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'The Beverly Hillbillies' Star Donna Douglas Dead at 81

Donna Douglas
Donna Douglas, best known for her role as Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies television series passed away on New Year's Day. The actress died of pancreatic cancer in her home in Zachary, La. She was 81.

From Shelly Brown of gospel group "The Browns" reports:

"We lost a dear family friend today...The world knew her as Ellie Mae Clampet... A Beverly Hillbilly...But we knew her as our precious Donna who never met a stranger, had style and grace, had a kind heart, always wore pretty pink, and loved people! I'm thankful for the time we got to spend with her and all the wisdom and lessons that the kids learned from her! I will forever hear her whistle and "y'all come back now, hear"!!! See you on the other side, my friend!!!" Shelly Brown.

Douglas grew up in Louisiana loving "critters" must like her Beverly Hillbillies character. She got married soon after high school, had a son, divorced and won a couple of beauty contests, all within the span of a few years. She moved to New York and soon appeared on television series, including a well-remembered guest shot on The Twilight Zone (1959) in one of the series' most famous episodes, "Eye of the Beholder", in which she plays a woman who tries to undergo a series of experimental treatments to make her beautiful, only for the treatments to fail.

Douglas other TV credits included Bachelor Father, Checkmate, U.S. Marshal, Tightrope, McMillan & Wife, Adam-12, Love, American Style and Route 66.

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