‘Petticoat Junction’ Star Linda Henning Described How She Didn’t Get Breaks Despite Her Father’s Role in Creating Show

by Megan Molseed

Petticoat Junction star Linda Kaye Henning had a big connection to the classic television comedy, even before she took on her memorable role in the series. Henning’s father, Paul Henning just happens to be the show’s creator. However, the actress has insisted that this connection had little to do with her landing the famous role of Betty Jo in the series. In fact, Henning has said that this unique connection did little to give the actress big breaks. Henning explains that she had to go through screen tests and approvals to land her Petticoat Junction role. Just like any other player in the series.

According to Henning, her father wrote the series initially for one actress, Bea Benaderet. Benaderet portrays Kate Bradley, the matriarch in the popular classic TV series. And, Henning says, if there was any break she may have received in landing her role in the series, the influence came from Benaderet.

“He wrote the series for Bea Benaderet,” Linda Henning says of her father’s successful series, per FOX News.

“He had worked with her for many years,” she explains.

“And Bea went with him to see me in a play I was doing at a neighborhood playhouse,” the actress continues. “She said, ‘Paul, why in the world won’t you let your daughter try out for Betty Jo?’”

Petticoat Junction Star Linda Henning Remembers How the Show’s Environment Was the ‘Friendliest of Sets’

Petticoat Junction hit the airwaves in 1963 and quickly became one of the most beloved programs on television. The series is a spinoff of another wildly popular classic television series, The Beverly Hillbillies. The popular series follows the hilarious events that take place amongst a family; most of whom work as the staff of The Shady Rest Hotel in Hooterville. The comedy series found a successful seven-season run, ending in 1970.

And, Henning says, the cast and crew of Petticoat Junction were just as wonderful behind the camera as they were on the camera.

“We were one of the friendliest sets around,” the actress says. “We all got along.”

And, Henning adds, viewers it was exactly this sort of down-home friendliness that viewers loved about the popular series.

“I tell you the people who watched it really identified with it because they lived those lives,” Henning has said of Petticoat Junction.

“That was that they wanted to see,” she explains. “It meant a lot to them.”

The actress continues to say that she has always welcomed fans of the series telling her how much the series has meant to them. And, how loved the Petticoat Junction clan was by those who enjoyed watching the series.

“So many people would talk to me about it telling me, ‘That is so much like my town, but I wish your family was like my family,'” Henning remembers. “It was really nice.”