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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: The Donna Reed Show collection
    Dates: 1958-1966
    Bulk Dates: 1958-1965
    Collection number: 033
    Creator: Todon of California
    Creator: Briskin Productions
    Collection Size: 14 linear feet (27 archives boxes)
    Repository: Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Abstract: The collection includes production documents (correspondence, schedules, contracts, budgets, scripts, etc.) from The Donna Reed Show television series.
    Physical location: Loyola Marymount University. William H. Hannon Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections. Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, The Donna Reed Show collection, 033, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Acquisition Information

    Accession # 1998.7.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Todon of California, Inc. and Briskin Productions, Inc. produced The Donna Reed Show in conjunction with Screen Gems, Inc. The name is an amalgamation of the names of Donna Reed and her husband Tony Owen. Owen was the show's producer, and Reed was the star.
    The show was broadcast on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network from 1958 to 1966. It ran for eight seasons. Campbell Soup Company was the main sponsor. Other sponsors included Johnson & Johnson and the Singer Company.
    The main cast included Reed as housewife Donna Stone, Carl Betz as her husband Dr. Alex Stone, Paul Petersen as son Jeff Stone, and Shelley Fabares as teenage daughter Mary Stone. After Fabares' character went off to college after the fourth season (though with some later guest reappearances), the Stone family adopted a little girl name Trisha (played by Paul Petersen's real-life sister, Patty Petersen.) Other reoccurring roles included Bob Crane and Ann McCrea as neighbors Dr Dave and Midge Kelsey, Jimmy Hawkins as Scotty, and Darryl Richard as Smitty.
    Notable guest stars included Jack Albertson, John Astin, Binnie Barnes, Dabney Coleman, Hans Conreid, Richard Conte, Johnny Crawford, Kim Darby, James Darren, Don Drysdale, Jamie Farr, Gale Gordon, Leslie Gore, Harold Gould, Sam Jaffe, Buster Keaton, DeForest Kelley, Harvey Korman, Swoosie Kurtz, Lassie, Cloris Leachman, Gary Lockwood, Willie Mays, Jay North, Ann Rutherford, George Sidney, Warren Stevens, Marlo Thomas, Miyoshi Umeki, Esther Williams, Paul Winchell, and William Windom.
    William Roberts was the show's creator and main writer. John Whedon, Nate Monaster, Paul West, Barbara Hammer Avedon, and Tom August (Alfred Lewis Levitt) also wrote many of the shows. Other writers included Helen August (Helen Levitt), Henry Sharp, Phil Sharp, Sam Locke, Joel Rapp, Bob Fisher, Alan Lipscott, Clifford Goldsmith, Jerry Davis, Sumner Long and Phil Davis. Directors included Oscar Rudolph, Andrew McCullough, Jeffrey Hayden, Robert Ellis Miller, Gene Nelson, Lawrence Dobkin, Norman Tokar, Frederick De Cordova, Jackie Cooper and Ida Lupino.
    Donna Reed (born in 1921 in Denison, Iowa) did significant work in film before moving into television. Her best known films are Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (with James Stewart) and From Here to Eternity (with Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and Frank Sinatra) for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Other film credits include Shadow of the Thin Man (1941), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), They Were Expendable (1945), Scandal Sheet (1952), The Benny Goodman Story (1956), and Backlash (1956). Other television work included The Love Boat (1984) and Dallas (1984-1985). Donna Reed died in 1986.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Donna Reed Show Collection includes broadcast ratings, production files (correspondence, schedules, contracts, etc.), scripts, and cost reports for episodes of The Donna Reed Show, 1958-1966.


    The Donna Reed Show Collection consists of four series, ordered as when originally processed. Series 1: Nielsen Ratings. Series 2: Production Files. Series 3: Scripts. Series 4: Cost Reports.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Donna Reed show (Television program)
    Reed, Donna, 1921-1986
    Betz, Carl, 1920-1978
    Fabares, Shelley
    Petersen, Paul, 1945-
    Crane, Bob, 1929-1978
    Roberts, William S., 1913-1997
    American Broadcasting Company
    Screen Gems
    Campbell Soup Company
    Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, Inc.
    Television programs--Production and direction.