Peggy Hickey, an adjunct professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and an established choreographer and director whose work on Broadway was most recently seen in “Anastasia” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” died Jan. 22 at her home in Burbank, California, after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 61.
She started at TFT in 2002 as a visiting assistant professor, teaching dance for musical theater, and became an adjunct professor in 2015.
Hickey was born March 5, 1961. Following her graduation from Sacramento State University, she began her professional career as a dancer and performed in theaters across the country.
In addition to Broadway, she worked as a choreographer on numerous other productions including “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion,” “King of Hearts,” “A Little Night Music,” “Amour,” “Carnival,” “Oklahoma!,” “The Music Man,” “Gigi,” “The Most Happy Fella,” “My Fair Lady,” “Elf,” “Trouble in Tahiti” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” She also directed and choreographed a regional production of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”
Hickey had a career in film, television and opera as well. Her opera collaborations included those with Plácido Domingo, Samuel Ramey, Denyce Graves, Susan Graham, Jonathan Kent and Franco Zeffirelli, among others. Her choreography has been performed at Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, Palm Beach Opera and the Julliard School, where she choreographed “Hansel und Gretel” with sets and costumes by Maurice Sendak. That production was subsequently televised on PBS’ “Live from Lincoln Center.” Internationally, Hickey choreographed “La Cenerentola,” “Ballo en Mascara,” “Don Giovanni,” “Salome” and “The King & I.”
Her film and TV credits include “90210,” “Samantha Who?,” “General Hospital,” “Passions” and “The Brady Bunch Movie,” for which she received an MTV Movie Award nomination.
She garnered an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and won a Best Choreography MTV Video Music Award for her work on Beck’s “The New Pollution.” She also received two Connecticut Critics Circle Awards for her choreography for “Brigadoon” and “On the Twentieth Century” at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Connecticut.
Hickey is survived by her husband, Tony Perez, and their daughters, Molly and Gabriella. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.