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What is Elinor Donahue doing now? What happened to her?

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Who is Elinor Donahue?

American retired actress Mary Eleanor Donahue was born in Tacoma, Washington State USA, on 19 April 1937, making Aries her zodiac sign. She had roles in 110 TV series and movies prior to retiring in 2005, and is probably still known best for playing Bridget in the evergreen 1990 romantic comedy movie “Pretty Woman”, which Garry Marshall directed, and which starred Jason Alexander, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. It follows a businessman who’s fallen in love with a prostitute, and the movie won eight of its 19 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Julia Roberts).

Education and early life

Elinor was raised in Tacoma by her father Thomas William Donahue and mother Doris Genevieve (nee Gelbaugh), however, not many details have been disclosed about them as Elinor respects their privacy; she hasn’t spoken about having siblings, and most of Elinor’s fans believe her to be an only child.

She began taking ballet lessons at a very early age, then was only six when she made her debut film appearance, playing Muggsy in the 1943 comedy “Mister Big”; the same year saw her appear in the comedy movie “Honeymoon Lodge”, and Elinor was then active in the film industry for the following six decades.

She eventually moved to Los Angeles, California, where she attended a local high school, matriculating in 1955 and then focusing on her career, rather than pursuing a college degree.

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Roles in movies

The year 1944 saw Elinor appear in both the musical comedy “Bowery to Broadway”, and the romantic drama “And Now Tomorrow”, while some of her other roles in the ‘40s were in the 1946 comedy “Little Miss Big”, the 1947 musical comedy “The Unfinished Dance”, and the 1949 romantic musical comedy “An Old-Fashioned Girl”.

The year 1954 saw her play Daughter in Bargain Basement of the romantic drama “Woman’s World”, directed by Jean Negulesco, and which starred Van Heflin, Lauren Bacall and Cornel Wilde; it follows a company executive who’s about to decide whom amongst his employees he’s going to promote by speaking to their wives. Elinor had only two film roles in the remainder of the ‘50s: she played Lora’s Friend in the critically acclaimed 1959 drama “Imitation of Life”, which was nominated for two Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner, and she portrayed Mary Lee Morgan in the 1959 drama “Girls Town”.

Her only film role in the ‘60s was playing Ethel Garrity in the 1969 romantic comedy “In Name Only”, which failed to attract any attention, while the ‘70s saw her play supporting characters in the 1972 romantic comedy “Gidget Gets Married”, the 1977 family drama “The Father Knows Best Reunion”, and the 1978 drama “Doctors’ Private Lives”.

Elinor portrayed Margaret Anderson in the 1983 comedy “Going Berserk”, directed by David Steinberg, and which starred John Candy, Joe Flaherty and Eugene Levy. It follows a chauffeur who’s been hypnotized by a cult to kill a congressman, who also happens to be his fiancée’s father. Her only other two film roles in the ‘80s were in the 1983 short family drama “Just an Overnight Guest”, and the 1984 family drama “No Earthly Reason”.

In 1996, Elinor played a supporting character in the comedy “Dear God”, directed by Garry Marshall, and which starred Greg Kinnear, Laurie Metcalf and Maria Pitillo. It follows someone who’s answering all the letters written to God – the movie was nominated for a single award.

Elinor’s final three movies roles were in the 1999 drama “Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story”, the 2001 drama “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Heart Within”, and the 2004 romantic family comedy “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”.

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Roles in TV series

Elinor’s debut TV series appearance was in the 1952 episode “I Want to Be a Movie Star” of the comedy “Schlitz Playhouse”, but she became famous following her portrayal of the lead character Betty Anderson in the hit family comedy “Father Knows Best”, which Ed James created, and which also starred Robert Young and Lauren Chapin. It follows the lives of family man Jim Anderson, his wife Margaret and their children Kathy, Bud and Betty – the series aired from 1954 through 1960 and won nine of its 27 award nominations.

What marked the ‘60s for Elinor was starring as Joan Randall in all the 26 episodes of the comedy “Many Happy Returns”, created by Parke Levy, and which also starred John McGiver and Mark Goddard; it follows the life of department store manager Walter Burnley. The remainder of the decade saw her appear in single episodes of the western “A Man Called Shenandoah”, the comedy “Occasional Wife” and the science fiction adventure “Star Trek”.

