Caroline O'Connor (actress)

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Caroline O'Connor
Born (1962-09-02) 2 September 1962 (age 55)
Oldham, Lancashire, England

Caroline Ann O'Connor (born 2 September 1962) is an Anglo-Australian singer, dancer and actress.

Early life[edit]

O'Connor was born in Oldham, Lancashire, England, to Irish parents and subsequently brought up and trained in Sydney, Australia. She trained at the Royal Ballet School in London and worked for one year at the Australian Opera Ballet.[1] She became an Australian citizen in 2007.


O'Connor was a member of the original 1986 revival cast of Me and My Girl at the Adelphi Theatre. Other British theatre credits include A Chorus Line, Hot Stuff, Chicago, Damn Yankees, West Side Story and as Ellie May in Showboat for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Opera North in 1989. She understudied and went on to perform the role of Angel in the 1988 London production of The Rink by Kander and Ebb and appeared in the UK premiere of the musical Baby.

She first become known in Australia as Anita in 1994 national tour of West Side Story, for which she won a Green Room Award.

Her West End theatre performances include Mabel in Mack and Mabel for which she received a 1996 Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.

In 1998, O'Connor returned to Australia as Velma Kelly in Chicago for which she won a Green Room Award and the Mo Award for Female Musical Theatre Performer of the Year, Man of La Mancha, Oklahoma! and concert productions of Funny Girl and Mack & Mabel. Her 2000 portrayal of Édith Piaf in Pam Gems's play Piaf gained her three Australian theatre awards.

O'Connor's film work includes the featured role of Nini Legs in the Air in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, and as Ethel Merman in the 2004 Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely. She also featured on the De-Lovely soundtrack, singing "Anything Goes".

In 2003, she made her Broadway debut as Velma Kelly in Chicago.

The 2004 one woman play Bombshells written was especially for Caroline O'Connor by playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. The original production was filmed for ABC Television. Bombshells toured to sell-out performances at the Edinburgh Festival (where she won the coveted Fringe First Award), London's West End at the Arts Theatre (for which she received her second Laurence Olivier Award nomination), and at the World Stage Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

O'Connor starred as Judy Garland in the 2005 world premiere of Peter Quilter's play End of the Rainbow at the Sydney Opera House. Following its Sydney and Melbourne seasons, she recorded the CD A Tribute to Judy Garland,[2] and reprised her Helpmann Award winning role in Sydney at the Theatre Royal in 2006. She starred in the premiere production of the musical The Hatpin, which opened in Sydney on 27 February 2008 to critical acclaim. In June 2008, she played the title role, specifically written for her, in the première of David Williamson's 2008 play Scarlett O'Hara at the Crimson Parrot at the Melbourne Theatre Company.[3]

In March 2009, O'Connor reprised her role as Velma Kelly in the 2009 Australian production of Chicago where she starred alongside Craig McLachlan and Gina Riley. In May 2010, she appeared as Mrs Cooper in the TV series, Lowdown. Also in 2010, she was invited to perform at the BBC Proms celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th Birthday at the Royal Albert Hall.[4][5] From 22 April to 21 May 2011, O'Connor starred as Mrs Lovett in the Théâtre du Châtelet production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in Paris,[6] with David Charles Abell as musical director. Sondheim was reported as saying O’Connor was “the best Mrs Lovett I have ever heard.”[7]

In 2012, O'Connor originated the role of Miss Shields[8] in the limited run of A Christmas Story: The Musical. Although the show ran for only 51 performances in late 2012, as a nominee for the 2013 Best Musical Tony Award, the number "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out",[9] featuring O'Connor was broadcast live on CBS during the 67th Tony Awards show on 9 June 2013.

She has recorded four solo CDs and has featured on numerous cast recordings[10] and compilations.

From April 2017 through to March 2018, O'Connor played Lilly in the musical Anastasia at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway, New York. From May to June 2018, O'Connor starred in a London production of The Rink[11] and from 11 to 19 August 2018, she will play Judy Garland in The Production Company's The Boy from Oz in Melbourne.



Solo recordings

  • A Tribute to Garland[2] (2005)
  • From Stage to Screen[12] (2001)
  • A Tribute To Piaf[13] (2001)
  • What I Did For Love[14] (1998)




  1. ^ O'Connor, Caroline. (22 November 2010). Caroline O'Connor on Talking Heads, ABC1 Archive.
  2. ^ a b O'Connor, Caroline. (2005). Caroline O'Connor – A Tribute to Garland. Sydney Opera House. Discogs. (Australia).
  3. ^ Higson, Rosalie. (3 June 2008). 'Into the Rhythm of Love'. The Australian.
  4. ^ (31 July 2010). Sondheim's 80th Birthday Celebration. BBC Proms. (United Kingdom)
  5. ^ Nice, David. (1 August 2010). “Stephen Sondheim at 80, Royal Albert Hall”. The Arts Desk. (London, UK)
  6. ^ Loomis, George. (3 May 2011). “Châtelet's 'Sweeney Todd' Stays True to Detailed Musical Roots”. The New York Times. (USA).
  7. ^ “Caroline O'Connor's Mrs Lovett - Toast of Paris”. Stage Whispers.
  8. ^ "A Christmas Story, The Musical". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out". 67th Tony Awards. CBS Television. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  10. ^ O'Connor, Caroline. 'Caroline O'Connor Discography'.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew. (2 February 2018). "Anastasia's Caroline O'Connor Will Star in London Revival of The Rink". Playbill. (London, UK)
  12. ^ O'Connor, Caroline. (2001). Caroline O'Connor: From Stage to Screen. AllMusic. Abbey Road Studios. (London, England)
  13. ^ O'Connor, Caroline. (2000). 'A tribute to Piaf / Caroline O'Connor.' Artists Unlimited. Dewey Number: 782.14.O365 2. Sydney, Australia)
  14. ^ O'Connor, Caroline. (6 October 1998). What I Did for Love. Barcode: 605288131424. ABC Records. (USA)

External links[edit]