"The Beverly Hillbillies" star Donna Douglas died, her daughter-in-law confirmed to ABC News today.
She was 81.
Douglas, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had roles in TV shows including "The Twilight Zone," "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" and "Route 66." But she was best known for playing Elly May Clampett for nine seasons of the CBS sitcom, which she once said had "wonderful values."
"Elly May was like a slice out of my life. She is a wonderful little door opener for me because people love her, and they love the 'Hillbillies,'" she told Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict. "People ask me if I got tired of it. I didn’t. It was a joy doing it. It was really a blessing to me, and it was like you were being a blessing to people. You leave something good with people, on the screen or otherwise."
Douglas sued Mattel in 2011 for using her photo on an Elly May Barbie doll. They reportedly settled for undisclosed terms.
After the show ended in 1971, Douglas told the blog she wanted to focus on "family-type things," which led her to country singing and gospel singing. She also put out cookbooks and spoke at churches near her home in Louisiana.
"I wish I had more time to talk with people but you don’t have much time. But that was my time of giving back," she told Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict. "That has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life."
Douglas is survived by a son, Danny Bourgeois.