Donna Douglas, ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Star, Dead at 81 (Report)

Actress played Elly May Clampett on classic sitcom

Last Updated: January 2, 2015 @ 12:34 PM

Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett on the CBS sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies,” died Friday, NBC affiliate WAFB reports. She was 81.

TMZ reports that Douglas died at her home in Louisiana, surrounded by friends and family.

Born Doris Smith in Louisiana in 1933,  Douglas appeared on “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Perry Como Show” before rising to notoriety on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” the comedy about a rural family who moved to Beverly Hills after patriarch Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) struck oil.

Douglas’ agent has not yet responded to TheWrap‘s request for comment.

The series, which aired from 1962 to 1971, also starred Max Baer, Jr., Irene Ryan and Nancy Kulp.

Following “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Douglas found a second career as a gospel singer, recording a number of gospel albums. In addition to her acting and singing careers, Douglas was also an author, writing the book “Donna’s Critters & Kids: Children’s Stories With a Bible Touch.” A second book, “Miss Donna’s Mulberry Acres Farm,” followed in 2011.

In 2011, Douglas sued CBS Consumer Products and Mattel, claiming that her name and likeness were used for a Barbie doll without her permission. That suit was settled in December 2011.

Douglas was married twice, with her first marriage to Roland John Bourgeois, Jr. lasting from 1949 to 1954 and her second to “Beverly Hillbillies” director Robert M. Leeds, lasting from 1971 to 1980. Her marriage to Bourgeois resulted in the birth of her only child, son Danny P. Bourgeois.


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