For fans of The Dukes of Hazzard, when they envision, Daisy Duke, there’s always a fan blowing her hair and saxophone music playing in the background. It’s no secret that the actress behind the character, Catherine Bach, was drop-dead gorgeous.
With mile-long legs, adorable freckles and a smile that could melt ice, Bach was the dream girl of the 80s. For a while, fans considered Bach to be a pin-up because of the photoshoots she did for the show and following movies.
Now, thirty-six years after The Dukes of Hazzard ended, Bach says she didn’t consider herself a pin-up—just a young woman searching for independence.
Catherine Bach Was ‘Too Exotic’ For Her Agency
Originally, producers of The Dukes of Hazzard wanted Daisy to be a Dolly Parton look-alike with voluminous blond hair and bright blue eyes. However, after meeting brown-haired, brown-eyed Catherine Bach, those plans went out the window.
During an interview with Fox News, Bach shared that she got the job because of her previous role on a “one-woman-show.” However, Bach’s agency told her that she looked “too exotic” and fired her in fear that they wouldn’t be able to make money off of her. At the time, the must-have look for actresses was blond hair and porcelain skin.
“I was told, ‘We’re never going to make money off you. Aside from doing a movie here and there, we don’t see a television series in your future. We just don’t see that kind of thing happening. So we’re going to let you go because it’s a lot of work to represent you,’” The Dukes of Hazzard star shared. “That’s what initially compelled me to do the one-act play.”
That one-act play impressed The Dukes producers so much that they offered her the role.
‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Star Does Things Her Way
Once she became an official part of The Dukes of Hazzard cast, the battles over Catherine Bach’s appearance didn’t end.
When Bach had to pose for a poster for The Dukes of Hazzard, she butted heads with the producing company, Warner Bros, and their idea for the shot.
“Warner Bros. wanted me to follow the same formula as Farrah Fawcett… But I felt like audiences wanted something else. They wanted an all-American country girl,” Bach explained.
However, Bach didn’t back down.
“[The producers] said, ‘If you’re not doing it our way, we’re not paying for it,'” Bach shared. “I said, ‘No problem, I’ll do it.’ So I took those shorts, a little red and white top I made…. I did my own makeup and got some daisies… A friend of mine shot that poster, front start to finish, in an hour.”
Despite the fact that the poster sold 5 million copies and resulted in an insurance policy for her legs worth $1 million, Bach still didn’t consider herself a pin-up. At the time, Bach dealt with personal issues that made her crave a sense of independence and authority.
“I didn’t look at it as being a pinup,” Bach said. “On a personal level, my husband at the time didn’t like me working. So I was going through this hard time emotionally trying to be independent and assertive.”