Donna Douglas was an American actress and singer who rose to fame as Elly May Clampett on the popular sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. She was also a gospel singer, a real estate agent, an inspirational speaker, and an author of books for children and adults. This article will explore her life, career, achievements, and net worth.
Early Life and Education
Doris Ione Smith became Donna Douglas on September 26, 1932, in Pride, Louisiana. She was the sole daughter of Emmett Ratcliff Smith Sr. and the younger of two kids. And Elma Robinson. She attended St. Gerard Catholic High School, where she played softball and basketball, and graduated in 1951. She was named Miss Baton Rouge and Miss New Orleans in 1957.
Career and Achievements
Donna Douglas initially worked as an illustration model for toothpaste advertising before relocating to New York City to seek a career in show business. She appeared on several television shows, such as The Perry Como Show, The Steve Allen Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Phil Silvers Show, The Twilight Zone, Checkmate, U.S. Marshal, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Bachelor Father, Adam-12, and Route 66.
As Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies in 1962, she received her big break. She played the role of a sweet and naive country girl who moved to Beverly Hills with her family after striking oil. The show was a huge hit and ran for nine seasons until 1971. Douglas became a household name and a sex symbol for her beauty and charm.
Douglas also starred in a few movies, such as Career (1959), Li’l Abner (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Frankie and Johnny (1966), opposite Elvis Presley. She also released several gospel albums in the 1960s and 1970s. After retiring from acting in the early 1980s, she became a real estate agent in Beverly Hills. She also devoted herself to her family, faith, and charitable work. She wrote several books for children and adults, such as Donna’s Critters & Kids: Children’s Stories with a Bible Touch (1998), Miss Donna’s Mulberry Acres Farm (2011), and Southern Favorites with a Taste of Hollywood (2013).
Personal Life and Death
Donna Douglas was married twice in her life. Her first marriage was to Roland John Bourgeois Jr., whom she married in 1951 and divorced in 1954. They had one son, Danny P. Bourgeois, born in 1954. Her second marriage was to Robert M. Leeds, whom she married in 1971 and divorced in 1980. Leeds was the director of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Douglas died on January 1, 2015, 82, from pancreatic cancer. She passed away at her home in Zachary, Louisiana. She was buried at Bluff Creek Community Cemetery in Bluff Creek, Louisiana.
Donna Douglas Net Worth
According to various sources, Donna Douglas had a net worth of $500 thousand at her death. She earned most of her wealth from her acting career, especially from The Beverly Hillbillies. She also made money from her singing career, real estate business, and book sales.
Donna Douglas was a talented and versatile actress who entertained millions of viewers with her role as Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies. She was also a singer, a writer, a speaker, and a philanthropist who touched many lives with her kindness and generosity. She left behind a legacy of love and laughter that will be remembered for generations.