Donna Reed had it all.  Everything.  Everything that is except a long life.

She was one of the most beautiful actresses to ever grace the big or small screen.  She could do light comedy or serious, heavy drama with equal aplomb.  Her "girl-next-door" appeal made her one of the most popular pin up girls during World War II.  She once estimated that she personally answered more than 5,000 fan letters from G.I.s during the war years.

In 1953 she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a prostitute in "From Here To Eternity."

1946 her studio (MGM) loaned her to RKO for the film "It's A Wonderful Life" by Frank Capra.  Her poignant portrayal of Mary Hatch Bailey, opposite Jimmy Stewart, has been acclaimed for its sensitivity and understatedness.  The movie is, of course, one of America's greatest classic films.

Baby Boomers remember her with love as Donna Stone on her own show, "The Donna Reed Show," which ran from 1958 to 1966 and earned her four Emmy nominations.

Getty Images/Columbia Tri-Star
Getty Images/Columbia Tri-Star

When Barbara Bel Geddes left the hit series "Dallas" in 1985 Donna Reed was picked to replace her.  Bel Geddes returned a year later and Donna Reed was fired.  She sued the production company and was awarded more than $1,000,000.

Donna Reed died of pancreatic cancer on January 14, 1986 just days after her 64th birthday.

Donna Reed...yes she is a fond Baby Boomer memory!