- 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.
- 1959, Emmy — Best Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- Susan Peterson — Stepdaughter
- Richard Smith — Ex-husband
- Steve Ackerman — Stepson
- Peter Ackerman — Son
- James Ackerman — Son
- Christopher Ackerman — Son
- Doris Donahue — Mother
- Thomas William Donahue — Father
- Harry Ackerman — Husband (deceased)
- Brian — Son
- Lou Genevrino — Husband
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- Birth Name: Mary Eleanor Donahue
- Birth Place: Tacoma, WA
- Profession: Actor
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