The actor Donald O'Connor, best known for his role in the hit Hollywood musical Singin' in the Rain, has died.
O'Connor (left) was not as famous as Kelly, but he could jump just as high
He died near Los Angeles of a heart failure at the age of 78.
His dance routines in the film, along with fellow stars Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds are considered among the best in the history of Hollywood musicals, combining acrobatics, elegance and wit.
Born in Chicago to circus performers, O'Connor joined the family act when he was just an infant.
Although he never won an Oscar, he was widely admired in Hollywood.
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."
Besides Singin' in the Rain, O'Connor also featured in many 1950s musicals, including Call Me
Madam, Anything Goes, and There's No Business Like Show Business.
He and Kelly were famed for their Singin' performances
He said he ended up acting so many musicals by chance, noting that he started out as a "straight" actor.
He once also said that his song-and-dance image came with a downside: "Back then, when you were typecast that way, it was very difficult to get dramatic parts."
O'Connor also had some success in television. He won an
Emmy for The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1954.