Janet Landgard Dies: ‘The Donna Reed Show’ Regular And ‘The Swimmer’ Co-star Was 75

Janet Landgard, who played Paul Petersen’s love interest for three seasons on The Donna Reed Show and later costarred with Burt Lancaster in film drama The Swimmer, died Nov. 6 at age 75 of brain cancer, according to several friends on social media.

On Facebook, actor Petersen called her “The best TV girlfriend my alternate ego, Jeff Stone, ever had. Janet was gorgeous, inside and out … a flawless Scandinavian beauty that literally stunned jaded Hollywood types into silence. We were always close no matter the time or distance.”

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Born on Dec. 2, 1947, Landgard was raised in Pasadena and worked for the William Adrian Modeling Agency. She made her onscreen debut in 1963 on The Donna Reed Show while still in high school, playing a girl named Sabrina on a fifth-season episode. She also appeared on ABC’s My Three Sons that year.

That led to a recurring role as Petersen’s girlfriend, Karen, on 11 installments of The Donna Reed Show.

In the 1968 Columbia Pictures drama The Swimmer, Landgard played a former babysitter to Burt Lancaster’s character, Ned Merrill. She accompanies him on a tour of swimming pools, but flees when he tries to get too intimate.

After that, Langard appeared in Land Raiders (1969), starring Telly Savalas, George Maharis and Arlene Dahl; in the 1971 ABC telefilm The Deadly Dream, starring Lloyd Bridges and Janet Leigh; and in Moonchild (1972), starring Victor Buono.

She left acting after that.

No information on survivors or memorial plans was immediately available.

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