‘Dukes of Hazzard’: How Daisy Duke’s Iconic Shorts Were Nearly Outlawed

by Will Shepard

Catherine Bach was one of the biggest heartthrobs of television in the 1980s. She brought a unique new style of dressing to the world via Dukes of Hazzard. While she didn’t invent jean shorts, she definitely contributed to their popularity.

Bach still enjoys the success of her role as Daisy Duke in Dukes of Hazzard to this day. Fans of the show began swooning over her after seeing her wardrobe on the show. She wore short shorts throughout the television show, always displaying her long legs.

Her legs were so important to her that she reportedly had them insured for $20 million. That should tell you all you need to know about her popularity in the 80s. Nonetheless, women began wearing short jean shorts and referring to them as “Daisy Dukes.”

“Dukes of Hazzard” and the Story of the Daisy Duke Short Jean Shorts

She and the shorts became overnight sensations because of the Dukes of Hazzard. Viewers quickly got used to seeing her in the tiny jean shorts on the show.

Even though they are now one of the trademarks of the Dukes of Hazzard, the shorts almost didn’t make the cut on the show. In a 1996 interview with E!’s True Hollywood Story, Bach explains how the network executives freaked out about the shorts.

She said that the executives told the show’s producers that she wouldn’t be allowed to wear them. Consequently, the show’s staff responded passionately and did all they could to change the executives’ minds.

Eventually, the network executives finally decided to allow the shorts. However, the executives added one caveat for her wearing the shorts. They told the producers that she would only get to wear them if she also wore pantyhose. This was to ensure that there would be no accidents. Nonetheless, it turned out that the pantyhose actually highlighted the star actress’s legs even further.

Allowing her to wear the shorts was certainly a good call as much of the Dukes of Hazzard’s success was predicated on Bach’s sex appeal.