As iconic as her character eventually became on “The Dukes of Hazzard,” Catherine Bach’s Daisy Duke almost belonged to someone else entirely. Why? Because Bach didn’t even think she had a chance at landing the role.
For context, Catherine Bach wasn’t exactly in high demand when Warner Brothers started casting for “The Dukes of Hazzard” in the late 1970s. She was a working actress with a few credits to her name but had been dropped by her agency. They cited how difficult she would be to represent.
So Catherine Bach took the opportunity to do something that interested her. She put on a one-woman stage play that turned out to be pretty well-received. It had been a few years since she had gone out for a role. So when she got a call from Warner Brothers, asking her to come read for a part they had been trying to cast for a year, she was surprised.
Bach was so surprised, in fact, that her initial instinct was to turn the opportunity down. She didn’t think she had a remote chance of getting the job. But a colleague of her husband’s insisted that she come in to read for the part.
Bach then had a fateful lunch meeting with a friend who told her that she might as well try. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? So she did.
“After I did my reading during the audition, there was total silence. I thought, ‘Oh no, they didn’t like what I did.’ Then everyone, we’re talking about 30 people, got up and started clapping. They just connected with my vision of how this part should be played. Two weeks later I was on a plane to Georgia,” “The Dukes of Hazzard” star told Fox News in 2019.
‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ Star Invented Daisy Duke From Her Own Personality
When the creators of “The Dukes of Hazzard” set out to find someone to play the role of Daisy Duke, they had the image of Dolly Parton in mind. But when Catherine Bach blew them away with her own interpretation of the character, that was only the beginning.
The character was entirely reimagined, and most of the new inspiration was Catherine Bach’s own style. That’s right. The iconic Daisy Duke cut-off shorts were brought to the table by Bach herself.
“I made all my clothes the first season, in response to a really horrible wardrobe choice by the producers. They wanted me to wear a red-and-white checked poodle skirt, a white turtleneck, white go-go boots and — get this — a blond wig. The executive producer guy had a big crush on Dolly Parton and I think she wore that on one of her album covers,” Bach told CantonRep.com in 2009.