Is The Donna Reed Show a prime example of the naive, unrealistic 1950s domestic sit-com based around the perfect television mother, or a proto-feminist exploration of women's issues that gently prods but never demolishes the misogynist assumptions or a patriarchal culture? The former assessment is the one generally accepted by those who are only casually familiar with the series, but a recent monograph by Joanne Morreale, an associate professor at Northeastern University, makes the case that The Donna Reed Show is a bit more revolutionary than people give it credit for. The series was developed, according to Reed herself in a May 6, 1961 TV Guide cover story, because Reed was tired of depictions of sick, aberrant female characters in movies of the era, what could be called the BUtterfield 8 syndrome. At the same time, Reed was tired of being constantly cast in flimsy nice-girl roles, even after winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress playing a prostitute in From Here to Eternity, which failed to win her the meatier roles she wanted. But rather than casting herself as an independent career woman capable of achieving anything a man could (like the character played by Esther Williams in the 1960 episode "The Career Woman"), Reed chose to portray a suburban housewife with two teenage children, perhaps to challenge the status quo at its foundation. But as Morreale remarks in her study, those episodes that depict examples of female equality always resolve by show's end to the very status quo they challenge, as in the 1960 episode "Just a Housewife" we covered in our 1960 post. Morreale's point is that The Donna Reed Show was ahead of its time in even bringing up topics such as these, even if it ultimately settled back into accepted norms. But the counter argument could also made--that the show used such topics as straw men, showing how things would be if women were given equal treatment only to cast the idea aside at show's end.
This see-sawing effect continued in 1961 episodes such as "The Poodle Parlor" (March 16, 1961) in which Donna's friend Madeleine, who has just bought a poodle, says there is a need in Hilldale for a poodle-grooming salon and that the two of them should go into business together to meet this need. Donna's husband Carl and Madeleine's husband Jack scoff at the idea of two ladies running a business, saying they have no head for such manly pursuits while secretly worrying that their wives will succeed and upset their comfortable homes. They likewise run into resistance from banker Mr. Heiser when they visit him to ask for a loan. Heiser is more than willing to write them a check for any charity they might be representing, the approved role for a woman in suburbia, but he retrieves a book showing all the failed businesses in Hilldale when he learns that they actually want to run a business themselves. In the end Donna determines, after consulting the registration records of the local kennel club, that there aren't enough poodle owners in Hilldale to sustain a business, and they abandon their business venture by doing what any man should first do--creating a business case to determine its viability. When Carl learns that Donna has abandoned her business idea, he is very careful to tell her that he has no doubts she could be successful in such a venture because of her intelligence, but that he selfishly does not want her to do anything that would take her away from her duties as a wife and mother. She affirms the status quo by replying that nothing is more important to her than that.
In "The Geisha Girl" (February 16, 1961) Donna's friends are intent in maintaining the current standard for women in Hilldale, not to prevent the march of progress but to avoid regression when they feel threatened by the arrival of a famous surgeon and his Japanese wife who still adheres to the subservient wifely role of her culture. When her friends socially shun geisha girl Chio Semple after seeing how she waits on her husband at a Stone dinner party because they don't want their husbands getting any ideas about them providing the same level of service, Donna takes the middle ground and visits Chio's home to learn more about her background and the reason for her behavior. Her empathy opens Chio up to accepting her new role as an American woman, a role cemented by participating in American consumerism with a shopping spree for new clothes.
