Donna Martell

  1. Gail Davis, Annie Oakley, TV,  1954-1957.    Little Miss Modest…  “Like so many other girls at the time, I had looks that stopped traffic,”  she told B-Western expert Mike Fitzgerald. “It was all so easy for me.  I had options at Warner Bros, 20th and MGM – but wanted Universal. They had a star system – lots of classes, publicity. I thought I would do better there. After two years, they refused to loan me out. TV was coming in. I knew that was the way of the future, so I left and did all the major shows. I was up Annie, but Gene Autry’s agent wanted me under contract. I said: No. Stayed with my agent – and lost the show to Gail.”
  2. Helene Stanley, Davy Crockett Indian Fighter,  TV, 1954-1955.    “I had to refuse the role – my third pregnancy.”  Donna was up for the hero’s wife in the first two episodes of Walt Disney’s biggest TV error… He shot Davy Crockett At The The Alamo far too soon. “If I’d known the success that Davy Crockett was going to have I wouldn’t have killed him off in the third TV episode.” He re-edited the trio s into one cinema release,  shot two flashback episodes –  and tried it all over in 1989. Another error. Tim Dunigan was no Fess Parker.
  3. Shirley MacLaine, Around the World in 80 Days, 1955.      “Mike Todd flipped over me. We had lunch one day – but I was pregnant with my first child, so Shirley got the part.  Mike Todd was a little dynamo, I can see why Elizabeth Taylor fell for him.”  For all her losses, Donna managed 71 gigs in 37 years. 

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  3