The popular American TV show “Father Knows Best” made Elinor Donahue famous for a big part she played in it. But she kept working after that show was over. It kept going well for her in acting and other areas.

Her birthplace is Washington, and she is 86 years old now. She recently made an appearance on “The Young and the Restless” as a guest acting actress.

Elinor played the oldest daughter, Betty Anderson, on the TV show “Father Knows Best.” She was also known as “Princess.” Within the show, there was a typical family in the Midwest living a content life.

The radio show began in 1949 and ran every Thursday until 1954. It later aired on CBS. Only Robert Young kept playing dad Jim Anderson, the part he had on the radio.

I loved Elinor on the show for six years. In its best seasons, it was one of the ten most-watched TV shows in the United States. She also worked on other shows at this time, such as “Crossroads” and “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.”

She once said she didn’t have time to watch the show herself because she was too busy.

“After dinner at home, it was time to learn our lines and then go to bed to do it all over again in the morning.” “I never saw the show,” she told Closer magazine.

It was 1937 when Elinor was born in Tacoma. As a teen, she started acting and became the main source of income for her family. Elizabeth Taylor co-starred with her in “Love is Better than Ever,” and she was in “Girls Town.”

Although Elinor was young when she started acting in California, she always had to have an adult with her on set. Doris, her mom, quit her job to be there for her since her dad wasn’t around and she was always busy.

Elinor was in other shows after “Father Knows Best” finished, such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Star Trek,” and “Mork & Mindy.”

There are more than 70 TV shows and movies with this 86-year-old actress in them, including “Winter Wonderland” and “Pretty Woman.”

In 1999, Elinor got married for the first time. Even though she was an adult, she said she felt like a young kid. To feel more grown up, she planned to get married and have a child.

It made her feel like she was 13 years old even though she was 19 years old. “I hadn’t had a chance to completely grow up yet.” There weren’t many people I knew in high school… I thought I would be an adult once I got married and had a child.

When a man asked her to marry him, she obviously said yes. He was Richard Smith, and he worked as a sound man on “Father Knows Best.”

‘I love you and I’d like to marry you,’ he whispered in my ear during the movie we saw together. I laughed and said, “Okay.””

They had their first child, Brian. Six years later, in 1961, they split up.

Following that, in 1962, she got married to Harry Ackerman, a TV director. These two families had three kids together. They were married for almost 30 years before he died in 1991. She was 20 years younger than him.


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The following year, she married Lou Genevrino, who is now her husband and works as a builder. It’s been ten years since she last worked as an actress.

She has had a long and successful career for someone who never really thought about being in movies.

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