In "For Better or Worse" (April 27, 1961) the series argues for true equality between the sexes, at least within the confines of the nuclear family. In this episode Alex and his colleagues want to take a weekend fishing vacation, but when two of the four doctors say they will have to ask their wives first, Alex and Dr. Joe Martin accuse them of being henpecked and claim that as real men they do as they please without bothering to consult with their wives. Of course, when both men return home things hardly go smoothly when they tell their wives about their unilateral decision to go on the fishing trip. While Alex merely gets the cold shoulder treatment from Donna, who passively aggressively tells him to do what he wants while making him feel very uncomfortable, Martin's wife Myra explicitly tells him that since he nixed a trip she wanted to take to her mother's last weekend that he will have to buy his freedom with an expensive new clothing purchase for her. When Martin tries to convince Alex to do the same, claiming that it just makes things easier in the long run, whereas Myra tells Donna the same thing at the grocery store, insisting that Donna is selling herself short when told that the Stone household doesn't operate that way. But when Donna sees Alex later bring home a package that he tells Mary is for her mother, she begins to get her hackles up until he shows her it is only a pair of rubber gloves for kitchen housework. In the end Alex accepts that in an equal household decisions are made together, and Donna is pleased that he doesn't think he can buy her approval. But Alex's lesson seems to have been forgotten in "The Mustache" (June 1, 1961) when he is persuaded by his barber Paul to grow a mustache because he has the perfect face for it. Donna immediately objects and tells him to shave it off, which only makes him dig his heels in deeper. As tensions mount, the couple eventually come to revealing all the things they don't like about each other and are about to throw out both of their wardrobes because every article of clothing has something the other doesn't like until they finally come to their senses and restore order to their relationship and their clothes closet. Alex finally shaves off the mustache on his own simply because he knows it will please his wife.
Just as "For Better or Worse" shows the Stone household as a model that doesn't result to artificial gimmicks or deal-making to achieve harmony, the character of Donna Stone is held up as the paragon of motherhood. Shelley Fabares even noted in a recent interview that at the time some people referred to the series as Mother Knows Best. However, as we observed in our 1960 post, Reed's Donna Stone is far from infallible, though she is more often right than her floundering husband Alex. In "The Fabulous O'Hara" (December 7, 1961) Donna gives a stern lecture to an Irish grandfather who yanks his orphan grandson around the country just so that he can feed his addiction to gambling on horses and staying one step ahead of his creditors. Donna shames him, saying that such a life is bad for a young boy who needs roots to make friends and get a proper education. O'Hara takes her words to heart and eventually lands a job supervising the children's pony rides at the local carnival. In "A Very Bright Boy" (December 21, 1961) Donna solves the riddle of her old college roommate's exceptionally bright but socially backward son Victor by explaining to him that when you are different and gifted you can expect others to have some difficulty in relating to you but that in order to receive love you have to give it as well, even if that means going more than halfway to meet the other person. In these episodes she is shown to be able to solve parenting problems that have bewildered others.
The same cannot be said for her often-flummoxed husband Alex, who in "Way of a Woman" (December 14, 1961) has to be constantly prodded by Donna to know how to handle Mary's ever-changing emotional needs. When Mary's boyfriend Scotty says he can't go on a skiing trip she was planning with her girlfriends, Mary is crushed, so Donna pushes Alex to take her on a father-daughter trip to Chicago. But then Scotty returns and says the reason he couldn't go on the skiing trip was because he couldn't afford it and then asks Mary to go to a demolition derby the day after her Chicago trip is supposed to start. Alex has his feelings hurt that she is abandoning him after he rearranged everything to supposedly soothe her ruffled feathers. But Donna again steps in and tells Alex that she will go on the trip with him to Chicago and all is solved once again within the space of 30 minutes. Shelley Fabares also commented in her recent interview that fans of the show have come up to her years later saying that the show was responsible for them having to go to therapy because their real-life families couldn't measure up to the near-perfect Stones.
But one 1961 episode in particular seems to contradict the image of Donna's unerring sense of the proper motherly touch. In "The Electrical Storm" (November 9, 1961) Jeff and his high school buddies rig the school clocks to go haywire and shorten their 50-minute classes to just 15 minutes. Principal Mr. Heflin catches Jeff in the act of counting down the seconds till the next clock-scrambling and hauls him into his office. When Jeff refuses to reveal his accomplices, Heflin expels him until he produces the other boys' names. Heflin then calls Donna and tells her Jeff is being sent home and why; however, Jeff doesn't arrive home until Mary does at the end of the school day and doesn't mention anything about his expulsion. Alex wants to be firm with him, get him to confess, and then punish him, but Donna argues in favor of a softer approach, persuading Alex that they must let Jeff come to them and admit his wrong-doing. Only Jeff never does--he leaves the house every morning as if he is going to school and comes home when school has let out. One of Alex's patients even tells him that she saw Jeff just standing around at the reservoir outside town to pass the time. When Alex has finally had enough and confronts Jeff with the fact that he knows what has happened, Jeff behaves as if he is the injured party for his parents making him suffer in hiding his guilt when they knew about it all the time. But neither Alex nor Donna challenges this patently false assessment; instead one of Jeff's accomplices shows up and says that he confessed to Heflin and fixed the clocks. Jeff is never punished or held accountable for his actions; he is merely told that he can return to school on Monday. This episode may be an example of Donna Stone's habit of non-punitive parenting, but it runs counter to the letter to the newspaper editor she writes in "Character Building" (January 5, 1961) in which she admonishes parents for their children's problems by not following through on what they tell them to do. No wonder Shelley Fabares has run into multiple viewers who blame the show for their needing therapy.
