, 2022-12-01 00:30:00,
In the early 1980s, Tulsans might have thought they were witnessing a minor holiday miracle when they saw Donna Reed step out of the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and take up residence here. It wasn’t a mirage. The Hollywood movie star, known for her fragile beauty and her Academy Award-winning role in “From Here to Eternity,” was briefly a Tulsa local.
Her husband, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Grover W. Asmus, came to Tulsa in 1979 on a job with Williams Brothers Engineering Co. and Reed came with him. They bought a home in a south Tulsa cul de sac, they attended events at Southern Hills Country Club, she went to lunch with neighborhood women, she worked on her genealogy research. And then, like other wonders, it ended.
Reed and her husband moved back to Beverly Hills around 1982 where she performed until her death in 1986 at age 64. Soon after Asmus founded the Donna Reed Foundation for Performing Arts, which is based in her hometown of Denison, Iowa.
Tulsa had another movie star in residence at that time: Peggy Dow Helmerich, who co-starred with James Stewart in the gentle comedy “Harvey,” had moved to Tulsa when she married oilman Walter H. Helmerich III. In Oklahoma’s sky-is-the-limit philosophy, if one movie star is good, two are even better.
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