From 1972 through 1975, Elinor played the supporting character Miriam Welby in the hit comedy “The Odd Couple”, which Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson created, and which starred Tony Randall, Jack Klugman and Al Molinaro. It follows two men who’ve both separated from their wives, and now have to live together; the series won six of its 20 award nominations.

The ‘80s saw Elinor appear in an episode or two of various series, including the family adventure “Fantasy Island”, the action comedy “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the comedy “Newhart”.

From 1992 through 1997, she voiced Mom in the animated adventure comedy “Eek! The Cat”, created by Savage Steve Holland and Bill Kopp, who also starred in it; it follows the life of anthropomorphic purple cat Eek – the series won one of its four award nominations.

Elinor appeared in only one more TV series prior to retiring, portraying Esther ‘Legs’ Davis in the 2005 episode “Colors” of the crime mystery “Cold Case”; she returned for a single role in 2010, when invited to play Judge Marie Anderson in five episodes of the long-running soap opera “The Young and the Restless”.

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Other credits

Elinor sang songs in five movies and TV series, including two songs in the 1948 romantic comedy film “Three Daring Daughters”, the song “Mack the Knife” in the 1990 episode “The Sitting” of the fantasy comedy series “Get a Life”, and the song “Skip To My Lou” in the 1991 fantasy horror movie “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare”.

Some of her final talk-show appearances were in “The Interviews: An Oral History of Television”, “Make or Break TV”, and “Entertainment Tonight”.

Awards and nominations

Elinor won a 2004 TV Land Legend Award, for her performance in “The Andy Griffith Show”. She was also nominated for a 1959 Primetime Emmy for Best Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Comedy Series, for her performance in “Father Knows Best”.

Life after acting

Elinor chose to stay away from the media’s attention following her retirement, and has since been focused on spending time with her third husband, Lou Genevrino, and her four children.

She occasionally gives interviews, and besides in “The Young and the Restless”, has also returned from retirement to play Mrs Chumley in the 2015 production of “Harvey”.

Love life and marriages

Elinor’s married thrice. Her first husband was non-celebrity American Richard Smith, whom she married on 11 June 1955 – their divorce was finalized on 11 August 1961.

Elinor married the late American screenwriter and producer Harry Ackerman on 8 June 1962; he produced 45 TV series and movies, and is probably still remembered best for producing 82 episodes of the fantasy comedy series “The Flying Nun”, which aired from 1967 through 1970, and won one of its four award nominations. Elinor and Harry have four sons together: Brian, Peter, James and Chris; Chris is probably the most popular amongst them, and is perhaps still known best for playing Tattoo in the popular 2005 action crime adventure movie “Elektra”.

Elinor and Harry’s marriage ended when he died on 3 February 1991, aged 78 (he was 24 years her senior).

Since 4 January 1992, Elinor’s been married to her third husband, American non-celebrity Louis Gerard ‘Lou’ Genevrino.

She also has two step-children Stephen Ackerman and Susan Peterson.

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Interesting facts and hobbies

Jonathan Lore’s song “Ellie’s Smile” was dedicated to Elinor, and references her career.

When she began starring in the sitcom “Father Knows Best”, it received poor ratings and was canceled in March 1955; numerous people protested, asking for the series to return, and after it did, it became a hit.

Elinor’s acting mentor was the late American actor and producer Robert Young, who died aged 91 in 1998.

Elinor’s only a day older than American actor and screenwriter George Takei, alongside whom she appeared in the 1967 action science fiction adventure series “Metamorphosis”.

Her favorite actress is Adrienne Hayes, while some of her favorite movies include the 1962 drama “Patty”, the 1973 crime mystery “Electra Glide in Blue”, and the 1977 thriller “Billy Jack Goes to Washington”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Elinor’s age is 86. She has brown eyes and grey hair, is 5ft 4ins (1.63m) tall and weighs around 115lbs (52kgs).

Elinor’s net worth’s been estimated at over $3 million, as of April 2023.