The first 5 seasons have been released on DVD by MPI.
For the biographies of Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares, and Paul Petersen, see the 1960 post on The Donna Reed Show.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Tommy Ivo, who played Mary Stone's boyfriend Herbie Bailey from 1959-61, began his career as a child actor but went on to greater fame as a drag racer. A talented tap dancer, Ivo made his big screen debut in an uncredited role in 1944's A Fig Leaf for Eve, but his big break came the following year when he danced to the music of Woody Herman in Earl Carroll Vanities, which filmed in 1943 when Ivo was just 7 yeard old. From then on, Ivo found steady work not only dancing but playing a variety of child roles in major features such as I Remember Mama, The Babe Ruth Story, and Laramie. In 1950 at age 14, he broke into TV acting on The Gene Autry Show followed by appearances on The Range Rider and Hopalong Cassidy, though the bulk of his work was still in feature films such as The Lost Volcano, Snake River Desperadoes, and Plymouth Adventure with Spencer Tracy and Gene Tierney. By the mid-1950s, however, he began finding more work on television in guest appearances on The Lone Ranger, Father Knows Best, and The Adventures of Jim Bowie. Using the money he made from acting, Ivo began building and racing dragsters, often under an assumed name because of the entertainment world's frowning on such dangerous pursuits. Beginning in 1957, ironically the same year he appeared in the feature film Dragstrip Girl, Ivo began building multiple-engine dragters since the National Hot Rod Association had banned the use of nitromethane fuel. He was the first driver to break the 9-second barrier for the 1/4 mile in a gasoline-powered dragster. In Ivo's last appearance on The Donna Reed Show, "Military School" (May 18, 1961), Herbie goes off to military school with his friend Ken Carsley.
The following fall he was a regular cast member as Haywood Botts on the short-lived Prohibition-era sitcom Margie, which lasted only a single season. When the show ended, Ivo, then 26, largely retired from acting to focus on his drag-racing career. (He would make occasional appearances on programs such as Petticoat Junction, My Three Sons, and his last credit in a 1967 episode of Please Don't Eat the Daisies.) In 1963 the NHRA lifted its ban on nitro fuel, and Ivo became the first driver to break 8 seconds for the 1/4 mile in a single-engine slingshot dragster. But Ivo made his biggest mark by staging match races across the country pitting himself against drag-racing superstars such as Don Prudhomme, Shirley Muldowney, and Don Garlits, with whom he staged a number of races in the UK. Always the showman, he traveled in a glass-paneled hauler that allowed fans to watch him as he made his away cross country. In 1972 he again became the first driver to complete the 1/4 mile in less than 6 seconds, this time driving a rear-engine Top Fuel dragster. In 1982 at age 46 he decided to retire from drag racing and punctuated his last race by burning his driving gloves at the starting line after the conclusion of the race. Now 81 years old, he resides in Burbank, California.
