage waiting for Donald O'Connor to come out ... and I was standing there, evidently there had been a dinner break and I didn't know anything about it ... and I was just standing there and a couple of fellas, a couple of stage hands came walkin' by, and as they walked by, they said, "Oh, hi Don," and they walked down the steps and I said ... (whispering) "OH WOW ... they think I'm Donald O' Connor!!" ... cause I favored him a little bit, features you know ... and I was excited as could be and then I waited around, the dinner break was over, Donny came back and I shook his hand, I got his ... I think it was the only autograph I've ever gotten in my entire life ... so it is a delight and a pleasure for me to have him on the show."

Audio File of above

John Goldsmith at WGEL Radio FM 101.7 Greenville, IL interviewed Donald O'Connor on December 4, 1992. O'Connor was quoted as saying:

"Bobby was a great guy. He talked me into making a movie in 1965, That Funny Feeling. I didn't want to make movies anymore after 1960, and he said 'Why don't you come on and do this, we'll have some fun'. So, I did the movie because of him. We got along great, and its a cute movie and we got to know each other much better.

He was really a great guy, he loved to have fun. Sometimes he got a little over-tense, because he wanted to be perfect, in everything that he did and in his singing ... and he was sure good. As I said, he was a nice man."

When in New York City or Los Angeles, be sure to visit The Paley Center for Media to watch Bobby and Donald O'Connor perform together.



Special thanks to Steve Blauner and John Goldsmith.




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