As the Managing Editor at The Legit, I direct a dynamic team dedicated to creating rich content that profiles the lives and accomplishments of influential figures. My commitment to detail and storytelling drives the production of biographies that truly engage our audience. I manage all aspects of the editorial process, from conducting thorough research to crafting vivid narratives, all while ensuring the accuracy and quality of our work. At The Legit, our goal is to offer our readers comprehensive profiles that provide deep insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Through diligent research and engaging storytelling, we highlight the exceptional journeys and achievements of those who both inspire and intrigue us.

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Actors

About Alan Ritchson from Aquaman: Height, Weight, Net Worth

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Who is Alan Ritchson?

American actor, singer-songwriter and model Alan Michael Ritchson, was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota USA, on 28 November 1982, making Sagittarius his zodiac sign. He’s had roles in close to 50 TV series and movies, but is probably known best for playing Raphael in the 2014 action adventure comedy movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, which Jonathan Liebesman directed, and which starred William Fichtner, Will Arnett and Megan Fox. It follows four mutated turtle warriors as they’re defending New York City from a kingpin, and the movie won one of its 12 award nominations.

Education and early life

Alan and his two brothers were raised in Grand Forks by their father David Ritchson who’s a retired US Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, and mother Vickie Ritchson who was a high school teacher.

Alan and his family moved to Rantoul, Illinois before he turned eight, and then to Niceville, Florida when he was 10. He was interested in both music and acting while attending Niceville High School, from which he matriculated in 2001; Alan was then offered a full music scholarship, but instead chose to enroll at Okaloosa Walton Community College (today Northwest Florida State College), graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2004.

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Roles in TV series

Alan’s debut TV series role was voicing Chris in the 2006 episode “Save the Crane” of the animated family adventure “Wonder Pets!”, and his following role came in 2009, when cast to play a supporting character in the episode “Tying the… Not” of the comedy “Head Case”.

He gained recognition in 2010, when cast to star as Thad Castle in the hit sports comedy “Blue Mountain State”, created by Eric Falconer, and which also starred Darin Brooks and Chris Romano; it follows the lives of three aspiring football players who’ve just enrolled at college. Alan could then have been seen appearing in an episode of the comedy “Fred: The Show”, the crime action “Hawaii Five-0”, and the comedy “Don’t Talk in the Kitchen Presents”.

In 2017, Alan portrayed the lead character Arthur Bailey in all the 13 episodes of the action adventure comedy “Blood Drive”, created by James Roland, and which also starred Christina Ochoa and Thomas Dominique. Set in an alternate dystopian Earth in 1999, the series follows a former police officer who’s to take part in a death race, in which cars use human blood as fuel; the series was nominated for only a single award. Alan was then cast to make guest appearances in an episode of the crime comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, the action adventure “Supergirl”, and the action adventure “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”.

From 2018 through 2021, he portrayed Hank Hall in the critically acclaimed crime action adventure “Titans”, which Akiva Goldsman and Greg Berlanti created, and which today stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Dop and Ryan Potter. It follows the lives of several young superheroes, the series has been airing since 2018, and has won four of its 17 award nominations.

Since 2022, Alan’s been starring as Jack Reacher in the crime action “Reacher”, which has been nominated for four awards.

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Roles in movies

Alan’s debut film role was playing Army Officer in the 2006 drama “Though None Go with Me”, while some of his following appearances were in the 2006 horror thriller “The Butcher”, the 2007 drama “Steam”, and the 2008 animated action adventure “Justice League: The New Frontier”, in which he voiced Aquaman.

The year 2009 saw Alan play Bruce in the popular sports comedy “Fired Up!”, which Will Gluck wrote and directed, and which starred Sarah Roemer, Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen. It follows the lives of two teenagers who’ve chosen to attend a cheerleader camp instead of football camp – the film won only a single award.

Alan’s following notable performance was playing Gloss in the critically acclaimed 2013 action science fiction adventure “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, which Francis Lawrence directed, and which starred Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence. It follows Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen who’ve just won the 74th Hunger Games, and have thus become targets of the Capitol; the movie won 22 of its 90 award nominations. A couple of Alan’s following roles were in the 2014 short comedy “Alpha Chow”, and in 2015 the comedy “The Wedding Ringer” and the action science fiction comedy “Lazer Team”.

