Douglas played tomboy Elly May in the hit comedy about a backwoods family who move to Beverly Hills after striking it rich.

Beverly Hillbillies Star Donna Douglas Dies

Donna Douglas, who starred in the popular 1960s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, has died aged 82.

She passed away at her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, her niece Charlene Smith said.

Douglas played tomboy Elly May Clampett in the hit comedy about a Tennessee family who move to Beverly Hills after striking it rich from oil on their land.

The series, which ran from 1962 to 1971, also starred the late Buddy Ebsen and Irene Ryan as well as Max Baer Jr, who turns 77 on Sunday.

Douglas had long been out of the entertainment business, and was fighting pancreatic cancer.

Actress Donna Douglas

Douglas worked in real estate after leaving the showbiz world

She was picked from 500 actresses to play Elly May, and said she felt at ease playing the role because, like her character, she grew up a poor Southern tomboy.

Her childhood in Pride, Louisiana, came in handy when she was asked during her audition to milk a goat.

“I had milked cows before,” she recalled in an interview in 2009. “I figured they were equipped the same, so I just went on over and did it.”

Her niece said: “She was always happy, and she really loved animals – just like her character on The Beverly Hillbillies. She was a wonderful lady, a very good Christian lady.”

Douglas was married twice, to Roland John Bourgeois Jr until 1954, and then to The Beverly Hillbillies director Robert M Leeds. They divorced in 1980 after nine years of marriage.

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