Donna Douglas of The Beverly Hillbillies Dead at 81
Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” is dead. The actress died in her Louisiana home on Thursday at the age of 81, her granddaughter has confirmed. An official cause of death has not been disclosed.
Douglas starred on the hit sitcom for nine seasons, from 1962 to 1971. She returned for the 1981 television movie Return of the Beverly Hillbillies. Elly May, a gorgeous tomboy out of step as a redneck transplant to California, became an iconic 1960s TV character. The actress also appeared in shows like “The Twilight Zone,” “Mister Ed” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” Douglas also starred as Elvis Presley’s leading lady in the 1966 movie Frankie and Johnny.
In 1993, Douglas filed a $200 million lawsuit against Disney, Whoopi Goldberg and Bette Midler, claiming they’d stolen the idea for the movie Sister Act from a screenplay she’d co-written. Disney won. In 2011, Douglas filed another major lawsuit, claiming Mattel had used her “Beverly Hillbillies” character’s name and likeness for a Barbie doll without her permission. That suit was settled for an undisclosed amount.