had fourteen movies that were released over the next
two years. I was nineteen forever!" ” –
Ryan died Saturday October 30th in Las Vegas'
Sunrise Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Cheryl
Smith. The cause was complications from two strokes,
friend Dottie Fusch said.
was born Margaret O'Rene Ryan on August 28th 1924,
in Long Beach California. Actress, dancer and
comedienne, her career ranged from appearing as
a hungry girl in The Grapes of Wrath with
Henry Fonda, to playing McGarret's secretary on
Hawaii Five-O and teaching dance to new
Peggy Ryan did thirty-one films. For a list of
her movies see her Internet
Movie Database entry. Thirteen of these films
were musicals with Donald O'Connor in the 1940s.
Coincidentally, Peggy Ryan and Donald O'Connor
were both born on August 28th, she in 1924 and
he in 1925.
Peggy, 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, Fusch said.
On this page we have a period article,
photos, and a special sound
Blast from the Past
an article that appeared in the 1944 Winter
edition of Screen Album magazine. It details
Peggy and Donald's 1943, 19th and 18th birthday
Peggy Ryan said, "It
was slug-happy, that juke box. So many plug
nickels had been poured into it... so much
James and Basie poured out. Everybody was
punchy by that time anyway. Too many hot
dogs! Too much Lindy! Two Hundred people!
What a party! Gosh, there were so many presents,
it felt like Christmas in a fairy tale."
For Donald, bow-ties and sweaters and bright,
brave socks. For Peggy, sweet-smelling,
ribboned boxes - and inside stacks of filmy
stuff, all white and trousseau-y (because
after the war she and her sergeant will
It was Don O'Connor's
18th birthday and Peggy's 19th. Both of
them wanted to celebrate. They had things
to celebrate about. This, after all, was
the year you got to know them. Not that
they've been hanging back shyly till now.
They've both been trying since vaudeville
- trying hard. And this was the year it
happened. O.K., they'd fling a party - the
works. They'd go get a big old barn somewhere
and proceed to tear it down.
Peggy ordered 300
cokes, Don ordered a wind machine. "Girl
comes along, you blow the steam, the girl
yells 'EEK,' you say, "Hi, sister' she says..."
"A little slapstick, no?" asked Peggy. Don
shrugged, "So it's not Noel Coward." Peggy
was in fine form that night, snaking around
in a John Fredrics hat and bag of velvet
(Don's gift to her) - with gingham dirndl
below. Along about the third case of cokes,
everyone was yipping around on kiddie cars,
hell bent for leather, and pushing potatoes
with their nose.
Then somebody innocently
started a dance contest. Don rolled up his
sleeves, Peg flexed her biceps and they
were on. Soon everybody else was on. Boy,
oh boy, you should have seen that old barn
(Click on thumbnail
pictures below for larger versions.)
Monahans, Jack Oakie, Donald
O'Connor and Peggy.
The Merry Monahans, with
Donald and Peggy.
shot with the three stars for that
publicity shot of Universal's favorite
juvenile team, Peggy and Donald.
Donald clowing around for a photo
(sometime in the eighties) Peggy and
Donald clowing around again.
is a scene from the last film released
Peggy and Donald did together, Patrick
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Angels needed to learn the Time Step" — from
Peggy Ryan's Eulogy