Donna Reed is well known for her role as Mary Hatch Bailey in Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. In 1953, she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Lorene Burke in the war drama From Here to Eternity. Reed is also known as Donna Stone, a middle-class American mother and housewife in the sitcom The Donna Reed Show.
About Donna Reed in brief
Donna Reed was an American actress. She is well known for her role as Mary Hatch Bailey in Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. In 1953, she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Lorene Burke in the war drama From Here to Eternity. Reed is also known as Donna Stone, a middle-class American mother and housewife in the sitcom The Donna Reed Show. Reed was born Donna Belle Mullenger on a farm near Denison, Iowa, the daughter of Hazel Jane and William Richard Mullenger. After graduating from Denison High School, Reed planned to become a teacher but was unable to pay for college. She decided to move to California to attend Los Angeles City College on the advice of her aunt. In 1941 after signing with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Reed made her film debut in The Get-Away opposite Robert Sterling; she was billed as Donna Adams. MGM soon changed her name to Donna Reed, as there was anti-German feeling during World War II. Reed starred in See Here, Private Hargrove and Gentle Annie, a Western. She was in The Picture of Dorian Gray and played a nurse in John Ford’s They Were Expendable, opposite John Wayne. Reed collaborated with her high school chemistry teacher Edward R. Tompkins on the 1947 MGM film The Beginning or the End, which dealt with the atom bomb.
Reed helped provide the history concerns of the bomb but did not appear in the final film. She later said it was the most difficult film No. No. director ever demanded as much of me. Back at MGM, she appeared in Green Dolphin Street with Lana Turner and Heflin, a big hit with Lana Van Turner. She also appeared in Faithful My Fashion, which was top billed in RKO Pictures for a romantic comedy with Tom Drake. Reed later said she never wanted to be called Donna Reed because she didn’t like the sound of the name. She once said: \”I hear `Don Donna Reed’ and I think of a tall, chic, austere blonde that isn’t me. ` donna Reed’ – it has a cold, forbidding sound.’’ She died of a heart attack at the age of 69 in Los Angeles in 1987. She had a daughter with her second husband, Robert Reed, and a son with her third husband, Michael Reed. Reed died of lung cancer at age 80 in 1998. She died in a nursing home in California, where she had lived for more than 30 years. Her funeral was held at the Los Angeles Jewish Center in California on November 14, 1998. Her last film was The Man from Down Under, in which she appeared with Mickey Rooney.