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A Star was Born

Donna Reed studio photo (State Historical Society of Iowa)

It's a centennial celebration.

When the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of Donna Reed’s birthday, on Jan. 27, different generations will remember the actress differently. To the Greatest Generation, she was a sweetheart. To Baby Boomers, a mother. To many Millennials, she was a benefactor, thanks to her namesake foundation that has helped launch hundreds of careers in the performing arts.

And to Iowans, she was always one of us.

This year, her home state plans to honor her life (1921–1986) and enduring legacy with a virtual tribute on her birthday, commemorative displays at the Donna Reed Heritage Museum in her native Denison and the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines, and more events at the end of the year, when her most popular movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” marks its 75th anniversary.


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