Donna Reed

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    There are 10 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.



      Date of birth
      27 January 1921
      Denison, Iowa, USA

      Date of death
      14 January 1986
      Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. (pancreatic cancer)

      Birth name
      Donna Belle Mullenger

      5' 7" (1.70 m)

      Col. Grover Asmus (1974 - 14 January 1986) (her death)
      Tony Owen (1945 - 1971) (divorced) 4 children
      William Tuttle (1943 - 1945) (divorced)

      Trade mark
      Toni hairdo

      Despite her association with the squeaky-clean and conservative 1950s, Reed became an anti-nuclear activist and anti-Vietnam protester. She also founded the group Another Mother for Peace.

      Her last husband Grover Asmus started a program called the Donna Reed Foundation that led to the Donna Reed festival held yearly in Denison, IA. It's a celebration of Donna, and includes classes, performances. Many stars attend such as Shelly Faberes, Debbie Reynolds, and Loren Janes

      In the scene from "It's a Wonderful Life" where she and James Stewart throw rocks at the old Granville house, director Frank Capra had originally planned to use a double in Donna's place to throw the rock. Miss Reed, however, was an accomplished baseball player in high school and threw very well, as evidenced by her toss in the movie.

      Measurements: 34B-24-34 (measured in 1954), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

      Four children by husband/producer 'Tony Owen' (III) : Penny, Tony, Timothy, and Mary. Two were adopted. Mary, their last child, was born to them in 1957, a year before the start of Donna's classic TV show, which Tony executive produced.

      Learned of her firing from "Dallas" from a reporter while on a vacation to Paris. She was in the process of suing the shows producers before her death in January, 1986.

      The woman on the cover of Rush's 'Permanent Waves' album is modeled after her.

      Personal quotes
      "Forty pictures I was in, and all I remember is 'What kind of bra will you be wearing today, honey?' That was always the area of big decision - from the neck to the navel."

      Mini biography
      Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town - a population of less than 3,000 people - Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young girls in western Iowa, except for one thing - Donna was very beautiful. That wasn't to say that others weren't as pretty, it's just that Donna's beauty stood out from all the other local girls, so much so that she won a beauty contest in Denison. Upon graduation from high school Donna left for college in Los Angeles, in the hopes of eventually entering movies. While at Los Angeles City College, she pursued her dream by participating in several college stage productions. In addition to the plays, she also won the title of Campus Queen. At one of those stage plays Donna was spotted by an MGM talent scout and was signed to a contract. Her first film was a minor role in MGM's The Get-Away (1941). That was followed by a small part in Babes on Broadway (1941), with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland as a secretary. Afterwards, MGM began giving her better parts, in films such as The Bugle Sounds (1942), The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) and The Man from Down Under (1943). In 1944 she received second billing playing Carol Halliday in See Here, Private Hargrove (1944), a comedy about a reporter drafted into the army who eventually meets up with Donna's character as a worker in the canteen. The following year Donna starred in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), her best role to date. It was a love story set in London in 1890. It got mixed critical reviews but did well at the box-office. Donna was now one of the leading ladies of Hollywood. In 1946 she starred in what is probably her best-known role, as the wife of James Stewart in the classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946). This timeless story is a holiday staple to this day. The film also starred Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Mitchell. The next year Donna starred as Ann Daniels in Paramount's Beyond Glory (1948) with Alan Ladd, which did well at the box-office. Her next role was the strongest she had had yet--Chicago Deadline (1949), again with Ladd. It was one of the best mystery dramas to come out of Hollywood in a long time, and did very well at the box office. As the 1940s faded out and the 1950s stormed in,
      Donna's roles got bigger but were mainly of the wholesome, girl-next-door type. In 1953, however, she starred as the prostitute Alma in the widely acclaimed From Here to Eternity (1953). She was so good in that film she was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, beating out such veterans as Thelma Ritter and Marjorie Rambeau. The film itself won for Best Picture and remains a classic to this day. Later that year Donna starred in The Caddy (1953), a comedy with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Three years later she landed the role of Sacajawea in The Far Horizons (1955), the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, starring Charlton Heston and Fred MacMurray. After finishing The Whole Truth (1958), Donna began her own TV series (produced by her husband), "The Donna Reed Show" (1958), a hit that ran for eight years. She was so effective in the show that she was nominated for TV's prestigious Emmy Award as Best Actress every year from 1959-1962. She was far more popular in TV than on the screen. After the run of the program, Donna took some time away from show business before coming back in a couple of made-for-TV movies (in 1974, she had made a feature called Yellow-Headed Summer (1974), but it was never released). She did get the role of Ellie Ewing Farlow in the hit TV series "Dallas" (1978) during the 1984-85 season. It was to be her final public performance. On January 14, 1986, less than two weeks before her 65th birthday, she died of pancreatic cancer in Beverly Hills, California. Grover Asmus, her husband, created the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts in her hometown of Denison. The foundation helps others who desire a career in the arts. Donna never forgot her roots. She was still a farm girl at heart.
      Denny Jackson

