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Paul Petersen


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Paul Petersen (born William Paul Petersen on September 23, 1945, in Glendale, California) is an American movie actor, singer, novelist, and activist. Primarily known for his character-type roles in the 1960s and 1970s, as an adult Petersen established the organization A Minor Consideration to support child stars and other child laborers through legislation, family education, and personal intervention and counseling for those in crisis.

Petersen achieved fame in the 1960s, at an early age, by playing Donna Reed’s son, Jeff Stone, on The Donna Reed Show. In the early 1980s, he also had a recurring role as a police officer on Matt Houston, and in the late 1990s, he played the author Paul Conway in the film Mother’s Day.

Petersen started out in show business at the age of ten when he became a “Mouseketeer” on the Mickey Mouse Club. He was fired within two weeks for disorderly conduct. He was later quoted as saying, “I didn’t know a kid actor shouldn’t act like a kid.” However, he achieved stardom as a teenage heartthrob on The Donna Reed Show, an ABC family sitcom that ran from 1958 to 1966. He played son Jeff Stone from the time he was twelve until he was twenty. In addition, he learned a great deal from Reed while he was growing up on the television set. Above all, he realized that Donna was his favorite actress to date in his business. Petersen sang his sentimental hit song My Dad to costar Carl Betz, who portrayed Dr. Alex Stone, in a 1962 episode of the series. His other costars were Shelley Fabares and his sister Patty Petersen as well as Bob Crane.


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