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article imageBeverly Hillbillies star dead at age 81

By KJ Mullins     Jan 2, 2015 in Entertainment
Zachary - The actress who played Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies has died at the age of 81. Donna Douglas played the beautiful but dim-witted daughter of Jed Clampett on the long running television show.
Donna Douglas died surrounded by her family at home in Zachary, Louisiana on Thursday morning at the age of 81.
Douglas was born in Pride, Louisiana in 1933 to Emmett Ratcliff Smith, Sr. and his wife Elma. In 1949 she married Roland Bourgeois. The couple divorced in 1954 after the birth of their son Danny. She married Robert M. Leeds, the director of her hit TV series, in 1971. The couple divorced in 1980.
Douglas was named Miss New Orleans in 1957, the same year she moved to New York City. She quickly found work on the The Perry Como Show and The Steve Allen Show. A staple on the television scene Douglas hit it big when she landed the role of Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies. The Beverly Hillbillies aired from 1962 until 1971. The role defined her Hollywood career and she enjoyed fan based venues where she would reprise the character.
In 1966 Douglas played Frankie in the Elvis Presley film Frankie and Johnny. It was her only foray into the big screen.
After the Beverly Hillbillies went off the air Douglas performed as a gospel singer, appearing across the United States. She also wrote several religious books for children and spoke at churches about her views on faith.
Douglas is survived by her son and grandchildren.
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