Elinor Donahue (born April 19, 1937 in Tacoma, Washington) is an American actress.
Born Mary Eleanor Donahue, her mother, a theatrical costumer, moonlighted as a department store saleswoman in order to pay for her daughter's dancing lessons. Appearing in dancing-chorus film roles from the age of five, Donahue was at one point a ballet-school classmate of future Fred Astaire partner Barrie Chase.
She was a child actor working in vaudeville who achieved stardom for her role as the elder daughter, Betty, on the popular 1954 - 1960 television family series "Father Knows Best". She also appeared in numerous other television shows as a guest actor including Star Trek and in such motion pictures as 1990's Pretty Woman.
She charmed many as pharmacist Ellie Walker on The Andy Griffith Show, as well as Miriam Welby, Tony Randall's love interest on TV's The Odd Couple. Most recently she intrigued us as "Hunnicut", the evil nurse on Days of Our Lives.
The mother of four grown sons, Elinor Donahue is the widow of legendary television producer, Harry Ackerman, to whom she was married from 1961 until his death in 1991.