The year 2019 saw him play the lead character Shayne in the romantic fantasy “Above the Shadows”, written and directed by Claudia Myers, and which also starred Olivia Thirlby and Jim Gaffigan. The movie follows a young woman who’s begun fading, and can now be seen by only a single man; the movie won six of its eight award nominations.

Alan’s since appeared in three more movies: the 2019 comedy “The Turkey Bowl”, the 2020 fantasy horror thriller “Ghosts of War”, and the 2021 action thriller comedy “Dark Web: Cicada 3301”.

Other credits

Alan produced and directed both the 2017 short family adventure movie “Tree House Time Machine”, and the 2021 action thriller comedy movie “Dark Web: Cicada 3301”; he’s also the producer and director of the upcoming horror film “Bad Seeds of Loving Spring”.

Some of his recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Talk”, “Celebrity Page” and “All About”.

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Awards and nominations

Alan won a 2015 Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast, for his and his colleagues’ performance in “The Grenade”, a 2017 Best Shorts Competition Award of Merit, for “Tree House Time Machine” and a 2019 Pitch to Screen Film Award for Best Actor, for “Above the Shadows”.

Love life and marriage

Alan avoids sharing the details of his love life with the public, but it’s widely known that he and American screenwriter and producer Catherine Ritchson have been married since May 2006.

Catherine helped Alan produce the 2017 movie “Tree House Time Machine”, and has received special thanks for the 2006 episode “Save the Crane” of the animated family adventure series “Wonder Pets!” and three episodes of the 2019 comedy series “Spellagram”. She and Alan have three children together, but they’re keeping them away from the media’s attention, thus their names and birthdates haven’t been disclosed.

Alan’s yet to speak about other women whom he’s perhaps dated, he’s married to Catherine Ritchson as of April 2023, and they have three children together.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CqYFAONt8WB/

Interesting facts and hobbies

In 2022, Alan revealed that he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He’s a devout Catholic, and goes to church nearly every week.

Alan’s passionate about music, and released his debut (and so far only) album “This Is Next Time” in 2005; he once audition for the music show “American Idol”, but was rejected.

He was featured in a Russian commercial for Orbit gum.

Alan auditioned for the role of Thor in the Marvel Universe, which eventually went to Chris Hemsworth.

He tried alcohol for the first time at his 21st birthday, having a glass of wine with his parents.

Both of Alan’s parents served in the US Army, which is why he’s today a supporter of the charity organization Heart and Armor Foundation for Veterans’ Health.

Alan’s favorite actor is the late Heath Ledger, while some of his favorite movies include “A Knight’s Tale”, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and “The Dark Knight”.

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Height, eyes and wealth

Alan’s age is 40. He has brown eyes and hair, is 6ft 3ins (1.91m) tall and weighs around 210lbs (95kgs).

Alan’s net worth’s been estimated at over $6 million, as of April 2023.

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Actors

What happened to Debra Winger? What is she doing now?

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Who is Debra Winger?

American actress Debra Lynn Winger was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio USA, on 16 May 1955, making Taurus her zodiac sign. She’s appeared in 48 TV series and movies, and is perhaps still known best for portraying the main character Emma Horton in the 1983 comedy movie “Terms of Endearment”, written and directed by James L. Brooks, and which also starred Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson. It follows Aurora who’s searching for the man of her dreams, and the movie won 32 of its 50 award nominations, including five Oscar wins, some of which for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Debra’s still today active in the movie industry, and is currently working on several upcoming projects.

Education and early life

Debra was raised in Cleveland Heights by her mother Ruth (nee Felder) who was an office manager, and father Robert Winger who was a meat packer.

Debra spent a lot of time in Israel while growing up, volunteering on a kibbutz; she also said in an interview that she’d joined the Israel Defense Forces, but in 2008 denied her own statement. She was 18 when she returned to the US and was involved in a car crash, which left her blind and partially paralyzed for nearly a year; Debra was told she might never see again, and decided that if she were to recover, she would move to Los Angeles, California and pursue acting.

