Donna Reed established herself as a high-profile actress in the 1950s, but the late TV legend’s Hollywood work wasn’t her first priority. Despite having a career spanning over 40 years, the It’s a Wonderful Life star’s main focus was being the mom of her four kids, Mary Anne, Tony Jr., Timothy and Penny.
Donna became a mother during her second marriage with ex-husband Tony Owen. The From Here to Eternity alum was married to her first spouse, William Tuttle, for two years from 1943 to 1945, but they held off from having any children.
After falling in love with Tony, a former agent and producer, the couple tied the knot in 1945. Donna and her love were together for 16 years, and during that time, they became the proud parents of their children, Mary Anne, Tony Jr., Timothy and Penny. However, they called it quits in 1971.
The former Dallas star was in the prime of her career when she was raising her children, but Donna never let her gigs get in the way of spending time with her kids. In fact, Donna’s son Tony Jr. remembers how his mom always showed up for their family.
“I saw my parents every day, and we ate dinner at night around the table,” he shared with The Daily Nonpareil in June 2007. “To me, Mom was Donna Owen, schlepping the kids around.”
Because Tony Jr. was so accustomed to the normal life Donna strived to give her kids, he used to dislike when his family was photographed while out and about. “It annoyed the hell out of us,” he revealed. “I thought, ‘This is my time with Mom, not yours.'”
Even though Tony Jr. preferred to live life out of the spotlight, he thoroughly enjoyed visiting Donna — who was also married to her third husband, Grover Asmus, from 1974 to 1986 — on the set of her hit TV series The Donna Reed Show. “I was fascinated with the process,” the proud son gushed to the outlet.
Sadly, Donna died at age 64 following a short battle with pancreatic cancer in January 1986. Fortunately, she had four incredible kids to honor her memory.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about the late star’s children.
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