Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Donna Douglas, aka 'Beverly Hillbillies'' Elly May Clampett, dies

From left, actors Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Buddy Ebsen appear in a scene from the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies," 1966.

Donna Douglas, who played "The Beverly Hillbillies'" Elly May Clampett and the woman under the bandages on the "Eye of the Beholder" episode of "The Twilight Zone," died New Year's Day, Baton Rouge's WAFB reports, citing family members. She was 81 years old.

Douglas was an iconic pinup for a generation of television viewers, playing Jed Clampett's only daughter on "The Beverly Hillbillies," with the Ozarks oil-striking family heading to live in Beverly Hills. The show was number 1 on CBS for its first two years, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and lasted for nine seasons.

She appeared in several "Twilight Zone" episodes, including appearing in one of the most impactful episodes the show ever produced, "Eye of the Beholder." It told the story of what being traditionally beautiful means in a world slightly different from our own.


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'Gilmore Girls' patriarch Edward Herrmann dies

(L-R) Actors Edward Herrmann, Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop attend the "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" 500th performance celebration at B Smith's Restaurant on Jan. 13, 2011 in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Edward Herrmann, best known as grandfather Richard Gilmore on "Gilmore Girls," has died, the Hollywood Reporter reports, citing his manager. He was 71 and died in a New York hospital following a fight with brain cancer.

Herrmann appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including "The Lost Boys," "Richie Rich," "My Cousin Vinny," "The Wolf of Wall Street," "The Aviator" and the 1970s miniseries "Eleanor and Franklin" He won an Emmy for a guest appearance on "The Practice," was nominated for several other Emmys and recently appeared on "The Good Wife" and "How I Met Your Mother."

Still, those "Gilmore Girls" appearances left an indelible mark on the generation that grew up watching one of the shows that put the CW on the map. He played the proper but deeply kind Richard Gilmore for seven seasons, with many storylines focused around his three loves: business, Yale and his family.


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New Year's Eve: Netflix offers to help parents trick kids into going to bed early

King Julien in "King Julien New Year's Eve Countdown."

Netflix announced a New Year's Eve special for kids, designed to let parents give their kids an early, family-friendly countdown — while also promoting their new DreamWorks series, "All Hail King Julien."

In a press release, Netflix offers a message to parents: "We won't tell your little party people it's not midnight if you don't." Netflix cites a survey they had conducted by Wakefield Research saying that 34 percent of parents either have or are planning to trick their kids into thinking it's midnight early so they can put them to bed earlier, while catching some extra sleep themselves.

The Netflix special is a fast one — at just three minutes, it consists of a dance song about the titular DreamWorks character, King Julien of the "Madagascar" franchise, ending with a 2015 10-second countdown. Still, for parents looking for a fun way to get New Year's out of their kids' system, it could be a helpful go to for parents.


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Darlene Love's last Letterman 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' performance

A screenshot of Darlene Love and David Letterman touching after her final performance of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on his talk show.
Late Show

Singer Darlene Love sang "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home" for David Letterman one last time Friday night, which she's sung on Letterman's late night shows dating back to when he was on NBC in 1986. Here's her final Letterman performance of the song at the Ed Sullivan Theater, in one of the most epic versions of it ever with strings and falling snow:

Darlene Love's last Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Showing the depth of her history on the Letterman show, "Late Show" released a supercut of Darlene Love earlier in the week delivering the Christmas classic over the years:

Darlene Love "Baby (Please Come Home)" supercut

Love has vowed to retire the song from the talk show circuit, though she also has wanted it to be clear that she's happy to sing it in other settings in the years to come.


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Stevie Wonder to play 'Songs in the Key of Life' at holiday benefit ahead of TV tribute special

Stevie Wonder performs onstage at the City Of Hope Spirit Of Life Gala Honoring Rob Light on Sept. 19, 2013 in Playa Vista.
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for City of Hope

Stevie Wonder is set to play his 19th annual House Full of Toys benefit concert this Saturday, and it includes him playing through the entirety of his classic 1976 album, "Songs in the Key of Life."

Wonder took the album on the road this fall after playing through it at last year's benefit concert, so fans in attendance will have to wait to see if the pop veteran changes up anything from last time around. However, the House Full of Toys benefits have included numerous guest stars in the past, so this may be a more star-studded version of what he's been doing on tour. He may have some extra Wonder sparkle in his step — his ninth child was just born Thursday.

The album has been hugely acclaimed over the years, and 2015 is set to bring more attention to the classic record, with a primetime CBS special paying tribute in February: "Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute." It's going to feature other music stars playing the Wonder catalog, though the lineup has yet to be announced.


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