Donna Reed, a beloved Hollywood icon and film and television star, left an indelible mark on the entertainment world throughout her incredible career. As we remember Reed, it’s essential to pay tribute not only to her life but also to her passing and the lasting impact she left behind.
Donna Reed’s Final Days
In the fall of 1985, Donna Reed was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a devastating illness that ultimately claimed her life. Despite her diagnosis, Reed remained a fighter, battling the disease with courage and grace. She spent her final months surrounded by her loving family, including her husband, Grover Asmus, and four children.
On January 14, 1986, Donna Reed passed away at the age of 64 due to complications from pancreatic cancer. The news of her death was met with an outpouring of grief from fans and fellow actors as the world mourned the loss of a true Hollywood legend. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but her condition deteriorated rapidly. She was surrounded by her family and friends when she passed away. She was also active in various causes, such as animal rights, environmentalism, and anti-nuclear movements. She had also been involved in a legal dispute with the producers of the TV show Dallas, where she had replaced Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie Ewing for one season. She was fired when Bel Geddes returned to the show, and she sued for breach of contract. She later settled for $1 million.
Donna Reed’s final appearance
Reed’s final television role was a brief stint on the popular primetime soap opera “Dallas” in 1984-1985. She portrayed Miss Ellie Ewing, the matriarch of the Ewing family, for one season before her illness forced her to step away from the role. Reed’s portrayal of Miss Ellie was a testament to her incredible acting abilities and served as a poignant reminder of her lasting impact on the world of entertainment.
In 1985, Reed filmed three episodes of “The Love Boat,” starring a former movie star who reunites with her old co-star (played by Robert Sterling) on a cruise ship. These episodes aired posthumously in February 1986 and marked Reed’s last appearance on television.