When I was 7 years old, I developed a crush on a pretty blonde woman who didn't even exist: Elly May Clampett. She was a character on the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. Donna Douglas, the actress who played that role, passed away yesterday at the age of 82.
Douglas was born and raised in Louisiana. She was a teenage beauty queen who left her home state (only to return, years later) for stardom. she was also a farmgirl whose rural skills helped land her a role on The Beverly Hillbillies. The Times-Picayne reports:
Douglas was chosen for the part of Elly May from more than 500 other actresses. She said she felt at ease playing the role because, like her character, she grew up a poor Southern tomboy. The experience came in handy when she was asked during her audition to milk a goat.
"I had milked cows before," she said. "I figured they were equipped the same, so I just went on over and did it."
(Photo: Wdwic Pictures)
Douglas later retired to a home in Baton Rouge. She made occasional appearances that capitalized on her most famous role, often while wearing Elly May's characteristic pigtails and jeans.