Quotes by Donald O'Connor

Doing those costume pictures was wonderful.
– Donald O'Connor
Going up the walls doing somersaults, that trick took a couple of days.
– Donald O'Connor
I can picture things, like a painter would, though I'm not good at painting, either.
– Donald O'Connor
I didn't smoke. I didn't smoke then, and I don't smoke now. We worked every day - that keeps you in pretty good shape. We could go for a long time in one take. You had to be in good shape with Gene Kelly.
– Donald O'Connor
I grew up in vaudeville. All the hoofers used to get together in a drugstore down the street from the theater, or what-have-you, and if they knew a new step they would teach it to you. I learned hoofing steps that way. But going into ballet didn't come until I made those pictures with Kelly.
– Donald O'Connor
I like it live. I think the numbers are live in the movie. If they replaced any, it would have been due to extreme set noise.
– Donald O'Connor
I think you should make more movies, more musicals. I think the public deserves that. I think this country deserves to be able to get out and foster that talent. Give them an opportunity to become stars. I think the whole idea is wonderful.
– Donald O'Connor
I worked with Eddie Cantor, Ed Wynn - one of the greatest comedians and actors that ever lived - and Jimmy Durante. You can't ask for better than that. And it was great format. We had three and a half weeks to work on a show. It was a family-style thing. We used to walk on when someone was doing a handstand, crazy; we'd break them up. And it was great because it was live. They couldn't cut out the mistakes. And that's what audiences love.
– Donald O'Connor
I'm basically a hoofer, a tap dancer. I was always very good from the waist down, moving with the feet... I became what's known as a total dancer, using the entire body in order to express what you want to express in tap dancing and line.
– Donald O'Connor
I'm not a good choreographer: I can't remember what I put down.
– Donald O'Connor
It's so wonderful... if your whole day is rotten, once they start the music, it seems to melt away.
– Donald O'Connor
My brothers and my mother were all dancers, outside of whatever else they did, like acrobatics, high-wire, trapeze. I was born in a circus.
– Donald O'Connor
Pratfalls are always funny. A performer has to answer to himself. If you think something's funny, you've got to go out there and try. It's only by trial and error that you find out.
– Donald O'Connor
Remember, if you do the same act for 20, 30 years it gets a little boring unless you've got something else going for you... And the orchestra really kept you going. They'd laugh at all your jokes, even if they'd been hearing them for the last 30 years.
– Donald O'Connor
That is the godawful thing about television today. Performers don't have any place to hit and miss. You're either in or you're out; you don't have a chance to become good at your craft. If you make three pictures in a row and they don't go over, you're out of the business.
– Donald O'Connor
They put me in a harness, like a horse, to learn the back somersault. It was weird up there when I put on that harness for the first time. The courage came with practice.
– Donald O'Connor
To me, the funniest thing that happened was when Gene was filming the main title song on the back lot out in the rain. When they started, he was singing, and he looked great-so happy. The rain was coming down just perfectly, so each droplet seemed to have its own beat.
– Donald O'Connor
We used to work in two great black houses: Chicago's Regal Theater, and the Apollo Theater on 125th Street in New York.
– Donald O'Connor
Well, my legs are the same size; I'm still 5-foot-10 - that's with heels. I started dancing when I was 13 months old. The first dance I did was the Black Bottom, and I did the same routine for years in the acts.
– Donald O'Connor
What they're doing now with disco is combining a lot of the old steps and movements, like we did in the '40s. They're going back to the Shuffle, the Lindy, rhumbas, a little bit of Afro-Cuban. It's marvelous. Unfortunately, my body won't move that way.
– Donald O'Connor