Is Elinor Donahue Related to Phil Donahue? The Truth Behind the Rumor

Many people have wondered if the actress Elinor Donahue and the talk show host Phil Donahue are related. They share the same last name, but do they share the same bloodline? The answer is no. Contrary to popular belief, Elinor Donahue and Phil Donahue are not related. While both have the same last name, they come from different family backgrounds and have no familial ties.

Who is Elinor Donahue?

Elinor Donahue is a retired American actress, best known for playing the role of Betty Anderson, the eldest child of Jim and Margaret Anderson on the 1950s American sitcom Father Knows Best. She was born Mary Eleanor Donahue in Tacoma, Washington, on April 19, 1937. She appeared as a radio singer and vaudeville dancer while a mere toddler, then was picked up by Universal Studios at the age of 5. She had several bit parts in movies as a teenager, including Love Is Better Than Ever (1952), starring Elizabeth Taylor.

She achieved stardom for her role as Betty Anderson on Father Knows Best, which aired from 1954 to 1960. She also appeared on The Andy Griffith Show, The Odd Couple, Days of Our Lives, and many other shows. She was married three times and had four children. Her second husband was TV executive producer Harry Ackerman, who died in 1991. Her third and current husband is contractor Louis Genevrino, whom she married in 1992. In 1998, she published a memoir entitled In the Kitchen with Elinor Donahue, in which she relived some of her memories of Hollywood along with providing more than 150 of her top-grade recipes.

Who is Phil Donahue?

Phil Donahue is an American media personality, writer, film producer and the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show. He was born Phillip John Donahue in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 21, 1935. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1957 and began his career as a radio reporter and interviewer. He launched his talk show, The Phil Donahue Show, in 1967 in Dayton, Ohio. The show was the first talk show format that included audience participation and tackled controversial topics such as abortion, racism, feminism, gay rights, and war. The show ran for 29 years and won 20 Emmy Awards.

He also produced and hosted several documentaries and specials on social issues such as hunger, AIDS, domestic violence, and Iraq War veterans. He was married twice and had five children. His first wife was Margaret Cooney, whom he divorced in 1975. His second and current wife is actress Marlo Thomas, whom he married in 1980. He is also an outspoken critic of the media and corporate power.


Elinor Donahue and Phil Donahue are both successful and influential figures in American entertainment and culture. However, they are not related by blood or marriage. They just happen to have the same last name by coincidence. They have never met or worked together, as far as we know. They have their own separate lives and careers.

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