Child actor to the stars, James F. Hawkins made his big-screen debut at the age of 2 playing Spencer Tracy's son in The Seventh Cross and followed that by playing Lana Turner's son in Marriage Is a Private Affair. But it was his third film credit that would define his career--playing Tommy Bailey, son of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life in 1946, a film about which he has published 5 books to date, one of them co-authored with Paul Petersen. Hawkins continued appearing in mostly uncredited child roles throughout the 1940s before landing his first TV role as Donald Ruggles, son of leading actor Charles Ruggles, on The Ruggles, which ran from 1949-52. He continued appearing in feature films as well during the 1950s, reuniting with Stewart in Winchester '73 in 1950, before landing his next regular TV role as Annie Oakley's brother Tagg in Annie Oakley, which ran from 1954-57. He made 3 appearances as George Haskell on The Donna Reed Show during its first season and another appearance as Jerry Hager in the 1960 episode "Cool Cat" (June 16, 1960) before becoming Mary Stone's most regular boyfriend Scotty beginning with the 1960 episode "Worried, Anyone?" (November 3, 1960). During his time on The Donna Reed Show, Hawkins became very close with Donna Reed, Paul Petersen, and Shelley Fabares, with whom he appeared in 2 Elvis Presley features Girl Happy (1965) and Spinout (1966). Concurrent with his appearances on The Donna Reed Show, Hawkins appeared 9 times as Jonathon Baylor on Ichabod and Me, 5 times as Jimmy on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet from 1962-64, and 5 times as Orville Miggs on Petticoat Junction in 1964. After a few more appearances on Petticoat Junction, Hawkins' last credit as an actor was in a 1974 episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
By the 1970s Hawkins turned his attention to producing, beginning with a 1971 biopic Evel Knievel starring George Hamilton in the title role. In 1980 he produced Gary Coleman in the Boy Scout-themed Scout's Honor, based on a feature film he himself had appeared in back in 1953, Mister Scoutmaster. In 1981 he produced Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy "Satchel" Paige starring Lou Gossett, Jr., for which he received an NCAAP Image Award. He also created the Emmy Award-winning special The 50th Anniversary Motown Returns to the Apollo. He has served on the Advisory Board of The Jimmy Stewart Museum and has been on the Board of Directors for The Donna Reed Foundation.
C. Lindsay Workman
Charles Lindsay Workman, Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, PA and studied literature and acting at Pomona College and Yale before taking a faculty position in the theater department of Scripps College in the 1950s. Before breaking into television in 1957 on shows such as Blondie and Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, he also worked in radio theater. He had a number of supporting roles on series such as Have Gun-- Will Travel, Wanted: Dead or Alive, and Hotel de Paree before being cast as Alex Stone's colleague Dr. Jim Higgins on The Donna Reed Show, appearing in a total of 12 episodes from 1960-65 with 9 of them as Higgins. His credits were prolific throughout the 1960s and 1970s, often depicting straight men official figures such as doctors, judges, ministers, and the like on comedies such as Hazel, Mister Ed, and The Farmer's Daughter. He also had semi-recurring roles as Rev. Adams on Here Come the Brides, as Dr. Koblin on Bewitched, Otto Brockmeyer on Julia, a judge on Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law, the medical examiner on Police Woman. His background in radio theater served him well in garnering voicework on a series of Garfield the cat specials and Mercedes Benz commercials late in his career. He passed away at the age of 88 in Claremont, CA after a brief illness on April 24, 2012.
Notable Guest Stars
Season 3, Episode 16, "Character Building": Kristine Miller (appeared in Desert Fury, I Walk Alone, Too Late for Tears, and Young Daniel Boone and played Margaret Jones on Stories of the Century) plays Donna's friend Edna. Danni Sue Nolan (wife of I Love Lucy and Bewitched director William Asher) plays Donna's friend Mildred.
Season 3, Episode 17, "The World's Greatest Entertainer": Connie Sawyer (appeared in A Hole in the Head, Ada, Dumb and Dumber, and Lovesick) plays talent show coordinator Mrs. Lubner.
Season 3, Episode 18, "Variations on a Theme": Harvey Lembeck (shown on the left, appeared in You're in the Navy Now, Stalag 17, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, played Eric Von Zipper in 5 beach movies--Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, and played Chips Collins on Make Room for Daddy, Cpl. Rocco Barbella on The Phil Silvers Show, and Seaman Gabby di Julio on Ensign O'Toole) plays moving man Al. John Indrisano (real-life professional boxer and referee, played John the Chauffeur on O.K. Crackerby!) plays his partner Rudy. Ludwig Stossel (appeared in Casablanca, Kings Row, and Pride of the Yankees and played Peter Van Dyne on Ramar of the Jungle and Anton Kovac on Man With a Camera) a piano tuner. Reba Waters (Francesca on Peck's Bad Girl) plays Mary's friend Ginny.
