Jeff Donnell


Actor
Jeff Donnell

About

Also Known As
Jean Marie Donnell, "Miss" Jeff Donnell
Birth Place
South Windham, Maine, USA
Born
July 10, 1921
Died
April 11, 1988
Cause of Death
Apparent Heart Attack

Biography

As frequent confidante or comic sidekick, sprightly character actress Jeff Donnell played supporting parts in a range of film and television productions, including such highly regarded pictures as "Sweet Smell of Success" and "In a Lonely Place." Born Jean Marie Donnell in South Windham, Maine, she self-appointed her nickname from an obsession with the comic strip "Mutt and Jeff." She gr...

Family & Companions

Aldo Ray
Husband
Actor. Married 1954, divorced 1956.

Biography

As frequent confidante or comic sidekick, sprightly character actress Jeff Donnell played supporting parts in a range of film and television productions, including such highly regarded pictures as "Sweet Smell of Success" and "In a Lonely Place." Born Jean Marie Donnell in South Windham, Maine, she self-appointed her nickname from an obsession with the comic strip "Mutt and Jeff." She graduated from the Yale School of Drama and made her first appearance in the 1942 screwball comedy "My Sister Eileen." She landed occasional larger roles in many of her '40s pictures, including several Western musicals, though she stepped up a notch for the 1950 noir "In a Lonely Place" as best friend to the tormented Gloria Grahame. Subsequent films included "Thief of Damascus," as renowned storyteller Scheherazade, and "The Blue Gardenia," a late work by German director Fritz Lang. In the grim and gritty "Sweet Smell of Success," she played the needy secretary of desperate publicist Tony Curtis, and on the other end of the spectrum, she played the mother of the beach-loving heroine in "Gidget Goes Hawaiian." After a number of '50s television appearances, she moved more squarely into guest spots on series in the '60s and beyond, with only a few more film roles, including a part in the drama of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" Throughout the '80s, Donnell played a recurring role on the soap "General Hospital" as a housekeeper until her sudden death from a heart attack in 1988.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Portrait of a Stripper (1979)
Rendezvous Hotel (1979)
Murder by Natural Causes (1979)
Spider-Man (1977)
McNaughton's Daughter (1976)
Stand Up and Be Counted (1972)
Ruth
Love, Hate, Love (1971)
Congratulations, It's a Boy! (1971)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Cornelia
The Comic (1969)
Nurse
Gidget Goes to Rome (1963)
Dorothy Lawrence
The Swingin' Maiden (1963)
Mrs. Fisher
Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961)
Dorothy Lawrence
Force of Impulse (1961)
Louise Reese
Destination 60,000 (1957)
Ruth Buckley
The Guns of Fort Petticoat (1957)
Mary Wheeler
My Man Godfrey (1957)
Molly
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Sally
Magnificent Roughnecks (1956)
Julie
Massacre Canyon (1954)
Cora
Flight Nurse (1954)
Lt. Ann Phillips
So This Is Love (1953)
Henrietta Van Dyke
The Blue Gardenia (1953)
Sally Ellis
Thief of Damascus (1952)
Lady Sheherazade
The First Time (1952)
Donna Gilbert
Skirts Ahoy! (1952)
Lt. Giff
Because You're Mine (1952)
Patty Ware
Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
Alice Reymend
Walk Softly, Stranger (1950)
Gwen
In a Lonely Place (1950)
Sylvia Nicolai
Big Timber (1950)
Sally
Hoedown (1950)
Vera Wright
Redwood Forest Trail (1950)
Julie Westcott
The Fuller Brush Girl (1950)
Jane Bixby
Easy Living (1949)
Penny McCarr
Outcasts of the Trail (1949)
Lavinia White
Stagecoach Kid (1949)
Jessie Arnold
Post Office Investigator (1949)
April Shaughnessy
Roughshod (1949)
Elaine [Wyatt]
Mr. District Attorney (1947)
Miss Miller
Throw a Saddle on a Star (1946)
Judy Lane
The Phantom Thief (1946)
Anne Duncan
Singing on the Trail (1946)
Cindy Brown
That Texas Jamboree (1946)
Jean Warren
Cowboy Blues (1946)
Susan Nelson
It's Great to Be Young (1946)
Georgia Johnson
The Unknown (1946)
Nina Arnold
Night Editor (1946)
Martha Cochrane
Tars and Spars (1946)
Penny McDougal
The Power of the Whistler (1945)
Francie Lang
Over 21 (1945)
Jan Lupton
Eadie Was a Lady (1945)
Pamela Parker
Song of the Prairie (1945)
Penny
Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944)
Hostess
She's a Soldier Too (1944)
Mary Fleming
Nine Girls (1944)
"Butch" Hendricks
3 Is a Family (1944)
Hazel Whitaker
Dancing in Manhattan (1944)
Julie Connors
Stars on Parade (1944)
Mary Brooks
Carolina Blues (1944)
Charlotte Barton
Once Upon a Time (1944)
Brooklyn girl
What's Buzzin' Cousin? (1943)
Billie
There's Something About a Soldier (1943)
Jean Burton
Doughboys in Ireland (1943)
Molly Callahan
A Night to Remember (1942)
Anne Carstairs
The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)
Winnie Layden
My Sister Eileen (1942)
Helen Loomis

