Elinor Donahue



  • Birth Name: Mary Eleanor Donahue
  • Birth Place: Tacoma, WA
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 04/19/1937, Aries
  • Profession: Actor
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Elinor Donahue Fast Facts:
  • Performed on radio at age 2 and was signed as a singer and dancer by Universal Studios at age 5.
  • Attended ballet school (Long's Private School) at the same time as future Fred Astaire partner Barrie Chase.
  • Lied to a booking agent about her age (said 16 when she was 14) to ensure work as a chorus-line dancer.
  • Confessed to her actual age when submitting an injury report for a broken ankle, which ironically freed her from vaudeville dancing to land her iconic role on Father Knows Best.
  • Read for her role as mother to comedian Chris Elliott on Get a Life thinking that his character was a 12-year-old paperboy, not 30. 
  • Published In the Kitchen With Elinor Donahue in 1998, a collection of stories from a life in Hollywood, plus 150 of her recipes.
  • Elinor Donahue Relationships:
  • Richard Smith - Ex-husband
  • Steve Ackerman - Stepson
  • Peter Ackerman - Son
  • James Ackerman - Son
  • Susan Peterson - Stepdaughter
  • Doris Donahue - Mother
  • Thomas William Donahue - Father
  • Harry Ackerman - Husband (deceased)
  • Christopher Ackerman - Son
  • Brian - Son
  • Lou Genevrino - Husband
  • Elinor Donahue Awards:
  • 1959 Emmy: Best Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series - Nominee

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