Elinor Donahue bio: age, height, net worth, spouse, children

Elinor Donahue bio: age, height, net worth, spouse, children

Elinor Donahue is a famous American actress best known for her role of Betty Anderson on the TV series Father Knows Best. The role became a fundamental breakthrough for the young actress and made her a big star in the entertainment industry. Is Elinor Donahue still alive?

Elinor Donahue
Elinor Donahue attends Days Of Our Lives' 50th Anniversary Celebration. Photo: Vivien Killilea
Source: Getty Images

The actress went into acting at a very young age. Since then, she has played dozens of exciting roles, which have earned her not only awards but also the love of her fans.

How old is Elinor Donahue now? Is she married?

Elinor Donahue profile summary

  • Full name: Mary Eleanor Donahue
  • Profession: Actress
  • Date of birth: 19 April 1937
  • Age: 83 years (as of 2020)
  • Place of birth: Tacoma, Washington, the USA
  • Height: 5 feet 4 inches
  • Marital status: Married
  • Children: 4
  • Elinor Donahue net worth: $3 million

How old is Elinor Donahue?

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Elinor Donahue age
Young Elinor, circa 1960
Source: Getty Images

The actress was born on 19 April 1937. As of 2020, Elinor Donahue age is 83 years.

She comes from Tacoma, Washington, the USA. She was born to Doris Genevieve and Thomas William Donahue.

What is Elinor Donahue height?

Elinor Donahue height
Elinor Donahue wearing a leopard print swimsuit, circa 1959. Photo: Virgil Apger
Source: Getty Images

While looking at Elinor Donahue hot pin-up picture, you will undoubtedly notice her natural beauty and slim figure. Her height is 5 feet 4 inches.


She attended dance classes at an early age. The actress revealed,

When I was 18 months old, my mother let me join in a dance class to work off energy. And while she prepared dinner, my brother would keep me busy by playing the piano and teaching me songs.


She started her career as an actress when she was very young. She worked as a child actor in vaudeville in Yakima and Spokane. Here is how she commented on it:

After the radio shows, we would always go to a local coffee house and have mashed potatoes, gravy, and creamed spinach – my treat! But after I came down with chicken pox and was quite ill, my mother took me out of vaudeville.

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She also worked on Takoma Radio on Saturday mornings.

In 1943, she played her first serious role in Mister Big with Donald O’Connor.

From 1954 to 1960, she played Betty Anderson on Father Knows Best, regarded as one of the most prominent roles in her career.

in 1960-1961, she played Ellie Walker on The Andy Griffith Show.

Later, in 1964, she was offered to play the role of Joan Randall on Many Happy Returns. She portrayed this character up to 1965.

In 1972, she joined the TV series The Odd Couple as Miriam.

In 1977, she played Jane Mulligan in the series Mulligan’s Stew.

From 1984 to 1986, she featured in the series Days of Our Lives as Kate Honeycutt.

From 1979 to 1987, she starred in The Love Boat. Upon its completion, she moved to The New Adventures of Beans Baxter in 1987.

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Three years later, in 1990, she became part of the series Get a Life, playing Gladys Peterson until 1992.

In 1993, she began playing Rebecca Quinn in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, one of the most exciting series enjoyed by many people across the globe. She starred in the show till 1997.

From 2010 to 2011, Donahue played Judge Marie Anderson in the four episodes of the series The Young and the Restless.

In 2011, she decided to leave the entertainment industry.

The actress has over 100 acting credits.

Elinor Donahue movies and TV shows

Here are some of the actress's best works.


  • An Old-Fashioned Girl
  • Dear God
  • Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
  • Girls’ Town
  • Going Berserk
  • Her First Romance
  • Mister Big
  • Honeymoon Lodge
  • Love Is Better Than Ever
  • Tea For Two
  • The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement
  • Pretty Woman
  • Three Daring Daughters
  • The Unfinished Dance
  • Winter Wonderland

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Television series

  • A Man Called Shenandoah
  • Coach
  • Cold Case
  • Days of Our Lives
  • Dennis the Menace
  • Diff’rent Strokes
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
  • Doctor’s Private Lives
  • Father Knows Best
  • Get a Life
  • Happy Days
  • Have Gun, Will Travel
  • Many Happy Returns
  • Mork & Mindy
  • Mulligan’s Stew
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • Newhart
  • Please Stand By
  • Star Trek
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
  • The Golden Girls
  • The Loretta Young Show
  • The Love Boat
  • The New Adventures of Beans Baxter
  • The Odd Couple
  • The Virginians
  • U.S. Marshal

How much is Elinor Donahue worth?

Elinor Donahue today has a net worth of $3 million.

How much do you know about actress Elinor Donahue's spouse and children?

Elinor Donahue children and relationships

The Father Knows Best star has been married several times:

  • Richard Smith. Elinor married him in 1955, in Las Vegas. In 1957, they welcomed their first and the only child, Brian. Richard Smith Elinor Donahue marriage crashed in 1961.
  • Harry Ackerman. The actress fell in love with him a year after her divorce from her first husband. The second Elinor Donahue spouse was a TV producer. The couple gave birth to three more children together (Chris, James, and Peter). Harry died in 1991.
  • Lou Genevrino. Elinor and Lou tied the knot in 1992.

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Is Elinor Donahue still alive?

The actress is still alive. Moreover, she only stopped acting in 2011.

Elinor Donahue has entertained audiences for over six decades. Today, she enjoys a quiet and peaceful life with her husband.

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