Donna Reed was an American film and television actress.
She received the 1953 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Lorene, a prostitute, in From Here to Eternity, and received the 1963 Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star – Female for her performance as Donna Stone, an American middle class wife and mother, in The Donna Reed Show. In 1984, she replaced Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie in the television melodrama, Dallas, and sued the production company for breach of contract when she was abruptly fired upon Bel Geddes’s decision to return to the show.
Reed was married three times and the mother of four children. She died of pancreatic cancer.
Reed was born Donna Belle Mullenger on a farm near Denison, Iowa, the daughter of Hazel Jane Shives and William Richard Mullenger. The eldest of five children, she was raised as a Methodist. 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. While attending college, she performed in various stage productions but had no plans to become an actress. After receiving several offers to screen test for studios, Reed eventually signed with MGM, but insisted on finishing her education first.