She studied at James Monroe High School, matriculating in 1973.

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Roles in movies

Debra’s debut film role was playing Debbie, one of the main characters in the 1976 comedy “Slumber Party ‘57”, written and directed by William A. Levey, and which also starred Janet Wood and Noelle North; it follows six members of a high school female basketball team, who’ve organized a party during which they will speak about their first sexual encounter. The remainder of the ’70s saw Debra appear in the sports drama “Special Olympics” and the musical comedy “Thank God It’s Friday” both in 1978,  and the 1979 romantic comedy “French Postcards”.

She made an uncredited appearance in the evergreen 1982 adventure family science fiction “E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, and the same year saw her play the main character Paula Pokrifki in the hit romantic drama “An Officer a and a Gentleman”, which Taylor Hackford directed, and which also starred David Keith and Richard Gere. It follows a man who’s trying to graduate from the Navy Officer Candidate School, and the movie won nine of its 22 award nominations, including two Oscar wins for Best Music, Original Song and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Louis Gossett Jr). Debra could then have been seen appearing in the 1984 mystery thriller “Mike’s Murder”, the 1987 crime thriller “Black Widow”, and the 1988 crime thriller “Betrayed”.

Debra had a couple of film roles in the ‘90s – the most popular amongst these was perhaps the 1993 biographical romantic drama “Shadowlands”, in which she starred alongside Anthony Hopkins and Julian Fellowes, and which was directed by Richard Attenborough. It follows the life of Christian theologian C. S. Lewis, and the movie won seven of its 21 award nominations, including Oscar nominations for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Debra).

Some of Debra’s most notable performances in the 2000s were perhaps in the 2003 biographical sports drama “Radio”, the 2005 drama “Dawn Anna”, and the 2008 romantic drama “Rachel Getting Married”.

Her three most recent film roles have been in the 2017 romantic comedy “The Lovers”, the 2020 crime comedy “Kajillionaire”, and the 2021 drama “With/In: Volume 2”.

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Roles in TV series

Debra’s debut TV series role was playing Drusilla, aka Wonder Girl in three episodes of the 1976 action fantasy adventure “Wonder Woman”, and the remainder of the decade saw her appear in single episodes of the comedy “Szysznyk”, the crime action “Police Woman”, and the drama “James at 16”.

She had no roles in TV series in the ‘80s, and her next came in 1992, when cast to play the title role in the episode “A Day With Debra” of the animated adventure comedy “Sesame Street”. Debra once again had no TV series roles for several years, until cast to play Principal Woodside in the 2010 episode “Boy on Fire” of the crime mystery “Law & Order”.

In the same year, she portrayed Frances Greer in seven episodes of the critically acclaimed drama “In Treatment”, created by Rodrigo Garcia and Hagai Levi, and which starred Gabriel Byrne, Uzo Aduba and Dianne Wiest. It follows a psychotherapist who’s begun seeing his old therapist, the series aired from 2008 through 2021, and won eight of its 61 award nominations.

From 2016 through 2020, Debra played Maggie Bennett in the popular western comedy “The Ranch”, created by Jim Patterson and Don Reo, and which also starred Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott and Grady Lee Richmond; the series follows a professional Football Player who’s returned home to help run the family ranch; the series won three of its eight award nominations.

Debra’s since appeared in two more TV series, playing Trish McSapphire in six episodes of the 2021 crime comedy “Ultra City Smiths”, and Ruth Corman in four episodes of the 2021 comedy “Mr. Corman”.

Other credits

Debra worked as a creative consultant on the 2010 documentary movie “GasLand”.

She produced the 2001 romantic comedy movie “Big Bad Love” and the 2012 biographical documentary film “Bel Borba Aqui”.

Some of Debra’s recent talk-show appearances have been in “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen”, “The Comedy Store” and “Hollywood Insider”.

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Awards and nominations

Debra’s won five of her 33 award nominations, including her three Oscar nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1983, 1984 and 1994, for her performance in “An Officer and a Gentleman”, “Terms of Endearment” and “Shadowlands”, respectively.

