‘Father Knows Best’ Star Elinor Donahue Reflected on Marrying Show’s Sound Producer

by Hannah Heser

In an interview from 2015, the Father Knows Best star Elinor Donahue reflects on marrying the show’s sound producer. She mentioned that her mother was always difficult with her dating life. But with her acting career taking off, she barely had the time to date.

“She didn’t seem to like anybody. So, here I am, 19, probably going to end up as an old maid,” Donahue said. “The next person that mentions the word to me I’m going to say yes and that’s going to be that.”

Before she could even blink, the sound producer on the show, Richard Smith, asked her to marry him.

The Start of Elinor Donahue and Richard Smith’s Relationship

First of all, everyone has a soulmate out there even if you haven’t found them yet. And the show brought Elinor her partner-in-crime when she least expected it.

During the interview, she shared the story of how she and Richard met. You can check it out below.

“We had gone to see a movie and he whispered, ‘I love you and I’d like to marry you’ in my ear. And I said, ‘Okay.'”

Furthermore, she had no idea about anything. But not too long after, the couple decided to run away to Las Vegas together.

“It was a big shock,” Donahue said. “Everybody assumed I ran off to get married because I was pregnant. But that wasn’t the case.”

A year later, she had her son and she thought she was finished with the show.

But a messenger called her and asked for her to return on the show. So, she showed up to the reunion with her new “mom” hair. As a matter of fact, she remembers not having her own hair on the show and this was the first time. But you know what they say, there’s a first time for everything!

Overall, Donahue and Smith were married from June 11, 1955 to August 11, 1961. Then they divorced six years later, according to whosdatedwho.com.

At the end of the day, she proved herself wrong.

‘Father Knows Best’ Reunion

Elinor Donahue portrayed Betty Anderson in the show, Father Knows Best. It originally began as a radio show, but its popularity needed something more. So, they created a television series for it. And let me tell you, this received a ton of recognition. Some would say it got more viewers than listeners on the radio.

Since the show ended, the stars left the show in the past and rarely kept in touch with anyone. But seventeen years later, the reunion movie brought them back together. In fact, it happened in a way no one thought was possible.

Overall, the cast loved every minute of the reunion and were thrilled to be together again.