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

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
From left, actors Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Buddy Ebsen appear in a scene from the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies," 1966.
AP
From left, actors Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Buddy Ebsen appear in a scene from the television series
Two of the TV hillbillies who struck oil on the show and gold in the ratings, Donna Douglas and Max Baer Jr. go through a bit of horseplay on the set in Hollywood in May 1963. The quick rise of "Beverly Hillbillies" to the top spot in TV ratings left critics with their most acid adjectives hanging. Donna and Max denied they were sex symbols in the series, but critics couldn't figure out how else it won so many fans within a month of starting.
DFS/AP
From left, actors Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Buddy Ebsen appear in a scene from the television series
Television sitcom family the Clampetts, of the series "The Beverly Hillbillies," from left to right, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas and Bea Benaderet, and seated, Buddy Ebsen, July 19, 1962, in Los Angeles.
AP
From left, actors Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Buddy Ebsen appear in a scene from the television series
Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, named best supporting actor for his role in “Lawrence of Arabia,” is congratulated by Donna Douglas at the 20th annual Golden Globes awards of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in Hollywood on March 5, 1963.
Harold P. Matosian/AP
From left, actors Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Buddy Ebsen appear in a scene from the television series
Donna Douglas attends the Salvation Army's Annual Celebrity Bell Ringing Dec. 12, 2001 in Los Angeles.
Sebastian Artz/Getty Images


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.

Douglas didn't provide the voice for her character when she was under the bandages, but was allowed to say one line after being unwrapped. The classic episode has been referenced and parodied numerous times, including on "Saturday Night Live."

Watch the full episode here:

Douglas made $500 a week when "The Beverly Hillbillies" began before eventually making $3,000 a week when it ended.

"I didn’t have an agent, but I don’t know if that would have made any difference," Douglas told the Hollywood Reporter.

Watch "The Beverly Hillbillies" opening with one of the catchiest storytelling songs to open a TV show:

The Beverly Hillbillies opening

Douglas was a Louisiana native, according to WAFB, and a pageant star who claimed the titles of "Miss Baton Rouge" and was named "Miss New Orleans" in 1957.