“The Beverly Hillbillies” characters were known for living in a lavish mansion. But the owners eventually asked the show to stop filming there.
They didn’t like all the attention the show drew to the property.
For several seasons, the owners of the real-life mansion allowed creator Paul Henning to make the location the Clampetts’ home. They operated on the condition that the location wasn’t publicly revealed. But like all secrets, the news eventually got out. Both tourists and also locals wanted to see where the TV magic was made.
“We asked that no one reveal the real location of the mansion,” Henning told the Archive of American Television. “And everyone went along with us. Then, I think it was TV Guide who said the actual ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ mansion is located at – and gave the address. From that day on, those wonderful people who had given us permission to film there were besieged by people just driving up to the house, knocking on the door. And said, ‘Where are the Beverly Hillbillies?'”
The owner of the mansion had lost her husband in a plane crash. She wanted peace and seclusion. But the various people coming to her door began to annoy her and her family. While she regretted having to do so, she asked Henning to find a new location to film.
“She said, ‘I hate to do this. But we can no longer have this location known. Because people are driving us crazy,'” Henning recalled. “Tourists would drive up and annoy them. I said, ‘Perfectly understandable. And we’ll use whatever stock footage we have. And we’ll no longer film at the mansion.”
‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Goes to Color
While Henning understood the reasoning, he felt distraught by the news. He was thankful for the family allowing to film on-location to begin with. But the decision couldn’t come at a worse time. The show was switching to color, and the production team needed to re-film all of their shots to match.
“It was a great blow because we were just ready to go to color,” he said. “And we were preparing to go up to the mansion to refilm all our stock shots in color.”
To make up for it, Henning used a fake-it-till-you-make-it approach. Production filmed at a variety of locations in California to get the required shots that they needed. But for the show’s creator, it was never the same as it was during those earlier seasons at the mansion.