Helen O'Connell
Helen O'Connell was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 singer, actress, and dancer.

Born in Lima, Ohio
Lima, Ohio
Lima is a city in and the county seat of Allen County, Ohio, United States. The municipality is located in northwestern Ohio along Interstate 75 approximately north of Dayton and south-southwest of Toledo....

, O'Connell joined the Jimmy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
James "Jimmy" Dorsey was a prominent American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, trumpeter, composer, and big band leader. He was known as "JD"...

 band in 1939 and achieved her best selling records in the early 1940s with "Green Eyes
Green Eyes (Aquellos Ojos Verdes)
"Green Eyes" is a popular song, originally written in Spanish under the title "Aquellos Ojos Verdes" by Adolfo Utrera and Nilo Menéndez. The English translation was made by Eddie Rivera and Eddie Woods in 1929....

", "Amapola
Amapola (song)
"Amapola" is a 1924 song by Cádiz-born composer José María Lacalle García , with Spanish lyrics. After the composer died in 1937, English language lyrics were written by Albert Gamse....

," "Tangerine
Tangerine (1941 song)
"Tangerine" is a popular song.The music was written by Victor Schertzinger, the lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The song was published in 1941.It was introduced in the 1942 movie, The Fleet's In, produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Schertzinger, and starring Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, Eddie...

" and "Yours
Yours (Quiéreme Mucho)
"Yours" is a popular song. The music was written by Gonzalo Roig with the lyrics by Albert Gamse and Jack Sherr. The song was published in 1931. The song is based on a Spanish language song, "Quiéreme Mucho", and the original Spanish lyrics were written by Augustin Rodriguez.-Recorded versions:Hit...

". In each of these Latin-influenced numbers, Bob Eberly
Bob Eberly
Bob Eberly was a big band vocalist, best-known for his association with Jimmy Dorsey and his duets with Helen O'Connell....

 crooned the song which Helen then reprised in an up-tempo arrangement. O'Connell was selected by Down Beat
Down Beat
Down Beat is an American magazine devoted to "jazz, blues and beyond" to indicate its expansion beyond the jazz realm which it covered exclusively in previous years. The publication was established in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois...

 readers as best female singer in 1940 and 1941 and won the 1940 Metronome magazine poll for best female vocalist.

O'Connell retired from show business upon her first marriage in 1943. When her marriage ended in 1951, she resumed her career, achieving some chart success and making regular appearances on television. She was one of the first "girls" on NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

's The Today Show, and at one point had her own NBC program, Here's Hollywood
Here's Hollywood
Here's Hollywood is an American celebrity interview program which aired on weekday afternoons on NBC at 4:30 Eastern time from September 26, 1960, to December 28, 1962.-Overview:...

, conducting interviews with celebrities, often in their own homes. O'Connell co-hosted the Miss USA
Miss USA
The Miss USA beauty contest has been held annually since 1952 to select the United States entrant in the Miss Universe pageant. The Miss Universe Organization operates both pageants, as well as Miss Teen USA...

 and Miss Universe
Miss Universe
Miss Universe is an annual international beauty contest that is run by the Miss Universe Organization. The pageant is the most publicized beauty contest in the world with 600 million viewers....

 pageants with Bob Barker
Bob Barker
Robert William "Bob" Barker is a former American television game show host. He is best known for hosting CBS's The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history, and for hosting Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1975.Born...

 from 1972 to 1980 and was nominated for an Emmy award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

 in 1976 for her coverage of the Miss Universe pageant. O'Connell sang duets with Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

, Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others...

, and Dean Martin
Dean Martin
Dean Martin was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"...

. O'Connell's 1942 recording of Brazil
Aquarela do Brasil
"Aquarela do Brasil" , known in the English-speaking world simply as "Brazil", is one of the most famous Brazilian songs of all time, written by Ary Barroso in 1939.-Background and composition:...

 with the Jimmy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
James "Jimmy" Dorsey was a prominent American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, trumpeter, composer, and big band leader. He was known as "JD"...

 Orchestra was a 2009 addition to the Grammy Hall of Fame.

O'Connell was married four times and had four children. Her last marriage, to arranger-conductor-composer Frank De Vol
Frank De Vol
Frank Denny De Vol, also known simply as De Vol was an American arranger, composer and actor.-Early life and career:...

, ended with her death on September 9, 1993 in San Diego, California
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

following a battle with cancer.

External links

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