      Mini Biography-2
      from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
      She was the perfect wife, the all-American embodiment of feminine appeal, in Frank Capra's enduring classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946). But her wholesome appeal was rarely put to good use; MGM signed the farm-raised campus queen in 1941, and made her a utility player in the likes of Babes on Broadway (her debut), Shadow of the Thin Man (both 1941), The Courtship of Andy Hardy, Calling Dr. Gillespie (both 1942), The Human Comedy (1943), and numerous others. Her role as Navy nurse (and John Wayne's love interest) in John Ford's They Were Expendable (1945) gave her more shading and nuance, and showed what she was capable of. She finally broke the mold in 1953's From Here to Eternity playing Alma, a prostitute (though not referred to as such, given Hollywood's censorship restrictions); the performance earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. But it was back to the kitchen for her most successful venture, "The Donna Reed Show," a long-running sitcom (1958-66), produced by her husband, Tony Owen. Her movie career basically finished, she appeared in a few TV movies and on the series "Dallas" during the 1984-85 season.
      Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.

      1. "Dallas" (1978) TV Series .... Eleanor 'Miss Ellie' Southworth Ewing Farlow #2 (1984-1985)
      2. "The Love Boat"
      - Polly's Poker Palace/Shop Ahoy/Double Date/The Hong Kong Affair/Two Tails of a City: Part 1 (1984) TV Episode
      - Polly's Poker Palace/Shop Ahoy/Double Date/The Hong Kong Affair/Two Tales of a City: Part 2 (1984) TV Episode
      3. Deadly Lessons (1983) (TV) .... Miss Wade
      4. The Best Place to Be (1979) (TV) .... Sheila Callahan
      5. Yellow-Headed Summer (1974)
      6. "The Donna Reed Show" .... Donna Stone
      - By-Line--Jeff Stone (1966) TV Episode .... Donna Stone
      - Donna's Bank Account (1964) TV Episode .... Donna Stone
      7. Pepe (1960) .... Cameo appearance
      8. The Whole Truth (1958) .... Carol Poulton
      9. "Suspicion"
      - The Other Side of the Curtain (1957) TV Episode .... Letty Jason
      10. "General Electric Theater"
      ... aka G.E. Theatre (USA)
      - Flight from Tormendero (1957) TV Episode .... Rayna
      11. Beyond Mombasa (1956) .... Ann Wilson
      12. Backlash (1956) .... Karyl Orton
      13. Ransom! (1956) .... Edith Stannard
      ... aka Fearful Decision (USA)
      14. The Benny Goodman Story (1955) .... Alice Hammond
      15. The Far Horizons (1955) .... Sacajawea
      ... aka Untamed West (USA: reissue title)
      16. "The Ford Television Theatre"
      ... aka Ford Theatre (USA: short title)
      - Portrait of Lydia (1954) TV Episode .... Lydia Campbell
      17. The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) .... Marion Ellswirth/Matine
      18. Three Hours to Kill (1954) .... Laurie Hendricks
      19. They Rode West (1954) .... Laurie MacKaye
      20. Gun Fury (1953) .... Jennifer Ballard
      21. The Caddy (1953) .... Kathy Taylor
      22. From Here to Eternity (1953) .... Alma Burke (Lorene)
      23. Raiders of the Seven Seas (1953) .... Alida
      24. Trouble Along the Way (1953) .... Alice Singleton
      ... aka Alma Mater
      25. Hangman's Knot (1952) .... Molly
      26. Scandal Sheet (1952) .... Julie Allison
      ... aka The Dark Page (UK)
      27. Saturday's Hero (1951) .... Melissa
      ... aka Idols in the Dust (UK)
      28. Chicago Deadline (1949) .... Rosita Jean D'Ur
