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Donna Reed ACTOR
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DONNA REED BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:

Donna Reed was born with the birth name Donna Belle Mullenger near Denison, Iowa on January 27th, 1921.  Her parents, Hazel Jane Shives and William Richard Mullenger had 5 children total and Donna was the eldest.   Donna graduated from Denison High School and had goals of becoming a teacher, however she could not financially afford to attend college.  She chose to relocate to Los Angeles, California and attend a junior college called Los Angeles City College to study to become a secretary.  While working on her studies she became involved in a number of school stage productions even though she had no real goals of pursuing a career as an actress. 
 
Donna was soon named Campus Queen of the college and her photograph appeared on the front of the Los Angeles Times.  From her picture being seen, Donna received numerous offers to screen test for various Hollywood studio's who showed an interest in her.  Donna first signed with Feldman-Blum Agency and then eventually decided to sign a contract with  MGM, but was determined to finish her studies at college first. 
 
Her first film debut under contract with MGM was, "The Get Away" (1941), which was credited under the name Donna Adams.  This as when her stage name was then changed to Donna Reed.  Two more roles with MGM followed, "The Courtship of Andy Hardy" and "Eyes in the Night" (both 1942).   MGM was preparing her well with additional roles on, "The Human Comedy" (1943), "The Picture of Dorian Gray" where she played Gladys Hallward in her first mainstream role and "They Were Expendable" with John Wayne and Robert Montgomery (both 1945). 
 
MGM then loaned Reed to Liberty Films also known as RKO for an independent picture, "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) with James Stewart, which was not a box office success, but did manage to be a film shown around the holiday's and was named one of the 100 best American Films ever made.
 
Reed was being limited to a lot of the same type cast character roles playing , 'the girl next door', however she finally got cast in, "From Here to Eternity" (1953) along with an all star cast including Academy Award winner Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah KerrErnest Borgnine and Jack Warden, playing a prostitute.  The film swept the 1954 Oscars securing a total of eight wins, including a Best Supporting Actress Award for Reed.

Reed's career was heading in a good direction but she was still so type cast in her roles.  Her husband Tony and Reed decided to attempt to open their own production company called, Todon Productions.  Todon Productions launched, "The Donna Reed Show" (1958-66) also starring Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares and Paul Peterson.  In 1958, the family sitcom premiered and the series enjoyed an eight-year run, during which she received four Emmy nominations.  Reed won the Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star-Female for her performance as Donna Stone.

In 1967, Donna Reed then decided to turn her focus away from acting and focus on politics forming an advocacy group, Another Mother For Peace.  She was also very vocal about her opinion on the Vietnam War and her feelings of being against the use of nuclear weapons.   
  
Reed then returned to acting, but her roles consisted of mainly small parts on television.   When the TV show, "Dallas" (1984) was being cast, Reed signed a three year contract to play the character, Miss Ellie, sadly, after only one season, she was fired from the hit show.

Donna Reed married three times and had four children total.  Her first marriage was too a make up artist, William Tuttle from 1943 to 1945.  She then married producer, Tony Owen in 1945 and had four children with him, Penny Jane, Anthony, Timothy and Mary Anne.  The couple  divorced in 1971 and her third and final marriage was too Grover W. Asmus, a retired US Army Colonel.  She passed away of pancreatic cancer in Beverly Hills, California on January 14th, 1986 at the age of 64.  Reed is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. 
 
In 1987, friends and family created the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts in Denison.  It is a non profit organization that grants scholarships for performing arts students.  Reed also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the Motion Picture Industry.   
 
 
Filmography

1941  The Get-Away 
1941  Shadow of the Thin Man
1941  Babes on Broadway
1942  Personalities 
1942  The Bugle Sounds
1942  The Courtship of Andy Hardy
1942  Mokey 
1942  Calling Dr. Gillespie
1942  Apache Trail 
1942  Eyes in the Night
1943  The Human Comedy
1943  Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case
1943  The Man from Down Under
1943  Thousands Cheer
1944  See Here, Private Hargrove
1944  Gentle Annie
1945  The Picture of Dorian Gray
1945  They Were Expendable
1946  Faithful in My Fashion 
1946  It's a Wonderful Life
1947  Green Dolphin Street
1948  Beyond Glory 
1949  Chicago Deadline 
1951  Saturday's Hero 
1952  Scandal Sheet
1952  Hangman's Knot
1953  Trouble Along the Way
1953  Raiders of the Seven Seas
1953  From Here to Eternity
1953  The Caddy
1953  Gun Fury
1954  They Rode West 
1954  Three Hours to Kill 
1954  The Last Time I Saw Paris
1955  The Far Horizons
1955  The Benny Goodman Story
1956  Ransom!
1956  Backlash
1956  Beyond Mombasa 
1958  The Whole Truth
1974  Yellow-Headed Summer  





Matinee Classics - The Donna Reed Show starring Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares and Paul Peterson
Matinee Classics - They Were Expendable starring John Wayne, Robert Montgomery, Donna Reed, Jack Holt, Ward Bond, Marshall Thompson, Paul Langton, Leon Ames, Arthur Walsh, Donald Curtis, Cameron Mitchell, Jeff York, Murray Alper, Harry Tenbrook and Jack Pennick
Matinee Classics - Trouble Along the Way starring John Wayne, Donna Reed, Charles Coburn, Tom Tully, Sherry Jackson, Marie Windsor, Tom Helmore, Dabbs Greer, Leif Erickson, Douglas Spencer, Lester Matthews and James Dean
Matinee Classics - The Donna Reed Show starring Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares and Paul Peterson
Matinee Classics - Chicago Deadline starring Alan Ladd, Donna Reed, June Havoc, Arthur Kennedy, Berry Kroeger, Harold Vermilyea, Shepperd Strudwick, Dave Willock, Gavin Muir, John Beal, Tom Powers, Howard Freeman and Paul Lees
Matinee Classics - It's a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Frank Albertson and Gloria Grahame
Matinee Classics - The Human Comedy starring Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Fay Bainter, Ray Collins, Van Johnson, Donna Reed, Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins, Dorothy Morris, John Craven, Anne Ayars, Mary Nash, Henry O'Neill, Katharine Alexander, Alan Baxter, Darryl Hickman, Barry Nelson, Rita Quigley, Clem Bevans, Adeline De Walt Reynolds, Don DeFore and Robert Mitchum
Matinee Classics - The Human Comedy starring Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Fay Bainter, Ray Collins, Van Johnson, Donna Reed, Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins, Dorothy Morris, John Craven, Anne Ayars, Mary Nash, Henry O'Neill, Katharine Alexander, Alan Baxter, Darryl Hickman, Barry Nelson, Rita Quigley, Clem Bevans, Adeline De Walt Reynolds, Don DeFore and Robert Mitchum
Matinee Classics - Shadow of the Thin Man starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson, Donna Reed, Sam Levene, Alan Baxter, Henry O'Neill, Dickie Hall, Stella Adler, Loring Smith, Joseph Anthony, Lou Lubin and Louise Beavers
Matinee Classics - Shadow of the Thin Man starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson, Donna Reed, Sam Levene, Alan Baxter, Henry O'Neill, Dickie Hall, Stella Adler, Loring Smith, Joseph Anthony, Lou Lubin and Louise Beavers


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