Elinor Donahue

Born Apr 19, 1937

Mary Eleanor Donahue, best known as Elinor Donahue, is an American actress. The naturally red-headed Donahue played Robert Young's eldest/popular daughter, Betty Anderson, on the 1950s sitcom, Father Knows Best. She was married for nearly 30 years to producer Harry Ackerman, whom she met on the set of that series. She and Harry Ackerman had three children together: Peter, James, and Christopher Ackerman.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Elinor Donahue.

  • Celeb Birthdays
    Yahoo News - Apr 14, 2015
  • Pat Gallagher: Actress Who Played Thelma Lou Reminisces About Andy Griffith
    Huffington Post - Aug 29, 2013
  • Dvd Review: Dennis The Menace (Season Two) Inside Pulse
    Google News - Aug 02, 2011
  • Ten Daytime Emmy Races To Watch Variety
    Google News - Jun 17, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Elinor Donahue.


1937 Birth Born on April 19, 1937.


1948 11 Years Old She played one of the daughters in Three Daring Daughters in 1948 and appeared as Mamie Van Doren's sister in Girls Town (1959). … Read More
1956 19 Years Old She also appeared as a new bride in the The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show episode titled "The Newlyweds" that aired April 2, 1956. … Read More


1960 23 Years Old Donahue was also cast, in 1960, with Marion Ross in an episode ("Duet") of The Brothers Brannagan. … Read More
1963 26 Years Old 1 More Event
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.
1964 27 Years Old 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. … Read More


1977 40 Years Old In 1977, she appeared in an episode of the ABC crime drama The Feather and Father Gang.
1978 41 Years Old In 1978, Donahue starred in the NBC sitcom Please Stand By.
1984 47 Years Old In 1984, she made an appearance as Mrs. Broderick, the mother of a teenaged drug addict on the last season of Happy Days.


1987 50 Years Old In 1987 she played the title character's mother in the short lived Fox series The New Adventures of Beans Baxter.
1988 51 Years Old In 1988 she appeared in a Newhart episode ("Courtin Disaster") and appeared (in a 1989 episode) on The Golden Girls as the newest wife of Dorothy Zbornak's ex-husband.
1990 53 Years Old In 1990, she played Bridget, a Beverly Hills clothing store manager, in the film Pretty Woman. … Read More
1992 55 Years Old In 1992, she voiced the mother on the Fox Kids animated series Eek! the Cat.
1994 57 Years Old In 1994, she made an appearance as Aunt Lillian in "The One Where Nana Dies Twice", an episode of Friends. … Read More


1998 61 Years Old In 1998, Donahue published a memoir entitled In the Kitchen with Elinor Donahue, in which she relived some of her memories of Hollywood along with providing more than 150 of her recipes.
2010 73 Years Old In September 2010, Donahue made an appearance on The Young and the Restless as Judge Anderson, one of Nikki Newman's old friends and also as the woman minister who will officiate at the wedding of Billy Abbott and Nikki's daughter, Victoria Newman. … Read More
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