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Ann McCrea, also known as Ann McCrea Borden (born February 25, 1931), is a former American actress best known for her role as Midge Kelsey in sixty-nine episodes from 1963 to 1966 of the ABC situation comedy series, The Donna Reed Show, with Donna Reed, Carl Betz, and Bob Crane.

Ann McCrea
Born (1931-02-25) February 25, 1931 (age 88)
ResidenceWestlake Village
California, USA
OccupationFormer actress: The Donna Reed Show
Years active1952-1971
Spouse(s)Gerald Borden

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BackgroundEdit

Born in DuBois in Clearfield County northeast of Pittsburgh in west central Pennsylvania, McCrea was a model in New York City[1][2] before she landed her first acting roles.

Acting careerEdit

In 1952, McCrea was cast as Lucy in the third episode, "The Death Valley Kid," on the syndicated television anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. Richard Emory played "The Death Valley Kid," who in the story line continues to outwit a sheriff, Jim Manning (Bruce Edwards), who seeks to bring The Kid to justice.[3] She subsequently appeared twice more on Death Valley Days: as Melinda Pratt in "Mr. Bigfoot" (1956), and in "Pirates of San Francisco" (1960).[4]

In 1953, McCrea appeared as Flo, her first credited film role, in Sweethearts on Parade. The next year, she played a nightclub girl in the Shirley Booth and Robert Ryan film, About Mrs. Leslie. In 1955, she appeared as Laura in the episode "The Case of the One-Armed Bandits" of the CBS series, The Man Behind the Badge, starring and hosted by Charles Bickford. In 1956, McCrea guest starred in the episode "How to Handle Women" on NBC's The Bob Cummings Show. In 1957, she portrayed Gladys in the satirical film about Hollywood culture, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?.[4]

In 1957 and 1958, McCrea guest starred twice on Rod Cameron's syndicated crime drama, State Trooper; in 1961, she appeared once on Cameron's Coronado 9 series. In 1958, McCrea was cast as Margo Winter Garvin in "The Case of the Long-Legged Models" of the CBS legal drama, Perry Mason, with Raymond Burr in the title role. She was cast as Francine Denquist in "The Lie That Came True" in the NBC detective series, Meet McGraw, starring Frank Lovejoy. She was cast as Mona Perkins in the 1958 film, China Doll, with Victor Mature and Ward Bond.[2]

In another 1958 appearance, McCrea portrayed Faith Swain in the episode "Wagon-Tongue North" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, Cheyenne, with Clint Walker in the title role. In the story line, Faith's cattle are being driven to market by Cheyenne Bodie, using the alias Ace Black. Unknown to Faith, Cheyenne had earlier killed her husband in self-defense. Though he is trying to help Faith, Cheyenne encounters an unruly crew on the drive.[5]

In 1959, McCrea appeared as Janet Pauson in the episode "Forty Five Fathoms, Dead or Alive" on the syndicated Rescue 8, with Jim Davis and Lang Jeffries, and as Lucille on "Getaway Day" on CBS's Tightrope, with Mike Connors. She was also cast on Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond in the role of Ann Morris in the episode "Night of the Kill". In 1960, she played Eileen in the episode "Mother's Boy" of the NBC crime drama, Johnny Midnight with Edmond O'Brien. That same year, she appeared as another Ann in "Trench Coat" on the CBS anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson. She played Liz Buckley in the 1960 episode "Burden of Guilt" on the Peter Breck western series, Black Saddle, about a gunfighter-turned-lawyer. That same year, she played in two other NBC western series, as Sarah in "Dealer's Choice" on Tales of Wells Fargo, starring Dale Robertson, and as Helen Swayde in "The Stand-Off of The Deputy, starring Henry Fonda and Allen Case.[2]

In 1960, McCrea co-starred in the unsold pilot for a private detective series set in Phoenix, Arizona, entitled Simon Lash with Jock Mahoney. She was cast as Mavis in the 1960 television movie Simon Lash: The Black Book.[4]

She appeared twice on John Forsythe's Bachelor Father and on the ABC/WB detective series, Surfside 6. For its last three seasons, McCrea joined the cast of The Donna Reed Show, in which she was cast opposite Bob Crane in the role of her television husband, Dr. Dave Kelsey, She and Donna Reed, in the role of housewife Donna Stone, were depicted on the series as close friends, as were Crane and series co-star Carl Betz as Dr. Alex Stone.[6] While on The Donna Reed Show, McCrea appeared four times on another ABC sitcom, Wendy and Me, with George Burns, Connie Stevens, and Ron Harper. In three of those episodes, she played the part of Mrs. Ferguson.[4]

Her last film roles were in the 1967 westerns Welcome to Hard Times and The War Wagon. In the former she played a minor character, again called "Flo," with Henry Fonda as Mayor Will Blue. In the latter, she was cast as Felicia, with John Wayne as Taw Jackson. McCrea appeared three times on the Brian Keith CBS sitcom, Family Affair, twice as Clara, and five times on Fred MacMurray's CBS sitcom, My Three Sons, between 1966 and her last acting role in 1971, as Mrs. Webber in "Dodie Goes Downtown".[2]

McCrea has been involved in the Donna Reed Festival since its establishment in 1986. She is a member of the board of directors of the Donna Reed Foundation.[1]

She and her husband, Gerald, reside in Westlake Village, a planned community on the Los Angeles/Ventura county border.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Ann McCrea Borden". donnareed.org. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Ann McCrea". tv.com. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "The Death Valley Kid on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Ann McCrea". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  5. ^ ""Wagon-Tongue North": Cheyenne". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  6. ^ "Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Ann McCrea, and Bob Crane". sitcomsonline.com. Retrieved September 11, 2014.

External linksEdit