Some of her wins include a 1983 ShoWest Award for Female Star of the Year, a 1984 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, for “Terms of Endearment”, and a 1994 Tokyo International Film Festival Award for Best Actress, for “A Dangerous Woman”.

Love life and relationships

Debra’s married twice, and has been in several relationships.

She and American actor Andrew Rubin were in a relationship from 1977 through 1980, and she was then in a relationship with American politician Joseph Robert ‘Bob’ Kerrey from 1983 through 1985 – at that time, Bob was the governor of Nebraska. Debra then dated American actor Nick Nolte, who starred alongside her in the movies “Everybody Wins” and “Cannery Row”.

She married famous American actor and director Timothy Tarquin Hutton in a large ceremony in 1986, and Debra gave birth to their son Noah Hutton on 29 April 1987, but she and Timothy divorced in 1990.

Since 1996, she’s been married to her second husband, American actor, screenwriter and director Leslie Richard ‘Arliss’ Howard. Debra gave birth to their son Gideon Babe Ruth Howard on 15 June 1997, while Leslie also has a son with his former wife.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Debra was invited to portray the lead character in the 1981 action adventure movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, but declined, and the role went to Karen Allen, who starred alongside Harrison Ford in the movie which went on to become one of the highest grossing of all time. She was then also offered a starring role in the 1986 fantasy comedy movie “Peggy Sue Got Married”, but had to reject the offer because she had suffered an injury while cycling; the film also became a hit.

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The main character in the 1987 romantic comedy movie “Broadcast News” was written specifically for Debra, however, she was pregnant and didn’t want to act; the character was thus portrayed by Holly Hunter, and she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.

Her son Noah’s married to American actress, producer and director Taylor Hess.

Debra’s favorite actress is Bette Davis, while some of her favorite movies include “The Whales of August”, “A Piano for Mrs Cimino”, and “Right of Way”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Debra’s age is 67. Her eyes are blue and hair is brown, she’s 5ft 4ins (1.63m) tall and weighs around 120lbs (55kgs).

Debra’s net worth’s been estimated at over $8 million, as of April 2023.

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Actors

How Dan Blocker Became Hoss Cartwright: Cause Of Death

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Who was Dan Blocker?

The late American actor and Korean War veteran Bobby Dan Davis Blocker, was born in De Kalb, Texas USA, on 10 December 1928, meaning that Sagittarius was his zodiac sign. He appeared in 43 TV series and movies, and is probably still remembered best for playing the lead character Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright in the critically acclaimed western series “Bonanza”, created by Fred Hamilton and David Dortort, and which also starred Michael Landon and Lorne Greene. The series follows the lives of ranchers Ben Cartwright and his sons, it aired from 1959 through 1973, and won nine of its 25 award nominations.

People fell in love with Dan’s character, and then began recognizing him as Hoss Cartwright rather than by his real name.

Education and early life

Dan and his sister Ora Virginia Blocker were raised in De Kalb by their mother Mary Arizona (nee Davis) and father Ora ‘Shack’ Blocker; Dan rarely spoke about his family in public, because he respected their privacy.

He wasn’t interested in acting while growing up, but was rather into playing football. Dan studied at Texas Military Institute, and upon matriculating in 1946 enrolled at Hardin-Simmons University on a football scholarship. Dan transferred to Sul Ross State Teacher’s College a year later, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1950; he earned his Master’s degree in dramatic arts following his honorable discharge from the US Army.

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Before acting

Dan financially supported himself by working as a bouncer and a rodeo performer while attending college.

He was drafted into the US Army upon graduation, completed his training at Folk Polk, and served as an infantry sergeant during the Korean War from December 1951 through August 1952; Dan was wounded in combat, and thus received a Purple Heart medal, and seven other medals, including the Combat Infantryman Badge, Korean War Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

Upon his return from Korea, Dan taught English language at a high school in 1953 and 1954, then taught drama at Eddy Elementary School; he and his wife moved to Los Angeles, California after Dan had won his first acting roles.

Roles in movies

Dan made his debut film appearance in the 1955 short crime comedy “Hook a Crook”, while some of his following roles were in the crime drama “The Girl in Black Stockings”, the western “Black Patch”, and the action crime adventure “Gunsight Ridge”, all released in 1957.

