Elinor Donahue

Highest Rated: 62% Pretty Woman (1990)
Lowest Rated: 12% Dear God (1996)
Birthday: Apr 19, 1937
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Elinor Donahue's mother, a theatrical costumer, moonlighted as a department store saleswoman in order to pay for her daughter's dancing lessons. Appearing in dancing-chorus film roles from the age of five, Donahue was at one point a ballet-school classmate of future Fred Astaire partner Barrie Chase. Striking out on her own at 12, Donahue attained work as a Las Vegas showgirl at 14; the fact that she was underage was discreetly covered by her agent and her co-workers, who took a paternal interest in the impressionable young dancer's career. Breaking her ankle at 16, Donahue decided to forego dancing in favor of acting; she was almost immediately cast in the role of sensitive teenager Betty Anderson in the long-running (1954-60) sitcom Father Knows Best. It was the first of many TV stints for Donahue; over the next three decades she would appear as a regular on such series as The Andy Griffith Show, Many Happy Returns, The Odd Couple, Mulligan's Stew, Please Stand By and Doctor's Private Lives. She became a special favorite of writer/director Savage Steve Holland, who cast Donahue as the ditsy mother of a teen-aged secret agent on the 1987 Fox network series The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, and as the voice of a suburban mom who spends her waking hours trying to learn an indecipherable foreign language on Holland's cartoon series Eek! The Cat. This fey, eccentric quality was carried over into Donahue's performance as the eternally bathrobe-clad wife of Bob Elliot and mother of 30-year-old paperboy Chris Elliot on the 1990 Fox sitcom Get a Life. Donahue's film appearances have been less frequent; when she showed up in a cameo as a department store clerk in Gary Marshall's Pretty Women (1987), there was an audible appreciative sigh of recognition from movie audiences everywhere. Elinor Donahue was the wife of Columbia TV executive Harry Ackerman from 1961 to Ackerman's death in 1991.

Highest Rated Movies



25% The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement Lady Palimore $95.2M 2004
No Score Yet Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Heart Within Rebecca Quinn 2001
12% Dear God Celebrity in Parade 1996
20% Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Orphanage Woman 1991
62% Pretty Woman Bridget 1990
No Score Yet High School U.S.A. Mrs. Franklin 1983
No Score Yet Going Berserk Margaret Anderson 1983
No Score Yet Love Is Better Than Ever Pattie Marie Levoy 1952
No Score Yet Tea for Two Lynne 1950
No Score Yet The Unfinished Dance Josie 1948
No Score Yet Three Daring Daughters Alix Morgan 1948
No Score Yet And Now Tomorrow Janice, age 4 1944
No Score Yet Mister Big Muggsy 1943


No Score Yet Cold Case
Esther Davis
  • 2005
No Score Yet Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
  • 1996
  • 1995
No Score Yet Coach
  • 1993
100% Get a Life
Gladys Peterson
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote
Connie Lewis
  • 1990
No Score Yet The Golden Girls
  • 1989
No Score Yet Newhart
  • 1988
No Score Yet Happy Days
Mrs. Broderick
  • 1984
No Score Yet Dukes of Hazzard
Agent Marjorie Dane
  • 1982
95% Mork & Mindy
Dr. Lincoln
  • 1981
  • 1979
No Score Yet Diff'rent Strokes
Diane Slone
  • 1979
No Score Yet The Odd Couple
Miriam Welby
  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1972
80% Star Trek
  • 1967
No Score Yet The Andy Griffith Show
Ellie Walker Ellie May Walker
  • 1964
  • 1961
  • 1960
No Score Yet Father Knows Best
Betty Anderson
  • 1960
  • 1959
  • 1958
  • 1957
  • 1956
  • 1955
  • 1954