Life Events

1942

Film acting debut

Photo Collections

The Guns of Fort Petticoat - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of movie posters for Columbia Pictures' The Guns of Fort Petticoat (1957), starring Audie Murphy and Kathryn Grant.

Videos

Movie Clip

Roughshod (1949) - I'm Not In His Shoes Rancher Clay (Robert Sterling) and kid brother Steve (Claude Jarman Jr.) are standing guard when Clayton (George Cooper) rides up, looking to rescue Marcia (Martha Hyer), one of the working girls (Gloria Grahame as Mary, with Myrna Dell and Jeff Donnell) they’re escorting to safety, in director Mark Robson’s Roughshod, 1949.
Easy Living (1949) - I Like You Chubby Opening neglects to mention the profession of Tim (Sonny Tufts) and visiting Pete (Victor Mature), whom his wife Penny (Jeff Donnell) is very happy to receive at their New York apartment, in the not-very athletic football drama Easy Living, 1949, co-starring Lizabeth Scott and Lucille Ball.
My Sister Eileen (1942) -- He's Not The Drug Store? Random gent (Chick Chandler) arrives looking for the previous tenant, confusing Eileen (Janet Blair) then Ruth (Rosalind Russell), "Wreck" (Gordon Jones) and wife (Jeff Donnell) then summoned, in My Sister Eileen, 1942.
In A Lonely Place (1950) - You're The Killer Screenwriter Dix (Humphrey Bogart) is a dinner guest imagining the murder in which he's a suspect for cop-pal Brub (Frank Lovejoy) and his wife Sylvia (Jeff Donnell) in Nicholas Ray's In A Lonely Place 1950.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957) - Your Meaty Sympathetic Arms One of Tony Curtis' best scenes ever, as press agent Sidney Falco with assistant Sally (Jeff Donnell), having failed to get an item published for restauranteur Joe (Joseph Leon), and at the mercy of still not-seen columnist Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), early in Sweet Smell Of Success, 1957,
Blue Gardenia, The (1953) - Dear Norah Long takes and a quick rebound as Norah (Anne Baxter) sits down to dine with a letter from her boyfriend in Korea, then takes a call from Harry (Raymond Burr), worrying roommate Sally (Jeff Donnell) in Fritz Lang's The Blue Gardenia, 1953.
My Man Godfrey (1957) - Next Cage On The Left His first day on the job, the until-now vagrant David Niven (title character) with mother Angelica (Jessie Royce Landis) then daughter Irene (June Allyson), neither immediately recalling the circumstances of his hiring, maid Jeff Donnell swooning between, in the 1957 re-make, My Man Godfrey.
Carolina Blues (1944) - Pucker Up Opening schtick, band leader Kay Kyser as himself, sax-player sidekick Sully Mason, Jeff Donnell as publicist "Charlotte," comic Ish Kabibble, Victor Moore as industrialist "Carver," and singer Georgia Carroll, who had just become Mrs. Kyser, in Columbia's Carolina Blues, 1944.
Guns Of Fort Petticoat - Use Your Muscles Hewitt (Audie Murphy) stops rowdy Kettle (Sean McClory) fooling around, then organizes his Texan women-folk (Kathryn Grant, Hope Emerson, Patricia Livingston, Jeanette Nolan et al) against Indian attacks, in The Guns Of Fort Petticoat, 1957.

Trailer

Companions

Aldo Ray
Husband
Actor. Married 1954, divorced 1956.

Bibliography