In 1959, he portrayed Oil Field Roughneck in the crime drama “The Young Captives”, directed by Irvin Kershner, and which starred Steven Marlo, Luana Patten and Tom Selden; it follows a psychopathic killer who’s holding a newlywed couple captive. In 1961, Dan made a cameo appearance as Hoss Cartwright in the family comedy “The Errand Boy”, and the year 1963 saw him portray Mr. Eckman in the musical comedy “Come Blow Your Horn”.

In 1968, he played Waldo Gronsky in the crime drama “Lady in Cement”, directed by Gordon Douglas, and which starred Frank Sinatra, Raquel Welch and Richard Conte; it follows detective Tony Rome who’s found a woman’s body while diving in the ocean.

Dan’s final three film roles were in the 1968 western “Something for a Lonely Man”, the 1970 western comedy “The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County”, and the historical family comedy “Swing Out, Sweet Land” in the same year.

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Roles in TV series

Dan’s debut TV series role was playing Bartender in the 1957 episode “Grandfather Grandson” of the crime western “The Sheriff of Cochise”, and the remainder of the decade saw him appear in an episode of various series, including the action western “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon”, the western “Colt .45”, and the mystery comedy “The Thin Man”.

In 1958 and 1959, he portrayed Tiny Budinger in 15 episodes of the western “Cimarron City”, which starred George Montgomery, John Smith and Audrey Totter, and follows the lives of Sheriff Temple and city mayor Matthew Rockford.

Aside from “Bonanza!”, Dan had only a single TV series role in the ‘60s, portraying Horace Hewitt in the 1964 episode “The Hottest Game in Town” of the comedy “Valentine’s Day”.

His final three TV series roles were in an episode of the comedy “Pat Paulsen’s Half a Comedy Hour”, an episode of the musical “The Tim Conway Comedy Hour” and the episode “The Dan Blocker Show” of the comedy “The Red Skelton Hour”, all in 1970.

Other credits

Dan sang the song “Folsom Prison Blues” in a 1969 episode of the musical series “The Johnny Cash Show”, and the song “Ich bin der Hoss” in the 1971 episode “Bayernhalle in Munchen” of the game-show “Drei Mal Neun”.

He received special thanks (posthumously) for the 1973 crime comedy movie “The Long Goodbye”, which won two of its three award nominations.

Dan’s final talk-show appearances were in “V. I. P. – Schaukel”, “The Merv Griffin Show” and “Flip”.

Awards and nominations

Dan won a 1969 Bambi Award for TV Series International and a 1970 Western Heritage Bronze Wrangler Award for Fictional Television Drama, both for his performance in “Bonanza!”.

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Love life and wife

Dan met non-celebrity American Dolphia Parker while they were both attending Sul Ross State University, and they married in 1952.

Dolphia gave birth to their twin daughters Debra Lee and Danna Lynn on 8 August 1954, and to their first son David Blocker on 4 May 1955; David’s today a movie producer. She gave birth to their second son Dennis Dirk Blocker on 31 July 1957, and he’s followed in his father’s footsteps and has become an actor, and is perhaps known best for portraying pilot Jerry Bragg in the war series “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, which aired from 1976 through 1978.

Dan didn’t speak about other women whom he’d dated, he was married to Dolphia Parker at the time of his death, and they had four children together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

The series “Bonanza” continued for one more season after Dan’s death, but was ‘by far the least popular season’.

He was a Free Methodist.

Dan was a liberal Democrat, and supported Pat Brown’s 1966 re-election campaign for governor of California.

He was a fan of performance cars, and was the owner of a 1965 Huffaker Genie MK10 and a 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle.

Dan’s mother, father and sister were buried next to him at Woodmen Cemetery in De Kalb, Texas.

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Death, appearance and wealth

Dan was 43 when he died on 13 May 1972; he had suffered a pulmonary embolism which required gallbladder surgery, but a blood clot developed in his lung, causing his death. He had brown eyes and hair, was 6ft 4ins (1.93m) tall and weighed around 300lbs (140kgs).

Dan’s net worth, at the time of his death, was estimated at over $5 million.

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