Janet Landgard, Star of ‘The Donna Reed Show,’ Dies at 75

Janet Landgard, who starred in “The Donna Reed Show” and “The Swimmer,” has died at the age of 75 shortly after a fatal brain cancer diagnosis.

Actor Paul Petersen, who she played opposite of on “Donna Reed,” posted about Landgard’s death on Facebook.

“She never told me how gravely ill she was from the cancer that took her life earlier this week,” Petersen wrote of Langard. “Typical behavior from the best TV girlfriend my alternate ego, Jeff Stone, ever had on the last three years of ‘The Donna Reed Show.'”

“Janet was gorgeous, inside and out … a flawless Scandinavian beauty that literally stunned jaded Hollywood types into silence,” he continued. “‘Easy on the eyes’ doesn’t begin to describe her. We were always close no matter the time or distance. She gave me a share in her racehorse, Pioneer Prince, who didn’t run well in his last race. Nov. 3 at Santa Anita where he broke well but faded down the stretch.

“And doesn’t that describe all of us,” he concluded. “You will always be with me, Janet … In my heart, and on that television signal spreading out through the universe. Not a bad way to transition!”

Landgard was born on Dec. 2, 1947, and grew up in Pasadena, California. She began her career at the William Adrian Modeling Agency and made her television debut when she was cast on “The Donna Reed Show” while still in high school.

She first joined the show for one episode in its fifth season as a girl named Sabrina but later returned to play Jeff’s girlfriend Karen for 11 episodes.

Landgard was cast in “The Swimmer” alongside Burt Lancaster in 1968. Her additional film credits included “Land Raiders” (1969) and “Moonchild” (1972).

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