Donna Reed was the Iowa farm girl who came west for a nice, steady secretarial job and found stardom instead.
She won an Oscar as best supporting actress in "From Here to Eternity," but was best known for "The Donna Reed Show," one of the most successful situation comedies of its time. It had made her a millionaire several times over.
Reed was Donna Stone, wife of small-town pediatrician Alex Stone and mother of a teenage son and daughter. Like other TV mothers at the time—Harriet Nelson and Jane Wyatt, who portrayed Margaret Anderson on "Father Knows Best"—she was warm, loving, understanding and puttered around the kitchen in pearls and heels.
She surprised many in Hollywood in 1967 when she became active in the antiwar movement and later was named Beverly Hills co-chairman of Another Mother for Peace, an organization opposed to U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
She told an interviewer then, "I'd been overwhelmed by hopeless despair over the war, having two sons who might have to go to Vietnam to fight in a war I don't believe in. Then one night at a rally for Eugene McCarthy, a mike was put in front of me unexpectedly, and I heard myself speaking what I thought."
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