MARIANNE GORDON ROGERS (1972-90)
Marianne was a true Georgia peach from Athens who played a wealthy Southern belle in a “Hee Haw” skit. As the favored daughter, she sat on a swing at her plantation home, dressed in a hoop skirt, fanned herself and told stories about her daddy, “The Colonel,” in a thick Southern accent.
One of her favorite lines was, “I've just been informed by my business adviser that I cannot list my beauty as a personal asset.”
“I couldn't do [the segment] with any of the other [girls],” producer Sam Lovullo said of Marianne to The Associated Press in 1983. “She's just right for the part. If she were to ever leave the show, I'd do away with the part.”
Marianne, who married (then later divorced) singer Kenny Rogers after he appeared as a guest on the show, acted in several of “The Gambler” movies – based on her husband's song of the same name -- and also appeared in “Rosemary's Baby.”
“She has this Southern charm that I think a Southern belle has. I think her role is cute,” Rogers said of his wife's part on “Hee Haw.” “A Southern belle, that's absolutely her."
LINDA THOMPSON (1977-90)
Linda was already well known when she became a Honey – she'd been Elvis Presley's girlfriend for more than four years. They broke up in 1976 and he died in August of that year.
The five-foot-nine beauty queen from Memphis had won a slew of pageants and was the reigning Miss Tennessee USA when she met the King of Rock and Roll.
“I lacked 12 credits from the University of Memphis,” she told Larry King. “And I decided I wasn't going to go back and get my degree. I was doing some modeling locally [in Memphis] and thought about maybe going to New York. But then Elvis came along and swept me off my feet.”
Linda developed into a songwriter who won an Emmy (2002) for the song “Aren't They All Our Children,” she co-wrote with then-husband David Foster for “The Concert for World's Children's Day.”
BARBI BENTON (1970-75)
Barbi was another Honey who dated an icon – Mr. Playboy Hugh Hefner. She appeared on three covers and posed for several nude layouts for the magazine before and during her stint on “Hee Haw.”
Barbi also had a singing career, recording three albums and charting a Top 5 song (“Brass Buckles”) on the country charts in 1975.
Barbi made several appearance on TV's “Fantasy Island,” but her acting skills were mostly disregarded by producers who were more interested in featuring her body on the screen.
“Everybody wants me for nude parts,” she said in a 1974 interview with the Milwaukee Journal. “I'll do a small nude scene in a lead role but I wouldn't do a part where I just show my 'bod.'
She explained the difference in posing nude in Playboy as opposed to showing it all on screen.
"In movies, you have 40 people watching you. In the magazine, there's just the photographer.”
The green-eyed brunette from Sacramento enrolled in UCLA to study animal medicine but soon realized that she couldn't stand the sight of blood. She modeled to earn money and was invited to appear on “Playboy After Dark.” By the second show, she said she was “sort of hand in hand with Hef.”
Of “Hee Haw,” she said, “I never liked it back in Sacramento because I didn't understand it. Now it just comes naturally.”