Peggy Ryan, who teamed with dance partner Donald O’Connor in movie musicals such as “This Is the Life” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” died October 30 in Las Vegas from complications from two strokes. She was 80.
Ryan, who taught tap dancing and produced revues in Las Vegas for the last several years, was teaching and performing until several days before entering the hospital.
Ryan danced and acted in more than two dozen films, but her most memorable roles were with O’Connor. The duo became known for high-energy, complex routines in films like “Mister Big” in 1943 and 1944’s “Chip Off the Old Block,” “The Merry Monahans” and “Bowery to Broadway.”
Her final movie was “All Ashore” with Mickey Rooney in 1953.
In the late 1960s, Ryan began starring in the television police drama “Hawaii Five-O” as secretary to Jack Lord’s Steve McGarrett.
Born Margaret O’Rene Ryan in Long Beach, Calif., she was dancing professionally in her parents’ vaudeville act by age 3.
Ryan’s television appearances included the 1948 premieres of two variety shows, Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” and Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theater.”