Season 3, Episode 19, "The Stones Go to Hollywood": George Sidney (shown on the right, directed Anchors Aweigh, The Harvey Girls, The Three Musketeers(1948), Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Pal Joey, Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, and The Swinger) plays himself. Midge Ware (WAC Cpl. Mallory on The Phil Silvers Show and Amby Hollister on Gunslinger) plays his secretary.
Season 3, Episode 20, "Donna Directs a Play": David Macklin (Billy Harris on Harris Against the World) plays teen playwright Doug.
Season 3, Episode 21, "Trip to Nowhere": Bill Baldwin (the narrator on Harbor Command and Bat Masterson and the announcer on The Bob Cummings Show) plays the father of Jeff's rival Mr. Pratt.
Season 3, Episode 22, "The Geisha Girl": Miyoshi Umeki (shown on the left, starred in Sayonara, The Flower Drum Song, and A Girl Named Tamiko and played Mrs. Livingston on The Courtship of Eddie's Father) plays surgeon's wife Chio Semple. Douglas Dick (Carl Herrick on Waterfront) plays her husband Dr. Semple. Aline Towne (Joan Gilbert on Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe) plays Donna's friend Kay Wiley. Sally Mansfield (Vena Ray on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger) plays Donna's friend Beth Thompson. Theodore Lehmann (narrator for Around the World With Willy Fog and Grimm Masterpiece Theatre and the voice of Hingy Dingy Doo on Noozles, Commander and Zero on Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years, and Mayor Lion on Maple Town) plays a restaurant waiter.
Season 3, Episode 23, "The Busy People": Alix Talton (appeared in Rock Around the Clock, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and The Deadly Mantis and played Myra on My Favorite Husband) plays Donna's friend Harriet Higgins. Paul Barselou (played various bartenders in 9 episodes of Bewitched) plays Alex's colleague Fred.
Season 3, Episode 24, "Tony Martin Visits": Tony Martin (shown on the right, singer who starred in Ziegfeld Girl, Till the Clouds Roll By, Two Tickets to Broadway, Deep in My Heart, and Hit the Deck) plays himself. Roger Mobley (Homer "Packy" Lambert on Fury) plays his son Tony, Jr. Herb Vigran (Judge Brooker on Gunsmoke) plays traffic court Judge Thompson. Owen Bush (Ben on Shane, John Belson on Sirota's Court, and Crimshaw on Our House) plays a motorcycle cop.
Season 3, Episode 25, "Aunt Belle's Earrings": Gladys Hurlbut (Harriet Conroy on It's a Great Life and Mrs. Gray on The Ann Sothern Show) plays Alex's Aunt Belle. Will Wright (Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace and Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays real estate developer Oliver Greevey.
Season 3, Episode 26, "The Poodle Parlor": Florence MacMichael (shown on the left, played Phyllis Pearson on My Three Sons and Winnie Kirkwood on Mister Ed) plays Donna's friend Madeleine. Jack Albertson (starred in Days of Wine and Roses, Kissin' Cousins, The Flim-Flam Man, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and played Lt. Harry Evans on The Thin Man, Walter Burton on Room for One More, Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Stoner on Ensign O'Toole, Paul Fenton on Mister Ed, and Ed Brown on Chico and the Man) plays her husband Jack. Frank Wilcox (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Untouchables) plays banker Mr. Heiser.
Season 3, Episode 27, "Mary's Heart Throb": Sara Seegar (starred in The Last Curtain, Dead Men Tell No Tales, and The Music Man and played Eloise Wilson on Dennis the Menace) plays mother for whom Mary is baby-sitting Mrs. Damon. Claude Johnson (Officer Brinkman on Adam-12) plays her son Rick.
Season 3, Episode 28, "Donna's Helping Hand": Robert Shayne (appeared in Christmas in Connecticut, The Giant Claw, and North by Northwest and played Inspector Bill Henderson on The Adventures of Superman and the sound man on Bracken's World) plays ambitious physician Dr. Flanigan. Stuart Nisbet (played the bartender on The Virginian) plays a newspaper reporter.
