‘Beverly Hillbillies’: Donna Douglas Explained How She Was ‘Getting Ready for Jethro’ Far Before Show Began

by Quentin Blount

One Beverly Hillbillies star explained how she was prepared for her role as Elly May Clampett long before she actually got the part.

Donna Douglas is an author, a singer, and an actress. But she is without a doubt best remembered for her role as Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies. Douglas starred as the character in all 274 episodes while the show aired from 1962 until 1971.

For better or for worse, the only child of Jed and Rose Ellen Clampett was known for her incredible beauty and for having the body of a pin-up girl. But in addition to her stunning looks, she also had the soul of a tomboy. She was always able to throw a fastball and “wrassle” all of the men.

In a sit-down interview with the star actress back in 2013, Douglas offered her fans some interesting stories from her time on set. And she explained how growing up as a tomboy helped prepare her for her role as Elly May.

“I was raised a tomboy, with one older brother and all male cousins,” Douglas told Senior Voice Alaska. “So I grew up swinging from vines and playing softball. I was getting ready for Jethro long before we ever met!”

By the sounds of it, Donna Douglas could really relate to the character she was playing. Being that in sync with her character on so many different levels definitely helped make her performances in The Beverly Hillbillies.

“I still adore Elly and we have a lot in common, with the same interests and values,” Douglas explained.

‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Stars Next to Elvis in 1996 Film

Just about midway through her tenure on The Beverly Hillbillies, Donna Douglas also lined up another big-time gig. The classic television star played the girlfriend of “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” in the film Frankie and Johnny.

In what could only be described as a dream job for most of the women of her time, Douglas actually was able to live out starring next to Elvis Presley on the big screen. Frankie and Johnny featured Presley and Douglas as two performers on a Mississippi River riverboat and casino.

Of course, Douglas will always be best remembered for her time on The Beverly Hillbilles. But it’s still a pretty big flex to say you starred as Elvis Presley’s girlfriend in a movie.

For more cool stories about cast of The Beverly Hillbillies and other classic TV shows, stay up-to-date here on Outsider.