Donna was a real country girl who grew up on her grandparents' farm in Louisiana, so playing the pretty tomboy Elly May wasn't a stretch.

The daughter of millionaire Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) loved playing with her "critters" and "rasslin'" with  cousin Jethro Bodine (Max Baer, Jr.).

In fact, Elly was a better fighter than her dim-witted cousin. As Jethro liked to say, "There are times when I'd like to whup the tar out of that girl. She's all the time
rasslin' me down, getting a toehold on me."

After Jed struck oil the Clampetts moved to Beverly Hills to turn the beautiful Elly into a proper young lady. Elly's widower father told her, "I was wrong to raise you as a boy. By the time Granny came along you were too wild to tame. You could out-run, out-climb, out-fight and out-shoot every boy in the hills."

"I still can," she reminded him.
Donna never attempted to distance herself from Elly. She made public appearances in her costume of blue jeans with the rope belt, and she reprised the role in the 1981 made-for-TV reunion movie.

"I loved Elly May, she was a slice out of my own life," Donna said. "[The Hillbillies] was a story about the American Dream. No matter who tried to slicker us or take advantage of us, we always came out on top. We were never the losers. We set good examples."
The Clampetts were popular because they never forgot their basic values. Jed was the same man when he was worth $100 million as he was when he had to hunt to put food on the table, and the show was a huge ratings bonanza for CBS. The highest-ever rated half-hour show was a 1964 "Beverly Hillbillies" episode, and several episodes still rank  on the list of most watch TV shows. The series was the No. 1 show in 1962 and 1963, and it was rated in the Top 12 for seven of its nine seasons.

Series creator Paul Henning planned for Jed to have several
daughters, but after seeing Donna in the film "Lover Come Back,"
he changed his mind. "She was a beautiful, beautiful girl," he said.
"Why have a bunch of daughters? One beautiful daughter was
enough." (Henning's "beautiful daughters" series came several
years  later: "Petticoat Junction." Go to the Classic TV Beauties
1960s Countdown list to see if any of the Bradley sisters made it)..
Donna Douglas Elly May Clampett "The Beverly Hillbillies"
Donna Douglas "The Beverly Hillbillies" Elly May Clampett
Peggy Lipton "The Mod Squad" Julie Barnes
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No. 25
Classic TV Beauties 1960s Countdown
DONNA DOUGLAS as Elly May Clampett in "The Beverly Hillbillies"

Born Dorothy Smith, Donna was Miss Baton Rouge before moving to New York to become a model. She won a newspaper beauty contest called "Miss Byline," which led to an appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and a screen test.

Before the "Hillbillies," Donna had a role in an episode of "The Twilight Zone" that has been considered the most notable in the show's history. In "Eye of the Beholder," the story centered around a woman (Donna) who underwent surgery to correct her disfigured face. When the bandages were unwrapped after the operation, the doctors and nurses reacted with the horror of seeing...Donna's perfectly normal beautiful face. It was then revealed that everybody else had what was considered normal faces -- pig faces -- and Donna was the leper.

Donna had a brief film career. She appeared in only four movies, most notably "Frankie and Johnny," co-starring with Elvis Presley. After the "Hillbillies" was canceled in CBS's infamous "rural purge" following the 1971 season, she did very little acting. She declined a role on the soap "Santa Barbara" because she felt the show's content was too risque.

Donna became a gospel singer and sold real estate in, of all places, Beverly Hills.
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