      29. Beyond Glory (1948) .... Ann Daniels
      30. Green Dolphin Street (1947) .... Marguerite Patourel
      31. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) .... Mary Hatch Bailey
      ... aka Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (USA: complete title)
      32. Faithful in My Fashion (1946) .... Jean Kendrick
      33. They Were Expendable (1945) .... 2nd Lt. Sandy Davys
      34. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) .... Gladys Hallward
      35. Gentle Annie (1944) .... Mary Lingen
      36. See Here, Private Hargrove (1944) .... Carol Holliday
      37. Thousands Cheer (1943) .... Customer in Red Skelton Skit
      38. The Man from Down Under (1943) .... Mary Wilson
      39. Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943) .... Marcia Bradburn
      ... aka Crazy to Kill (UK)
      40. The Human Comedy (1943) .... Bess Macauley
      41. Eyes in the Night (1942) .... Barbara Lawry
      42. Apache Trail (1942) .... Rosalia Martinez
      43. Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942) .... Marcia Bradburn
      44. Mokey (1942) .... Anthea Delano
      45. The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) .... Melodie Eunice Nesbit
      46. The Bugle Sounds (1942) .... Sally Hanson
      47. Personalities (1942) (uncredited)
      48. Babes on Broadway (1941) (uncredited) .... Jonesy's Secretary
      49. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) .... Molly
      50. The Get-Away (1941) .... Maria Theresa 'Terry' O'Reilly

      1. The American Film Institute Salute to Frank Capra (1982) (TV) .... Herself
      2. The 36th Annual Academy Awards (1964) (TV) .... Herself - Presenter: Best Costume Design
      3. The 35th Annual Academy Awards (1963) (TV) .... Herself - Presenter: Best Cinematography
      4. The 27th Annual Academy Awards (1955) (TV) .... Herself - Presenter: Best Supporting Actor
      5. The 26th Annual Academy Awards (1954) (TV) .... Herself - Best Supporting Actress Winner
      6. Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Laugh Parade (1953) .... Herself
      7. USSR Today (1953) .... Alice Singleton
      8. Screen Actors (1950) (uncredited) .... Herself

      Archive Footage
      1. The 71st Annual Academy Awards (1999) (TV) (uncredited) .... Mary Hatch Bailey
      2. Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas (1997) (TV) .... Mary Bailey
      3. Escape from It's a Wonderful Life (1996) (TV) .... Mary
      4. Funny Women of Television (1991) (TV) .... Herself
      5. Hollywood Without Make-Up (1963) .... Herself
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Donna Reed, only made 2 films with Duke

      Trouble Along the Way (1953) .... Alice Singleton
      They Were Expendable (1945) .... 2nd Lt. Sandy Davys#

      In They Were Expendable , Donna was John Ford's,
      perfect woman, she moved effortlessly in Ford's soft light,
      from Nurse, to mother, to Madonna.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Life and some computer problems prevented me from finishing what I started a couple of weeks ago, but I will try to complete it soon.

      Anyway, here are some web sites of interest about Donna Reed. Of course we JW fans know her from They Were Expendable and Trouble Along the Way, and many know her for her role of Mary Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, but I suspect many more know her from her TV show, The Donna Reed Show.

      Sites about her show -
      (one of those "cultural icon" things)

      Mrs. C :angel1: