Donna Douglas, who played tomboy Elly May Clampett on the hit 1960s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, is remembered by the only living original cast member, Max Baer Jr., as being “Elly May until the day she died.”
Baer Jr. played Elly May’s cousin, Jethro, in the series and says she always attended events dressed the part.
“She was Elly May until the day she died,” Baer told the website RumorFix. “When I saw her for autograph signings or other gatherings, she always dressed the same with pink or blue and of course those signature pigtails.”
Baer Jr. said he last saw his former costar in January 2013 at an autograph signing in Los Angeles and said he was unaware that she had been battling pancreatic cancer for the past several months.
“But she was a very private person — nothing like me,” he said.
Goodbye Elly May: 'Beverly Hillbillies' star Donna Douglas dead at 81, reports say. http://t.co/T1HFhuTnah pic.twitter.com/03sO2YZKph
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 2, 2015
Douglas died Thursday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, near her hometown of Zachary, at the age of 82. According to her neice, Charlene Smith, the cause of death was pancreatic cancer.
Smith described her aunt as a “very good Christian lady. We all loved her,” she said. “Whenever she gave presents, they always came with (passages) from Scripture.”
"Beverly Hillbies" star Donna Douglas dies at age of 82: http://t.co/u52mNbhFVo pic.twitter.com/ulzQElETbC
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) January 3, 2015
Hailing from Pride, Louisiana, Douglas was a former Miss Baton Rouge and Miss New Orleans. Married twice, she returned to her home state to be near her only child, son Danny Bourgeois, after her days in Hollywood came to an end.
She is is also survived by three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, one brother and other extended family members, Smith said.
The series, which ran from 1962 to 1971, also starred the late Buddy Ebsen and Irene Ryan.
“I’m the last man standing. All the actors, producers — everybody on the show is gone,” said Baer Jr.