Helen O'Connell

QUESTION:  In what 1943 film did Helen O'Connell appear as herself?
A)  The More the Merrier
B)  Thank Your Lucky Stars
C)  Red Hot Riding Hood
D)  I Dood It
ANSWER BELOW

Some people know what they want to do for their career from an early age.  Helen O'Connell was one of those people who not only had the vision, but also the talent.  Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1920, she was singing with her older sister before her fifteenth birthday in clubs, hotels, and on the radio.  She was playing in Greenwich Village in New York City with Larry Funk and his Band of a Thousand Melodies when Jimmy Dorsey's manager heard her sing.  Dorsey stole her from Funk, and they made beautiful music together.  O'Connell made a name for herself as one of the most popular singers of the big band era.  At least until 1943, when she gave up her career to raise a family.  

O'Connell disappeared from the scene for eight years, until her marriage ended.  Then, she entered a new field:  television.  Performing with other musicians and on her own eponymous program, Helen O'Connell was soon elevated to become one of the first female commentators on NBC's Today's Show.  She also co-hosted Here's Hollywood, a program where she interviewed celebrities for a number of years.  She also hosted the Miss Universe competition alongside Bob Barker from 1972 through 1980.  A very busy woman, O'Connell enjoyed popular appreciation until her 1993 death due to complications from Hepatitis C, but her memory lives on here at the American Treasure Tour, where her head shot is displayed in our Music Room.

ANSWER:  D)  I Dood It.  This successful musical comedy starred Eleanor Powell as a dance star and Red Skelton as her love interest who she agrees to marry when she thinks he is a wealthy mine owner.  He is not, and zany antics ensue.  Helen O'Connell makes a cameo as herself.  The big band leader Jimmy Dorsey, her boss at the time, also plays himself in the film.