Image of Elinor Donahue

Elinor Donahue

Mary Eleanor Donahue (born April 19, 1937), credited as Elinor Donahue, is an American actress, best remembered today for playing the role of Betty Anderson, the eldest child of Robert Young and Jane Wyatt, on the 1950s American sitcom Father Knows Best. Donahue achieved stardom for her role as the elder daughter, Betty, on the television family series Father Knows Best. Her co-stars were Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Billy Gray as her younger brother, James "Bud" Anderson, Jr., and Lauren Chapin as her younger sister, Kathy. Donahue was a musical judge in ABC's Jukebox Jury (1953–54). While in the first season of Father Knows Best she also appeared on The Ray Bolger Show, starring Ray Bolger as a song-and-dance man. Thereafter, she was cast with James Best, Ann Doran, and J. Carrol Naish in the 1956 episode "The White Carnation" of the religion anthology series, Crossroads. She guest starred on an episode of U.S. Marshal. She also appeared as a new bride in the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show episode titled "The Newlyweds" that aired April 2, 1956. She played Georgiana Balanger in the episode "Dennis and the Wedding" (1960) on Dennis the Menace.[5] Donahue was also cast, in 1960, with Marion Ross in an episode ("Duet") of The Brothers Brannagan. She played Miriam Welby on ABC's The Odd Couple, Jane Mulligan on Mulligan's Stew, and Nurse Hunnicut on Days of Our Lives. She was featured in 12 episodes of CBS's The Andy Griffith Show as pharmacist Ellie Walker, even getting a mention in the opening credits. The character was intended to be a love interest for Sheriff Andy Taylor, but after one season (1960–1961), Donahue decided to ask for a release from her three-year contract.[6] In 1963, Donahue was cast in an episode of NBC's short-lived modern Western series, Redigo, with Richard Egan as the rancher Jim Redigo; then in 1964, she appeared as Melanie in "The Secret in the Stone" in the NBC medical drama dealing with psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour, starring Jack Ging and Ralph Bellamy. Additionally, on February 9, 1963, she played Letty May in the episode "The Burning Tree" on Have Gun Will Travel. In the 1964–65 season, Donahue costarred as Joan Randall, the daughter of Walter Burnley, played by John McGiver, on the CBS sitcom, Many Happy Returns about the complaint department of a fictitious Los Angeles department store. She guest-appeared on Star Trek in the second-season episode "Metamorphosis" (1967) as commissioner Nancy Hedford. In 1966, she guest starred on the TV series A Man Called Shenandoah, episode 8, "Town On Fire."

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Apr 19, 1937 In Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Girls' Town 1942-03-06
Latest Project:
Movie Star Trek: Inside the Roddenberry Vault 2016-12-05
Known For
Poster of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Poster of Pretty Woman
Poster of High School U.S.A.
Poster of Girls Town
Movie Star Trek: Inside the Roddenberry Vault Self 2016-12-05
Movie The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Lady Palimore 2004-08-06
Series Cold Case Unknown 2003-09-28
Movie Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Heart Within Rebecca Quinn Dickinson 2001-05-12
Series E! True Hollywood Story Unknown 1996-03-29
Series Ellen Unknown 1994-03-29
Series Friends Aunt Lillian 1994-09-22
Series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Unknown 1993-01-01
Series Eek! The Cat 1992-09-11
Movie Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Orphanage Woman 1991-09-05
Movie Pretty Woman Bridget 1990-03-23
Series Get a Life Gradys Peterson 1990-09-23
Series The New Adventures of Beans Baxter 1987-07-18
Series The Golden Girls Unknown 1985-09-14
Series Murder, She Wrote Unknown 1984-09-30
Movie High School U.S.A. Mrs. Franklin 1983-10-16
Series Hotel Unknown 1982-08-21
Movie Doctors' Private Lives Mona Wise 1978-03-20
Series Diff'rent Strokes Unknown 1978-11-03
Movie The Father Knows Best Reunion Betty Anderson 1977-05-15
Series Mulligan's Stew Jane Mulligan 1977-10-25
Series The Love Boat Unknown 1977-09-24
Series Battle of the Network Stars Unknown 1976-11-13
Series S.W.A.T. Unknown 1975-02-24
Series Police Woman Unknown 1974-09-13
Series Happy Days Unknown 1974-01-15
Series Police Story Unknown 1973-03-20
Series The Rookies Unknown 1972-09-11
Series The Odd Couple Unknown 1970-09-24
Series Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Unknown 1969-09-26
Movie In Name Only Esther Garrity 1969-11-25
Series The Flying Nun Unknown 1967-09-07
Series Star Trek Commissioner Nancy Hedford 1966-09-08
Series Occasional Wife Unknown 1966-09-13
Series Many Happy Returns 1964-09-21
Series Redigo Unknown 1963-09-24
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Series The Eleventh Hour Unknown 1962-10-03
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Series The Andy Griffith Show Ellie Walker 1960-10-03
Series Dennis the Menace Unknown 1959-10-04
Movie Imitation of Life Lora's Friend 1959-10-02
Movie Girls Town Mary Lee Morgan 1959-10-05
Series 77 Sunset Strip Unknown 1958-10-10
Series Have Gun, Will Travel Unknown 1957-09-14
Series Father Knows Best Betty Anderson 1954-10-03
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Series Letter to Loretta Unknown 1953-09-20
Movie Love Is Better Than Ever Pattie Marie Levoy 1952-02-23
Movie Her First Romance 1951-05-04
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Movie Singing Guns Mike Murphy's Kid 1950-02-28
Movie My Blue Heaven Mary (uncredited) 1950-09-15
Movie The Happy Years Connie Brown 1950-07-07
Movie An Old-Fashioned Girl Maud Shaw (as Mary Eleanor Donahue) 1949-01-19
Movie Three Daring Daughters Alix Morgan 1948-02-12
Series Ford Theatre Unknown 1948-10-17
Movie Tenth Avenue Angel Cynthia (uncredited) 1948-02-20
Movie The Unfinished Dance Josie (as Mary Eleanor Donahue) 1947-09-19
Movie Winter Wonderland Betty Wheeler (as Mary Eleanor Donahue) 1946-05-12
Movie And Now Tomorrow Janice 1944-11-22
Movie Honeymoon Lodge Janie Thomas 1943-07-23
Movie Mister Big Muggsy 1943-05-28
Movie Girls' Town Bit Role (uncredited) 1942-03-06