Ray McDonald (dancer)

Ray McDonald (June 27, 1921 - February 20, 1959)[1] was a tap dancer who started his career as a vaudeville act with his older sister Grace McDonald, before being cast in a hit Broadway show, and then in films.[2][3][4] He had a starring role in the films Down in San Diego and Born to Sing, some leading roles in other films, as well as lesser roles including in uncredited dance sequences.[4]

McDonald's Broadway credits include Park Avenue (1946), Winged Victory (1943), Crazy With the Heat (1941), and Babes in Arms (1937).[5]

Personal life

McDonald was born in New York City. His sister Grace was two years older. She was contracted to Universal while he signed with MGM.

He married actress Elisabeth Fraser from 1944 until 1952 and then actress Peggy Ryan from 1953 until 1957.[4] In 1949, he appeared with her in There's a Girl in My Heart and co-starred with her in the musical Shamrock Hill.[6][7] On December 4, 1956, they guest starred on the Mickey Mouse Club.[8]

He died 1959 at age 37 in New York City after choking on food in his hotel room.[3]


He also had unbilled dancing roles in Winged Victory (1944) and Till the Clouds Roll By (1946).[4]


  1. Quigley, Martin; Monush, Barry (July 4, 1995). "McDonald, Ray: Actor, Dancer". First century of film. via Open WorldCat.
  2. "Police Find Dancer Dead in His Hotel". February 21, 1959 via NYTimes.com.
  3. "Overview for Ray McDonald". Turner Classic Movies.
  4. "Today's Underrated Actor Spotlight: Ray McDonald". September 2, 2015.
  5. "("Ray McDonald" search results)". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  6. "SHAMROCK HILL Original 1949 Photo PEGGY RYAN Ray McDonald". www.backlotmovie.com.
  7. Bergan, Ronald (November 6, 2004). "Obituary: Peggy Ryan" via www.theguardian.com.
  8. "Original MMC Show: Guest Stars". www.originalmmc.com.
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