Season 3, Episode 29, "The Merry Month of April": Francis de Sales (shown on the right, played Lt. Bill Weigand on Mr. & Mrs. North, Ralph Dobson on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Sheriff Maddox on Two Faces West, and Rusty Lincoln on Days of Our Lives) plays the Stone's accountant Harvey Parker. Ruth Storey (shown on the far right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on 87th Precinct) plays his wife Nora.
Season 3, Episode 30, "Music Hath Charms": Trudy Marshall (appeared in Orchestra Wives, Heaven Can Wait (1943), and Dragonwyck) plays Alex's client Mrs. Malone. Peter Oliphant (Freddie Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show) plays boisterous neighborhood boy Pete.
Season 3, Episode 32, "For Better or Worse": Dort Clark (appeared in Bells Are Ringing, The Loved One, and Skin Game and played Sgt. Klauber on Mickey) plays Alex's colleague Joe Martin.
Season 3, Episode 33, "Jeff the Treasurer": Doodles Weaver (narrated Spike Jones' horse-racing songs and hosted A Day With Doodles) plays high school janitor Mr. Perkins.
Season 3, Episode 34, "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys": Leonard Stone (shown on the left, appeared in The Mugger, The Big Mouth, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and Soylent Green and played Doc Joslyn on Camp Runamuck, Packy Moore on General Hospital, and Judge Paul Hansen on L.A. Law) plays choir director Mr. Trestle. Stephen Talbot (son of Lyle Talbot, played Gilbert Bates on Leave It to Beaver, and served as produce on Frontline, Frontline/World, and Independent Lens) plays choir member Lenny. Bobby Clark (appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Ten Commandments and played Casey Jones, Jr. on Casey Jones) plays Jeff's friend Gordie.
Season 3, Episode 35, "Military School": Chris Robinson (shown on the right, played Sgt. Sandy Komansky on 12 O'Clock High, Rick Webber on General Hospital, and Jack Hamilton on The Bold and the Beautiful) plays Herbie Bailey's friend Ken Carsley.
Season 3, Episode 36, "Mary's Driving Lesson": Sally Mansfield (see "The Geisha Girl" above) plays Donna's friend Joyce Adams.
Season 3, Episode 37, "The Mustache": Doodles Weaver (see "Jeff the Treasurer" above) plays Alex's barber Paul.
Season 3, Episode 38, "Mary's Little Lambs": Douglas Lambert (Eddie Weeks on General Hospital and Walter Schiff on Inside Story) plays Mary's date Mark. Karyn Kupcinet (Carol on The Gertrude Berg Show) plays Mary's friend Jeannie. Bobby Buntrock (Harold Baxter on Hazel) plays a neighbor's runaway boy.
Season 4, Episode 1, "One Starry Night": James Darren (shown on the left, starred in Gidget, The Guns of Navarone, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, and For Those Who Think Young and played Dr. Tony Newman on The Time Tunnel, Officer Jim Corrigan on T.J. Hooker, Tony Marlin on Melrose Place, and Vic Fontaine on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) plays actor Kip Dennis. John Darren (real-life brother of James Darren) plays his brother Johnny.
Season 4, Episode 2, "A Rose Is a Rose": John Zaremba (Special Agent Jerry Dressler on I Led 3 Lives, Dr. Harold Jensen on Ben Casey, Admiral Hardesy on McHale's Navy, Dr. Raymond Swain on The Time Tunnel, and Dr, Harlem Danvers on Dallas) plays neighborhood father Joe Smith.
Season 4, Episode 3, "The Close Shave": Hal Smith (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays druggist Mr. Pearson.
Season 4, Episode 4, "Mouse at Play": Cloris Leachman (shown on the left, starred in The Last Picture Show, Charley and the Angel, Dillinger, and Young Frankenstein and played Ruth Martin on Lassie Rhoda Kirsh on Dr. Kildare, and Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and Phyllis) plays Donna's friend Iris Kepler. John Astin (appeared in That Touch of Mink, The Wheeler Dealers, Move Over, Darling, Viva Max, and Freaky Friday and played Harry Dickens on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, Gomez Addams on The Addams Family, Rudy Pruitt on The Phyllis Diller Show, Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman on Operation Petticoat, Ed LaSalle on Mary, Buddy Ryan on Night Court, Radford on Eerie, Indiana, and Prof. Albert Wickwire on The Adventures of Briscoe County, Jr.) plays Donna's hairdresser Eric.
