‘Petticoat Junction’ Stars Recalled How the Cast Was Like a Family

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Some classic TV shows might have nightmare stories about their cast but that is not the story when it comes to Petticoat Junction. The CBS sitcom from the 1960s did have a pretty diverse cast with young and older members alike. Still, the stars who remember their time on the show do it fondly.

For instance, Linda Kaye Henning, who played Betty Jo, says that the cast and crew became a family over the years. “We were one of the friendliest sets around,” she said. “We all got along.” Lori Saunders, who played Bobbi Jo, remembers that there was a lot of laughter between the women in the cast.

Remembrance Of Filming Scene Comes To ‘Petticoat Junction’ Star’s Mind

“We were shooting a church scene,” Saunders says in an interview with Fox News. “One of us would make another giggle and then we’d all break out laughing. We just couldn’t stop — I think we had to do five takes that day!” There also was time to poke a little fun at one another when the cameras were not rolling for a period of time.

“We did a matinee and two evening shows with singing and a little dancing — basically a big blitz for Petticoat,” Saunders said regarding a promotional stop in Atlantic City. “We were wearing these white, thigh-high boots and we were so tired of them. After the show, we took them off and dumped them in the ocean!” The show had a good run on CBS before its cancellation.

Henning and Saunders were part of the Petticoat Junction cast throughout the show’s run. Actor Mike Minor would appear as Steve Elliott, a love interest for Henning, on the show. Edgar Buchanan, who had a solid background as a movie actor, played Uncle Joe Carson.

Meredith MacRae Would Be One Of The Actresses Portraying Billie Jo

Different actresses would appear as Billie Jo Bradley during the time Petticoat Junction was on CBS. One of them was Meredith MacRae, who was the daughter of Gordon and Sheila MacRae. Her parents were synonymous with pretty famous roles themselves. Gordon MacRae had a starring role in the movie version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! that also starred Shirley Jones. Sheila MacRae happened to be one of the actresses who would play the role of Alice Kramden during the time Jackie Gleason had The Honeymooners as part of his TV show.

But the Petticoat Junction cast members had to deal with seriousness. Bea Benaderet played Kate Bradley, mother of the Bradley girls, on the show. She would die from lung cancer in 1968. Before she died, Benaderet had finished filming for the 1968-69 TV season. Benaderet would be hospitalized once her work was done.