‘Beverly Hillbillies’: One ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Castaway Portrayed a Widow in Season 2

by Joe Rutland
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Classic TV stars can be found on different shows all the time. For instance, “The Beverly Hillbillies” had a future castaway on its show.

Yes, “Gilligan’s Island” star Natalie Schafer appeared as Madame Renee in “The Dress Shop.” Now Schafer played a widow who owned a Beverly Hills dress store. Business picks up, so to speak, when Jed Clampett [Buddy Ebsen] buys the store as an investment thanks to his banker Milburn Drysdale [Raymond Bailey].

One thing “The Beverly Hillbillies” delivered was a lot of laughs. This episode saw Jed and the entire Clampett clan head down to the store to help “the poor widow” and her daughters.

Problems arose as both Jed and Madame Renee thought each other was in financial trouble. What happened is they worked on a dressing gown show, where Elly May [Donna Douglas] showed off the latest dress wear.

Does the episode find itself filled with chaos? Does the sun come up in the East and go down in the West? Of course, chaos ensued. But that’s what fans of “The Beverly Hillbillies” loved about it. They loved watching the Clampetts find a way to cause a bit of trouble yet in a loving, crazy way. Classic TV show fans still love watching the show through the power of reruns.

‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Guest Star Became Devoted Wife To Rich Castaway

Now Schafer played “Lovey” Howell on “Gilligan’s Island.” She was the devoted wife of Thurston Howell III, played by Jim Backus. It’s funny how these two had their paths go through Jed, Granny, Elly May, Jethro, and even old Duke the bloodhound.

But Backus himself appeared on “The Beverly Hillbillies” prior to getting on an island with seven stranded castaways.

It was in the show’s first season on CBS as Martin Van Ransohoff, chairman of the Commerce Bank.

Jed put his money there and Drysdale watched over it. Van Ransohoff considered Clampett a genius. Well, so much for that idea. Van Ransohoff went to the Clampett mansion, saw them for real, and ultimately found himself at their dinner table.

Jim Backus, Don Rickles Also Appeared On CBS Sitcom As Guest Stars

Backus definitely had quite a career beyond this appearance. “Gilligan’s Island” just added to his resume’. Backus provided the voice for cartoon character Mr. Magoo and had one of his most memorable film roles in the 1950s.

Backus played the father of actor James Dean’s character in “Rebel Without A Cause.”

While we’re bringing up guest stars on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” let’s briefly mention another one. Comedian Don Rickles, also known as “Mr. Warmth” jokingly, stopped by the hit CBS show for an appearance. Rickles played Fred, a horse racing bettor, in a third-season episode called “Jed’s Temptation.” 

According to IMDB, Granny is on the hunt to find Jed a wife. She reached out to Mr. Drysdale for his help.

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