Season 4, Episode 5, "The Monster": Bert Remsen (Detective Lawrence on Peyton Place, Mr. Pell on Gibbsville, Mario on It's a Living, and Jack Crager on Dynasty) plays dog owner Mr. Carlson.
Season 4, Episode 6, "New Girl in Town": Johnny Washbrook (Ken McLaughlin on My Friend Flicka) plays Mary's date Bill Quinn. Candy Moore (shown on the right, played Chris Carmichael on The Lucy Show and hosted The Dream Girl of 1967) plays his tomboy sister Angie. Walter Brooke (appeared in The Graduate, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and The Nude Bomb and played D.A. Frank Scanlon on The Green Hornet and Clarence Johnson on The Waltons) plays their father Daniel Quinn.
Season 4, Episode 7, "One of Those Days": Arthur Hunnicutt (starred in The Red Badge of Courage, The Last Command, The Cardinal, and Cat Ballou) plays a country landowner. Doris Kemper (Zelda Harper on Westinghouse Playhouse) plays his wife Ma.
Season 4, Episode 8, "All Is Forgiven": William Windom (shown on the far left, appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird, The Americanization of Emily, and Escape From the Planet of the Apes and played Congressman Glen Morley on The Farmer's Daughter, John Monroe on My World and Welcome to It, Larry Krandall on Brothers and Sisters, Frank Buckman on Parenthood, and Dr. Seth Hazlitt on Murder, She Wrote) plays argumentative husband Ed Corwin. Patricia Barry (shown on the left, played Kate Harris on Harris Against the World, Lydia McGuire on Dr. Kildare, Adelaide Horton Williams on Days of Our Lives, Peg English on All My Children, and Sally Gleason on Guiding Light) plays his wife Millie.
Season 4, Episode 9, "The Electrical Storm": Richard Deacon (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Dick Van Dyke Show) plays high school principal Mr. Heflin. Lee Aaker (appeared in The Atomic City, Hondo, and Destry and played Cpl. Rusty on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin) plays Jeff's friend Walter "the Wizard." Anne Sargent (Barbara Miller on My Son Jeep and Mary Harper on The Edge of Night) plays Jeff's teacher Miss Tucker.
Season 4, Episode 10, "The Paper Tycoon": Steven Barringer (Butch Malone on Cannonball and the radio operator on The Forest Rangers) plays Jeff's employee Craig.
Season 4, Episode 11, "Private Tutor": Peter J. Votrian (appeared in Hans Christian Andersen, Big House, U.S.A., Crime in the Streets, and Fear Strikes Out) plays Mary's French tutor Joel Duplain.
Season 4, Episode 12, "Alex, the Professor": Dorothy Lovett (Judy Price in 5 Dr. Christian feature films) plays lady's club organizer Alma Higgins.
Season 4, Episode 13, "The Fabulous O'Hara": Cecil Kellaway (shown on the left, appeared in Wuthering Heights, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Luck of the Irish, Joan of Arc, Harvey, The Shaggy Dog, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?) plays itinerant horse gambler Algernon O'Hara. Ricky Kelman (Randy Towne on The Dennis O'Keefe Show and Tommy MacRoberts on Our Man Higgins) plays his grandson Butch.
Season 4, Episode 14, "Way of a Woman": Reba Waters (see "Variations on a Theme" above) plays Mary's friend Dorine. Regina Groves (Joanie MacRoberts on Our Man Higgins) plays Mary's friend Babs.
Season 4, Episode 15, "A Very Bright Boy": Johnny Crawford (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Rifleman) plays Donna's college roommate's son Victor. Rosemary La Planche (Miss America 1941, appeared in Strangler of the Swamp, Devil-Bat's Daughter, and Betty Co-Ed) plays Donna's college roommate Marcia.
Season 4, Episode 16, "The Toughest Kid in School": Kirk Alyn (played Superman in Superman(1948) and Atom Man vs. Superman and Blackhawk in Blackhawk: Fearless Champion of Freedom) plays new neighbor Sheldon Crawford.