Linda played the youngest daughter in the rural sitcom, the cute, red-headed tomboy Betty Joe. She was the only actress to star in the show for the entire seven-season run, and due to Linda's continuity in the role, she was the most popular of the Bradley sister. She appeared in all but one of the 222 episodes.
The daughter of series creator Paul Henning, Linda later said her father didn't show her any favoritism. "I got the least billing, the least money."
As the cast for the series was forming, Bea Benederet, the actress who played mother Kate Bradley, watched a play that featured her son, Jack Bannon, and a school-age Linda. Benederet was so impressed with Linda's acting that she insisted Paul Henning cast his brown-eyed daughter.
Before she became an actress, Linda was a ballet trained dancer who danced in the film "Bye Bye Birdie." She had guest appearances on many TV programs in the 1960s, including roles in her father's shows "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Green Acres." In fact, Linda was the voice of Jethrine Bodine, Jethro's sister, played in drag by Max Baer, Jr.
Linda was 18 when the series started, and she later told People magazine the show "was like going to school for seven years with all the best teachers."
Although Betty Jo was the tomboy of the three sisters -- she played shortstop for the Hooterville Hawks baseball team -- she charmed crop duster Steve Elliott (Mike Minor), who was originally cast in "Petticoat Junction" to become the love interest of older sister Billie Jo (Meredith MacRae).
In a case of art imitating life, Linda and Minor developed an off-screen romance, so the show's storyline was changed for Steve and Betty Jo to fall in love.
They married during the fifth season and moved to a cottage near the train tracks, then had a baby girl (Kathy Jo) during the sixth season. Linda and Minor married in real life after their TV wedding.
Classic TV Beauties 1960s Countdown
LINDA KAYE HENNING as Betty Jo Bradley in "Petticoat Junction"