“Family members say Donna Douglas passed away at the age of 81,” according to a report on the website of Raycom’s WAFB in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The story adds, “Douglas was an actress, best known for her role as Elly May Clampett, the only daughter of Jed Clampett, in the CBS television series ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’”
The story continues, “Charlene Smith, Douglas’ niece and former mayor of Zachary, says her aunt passed away Thursday, Jan. 1 in her Zachary, Louisiana, home, with family members by her side. She says pancreatic cancer was the cause of death.”
Douglas was born in Pride, Louisiana.
Says The Hollywood Reporter, “Douglas also co-starred opposite Elvis Presley in the 1966 film ‘Frankie and Johnny’ (she was Frankie, like Elvis playing a performer on a Mississippi River riverboat) and stood out as the hospitalized woman underneath the bandages in the memorable 1960 Twilight Zone episode ‘The Eye of the Beholder.’
According to “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows,” by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, “‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ was an instantaneous hit, and during its first two seasons ranked as the number-one program on television, attracting as many as 60 million viewers a week. It entertained audiences for nine years in prime time but was finally canceled because its ratings declined gradually and its audience was too heavily concentrated in rural areas to suit Madison Avenue advertisers.”
Brooks and Marsh add that CBS aired reruns of the show “weekday mornings from September 1966 to September 1972.”
From YouTube, the famous theme song of “The Beverly Hillbillies”: