Elly Mae Clampett, otherwise known as The Beverly Hillbillies star Donna Douglas, is dead at 81. The 1960s television icon passed away on Thursday in her Louisiana home, according to statements from her granddaughter to TMZ. Douglas was surrounded by family and friends as she died.
Donna Douglas played the character of Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies for all nine seasons of the show, and returned to the role in 1981 for a TV movie based on the series.
Douglas’ other film and television credits include playing alongside Elvis Presley in Frankie and Johnny, appearances on The Twilight Zone, Mister Ed, Adam 12, Route 66, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
The Elly Mae Clampett actress was born in Pride, Louisiana, in 1933. Prior to her passing, she resided in Zachary, Louisiana. The Beverly Hillbillies star attended St. Gerard High School, a Catholic School, where she played both basketball and softball. Douglas was a member of the school’s first graduating class. She once earned the title of Miss Baton Rouge, and later went on to be named Miss New Orleans in 1957.
In 2011, Donna Douglas sued Mattel for allegedly using both her name and likeness for a Barbie doll without her consent. The lawsuit with the toy manufacturer was settled out of court.
Donna Douglas’ biography on IMDb describes the Beverly Hillbillies Elly Mae Clampett actress this way.
“An honest to goodness Southern Belle, similar to her most famous role, Elly May Clampett on Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Donna Douglas grew up in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area loving “critters.” She got married soon after high school, had a son, divorced and won a couple of beauty contests, all within the span of a few years. She moved to New York and soon appeared on television series, including a well-remembered guest shot on ‘Twilight Zone‘ (1959) in one of the series’ most famous episodes, ‘Eye of the Beholder,’ in which she plays a woman who tries to undergo a series of experimental treatments to make her beautiful, only for the treatments to fail. The twist was she was beautiful, at least to the viewers, but considered hideous to the pig people of her planet.”
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