Donna Douglas, aka Elly May Clampett, passes away at age 82 - WSMV News 4

Donna Douglas, aka Elly May Clampett, passes away at age 82

Posted: Updated:
Autograph reads: May everyday be wonderful for you! Blessings and Love, Donna Douglas, Elly May Prov. 3: 5&6 (Source: WAFB) Autograph reads: May everyday be wonderful for you! Blessings and Love, Donna Douglas, Elly May Prov. 3: 5&6 (Source: WAFB)
Donna Douglas,  best known for her role as Elly May Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies (Source: WAFB) Donna Douglas, best known for her role as Elly May Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies (Source: WAFB)
PRIDE, LA (WAFB) -

Family members say Donna Douglas passed away at the age of 82. Douglas was an actress, best known for her role as Elly May Clampett, the only daughter of Jed Clampett, in the CBS television series The Beverly Hillbillies. The series ran for nine years, ending in 1971.

Charlene Smith, Douglas' niece and former mayor of Zachary, says her aunt passed away Thursday, Jan. 1 in her Zachary, LA home, with family members by her side. She says pancreatic cancer was the cause of death and only learned she had cancer three months ago.

Douglas was born Doris Smith, near Pride, LA. Her family was poor, but they moved to north Baton Rouge when her father, Emmett Smith, got a job with Esso Oil Company. 

She married at age 17 and a baby boy came along, but the marriage split. Her parents, Emmet and Elma Smith, kept their grandson while Donna moved to New York to try and make as much money as possible to send back home.

"I believed if I believed with all my heart that if I did the best I could do, that God would take care of me," said Douglas in a 2009 interview with WAFB. "Then I didn't have to be afraid. And the other thing was that Mom and Daddy trusted me enough to let me go and was gonna help me with my little boy, because he was gonna stay. Then I was gonna be worth of their trust."

Donna then moved to Los Angeles where she landed the coveted role of Elly May Clampett.

After her stint on The Beverly Hillbillies, Douglas was every man's sexy pinup dream, but as producers for upcoming movies asked her to show more skin, play more provocative roles, she turned down movies.

Douglas also appeared in several other hit shows, including The Twilight Zone, Mister Ed and Route 66. She also co-starred with Elvis Presley in Frankie and Johnny.

"I didn't want to be put in a place of compromise. So I went to night school and got my real estate license," she said in the 2009 interview. She says she was not good in real estate because she learned she was a service person. 

"I'll tell em what's good about the house, but I'll tell them what's wrong about it too. And you don't do that!"

For nearly 50 years, she appeared before hundreds of churches, schools, and organizations across the country, talking about God, telling her story of moral choices and the great times she's lived. 

In 2011, Douglas sued toy manufacturer Mattel Inc., claiming the company used her name and likeness for a Barbie doll without authorization. The suit was settled.

Douglas attended St. Gerard High School, a Roman Catholic school now called Redemptorist High School, where she played softball and basketball. She was a member of the school's first graduating class. 

She was a "Miss Baton Rouge" and was named "Miss New Orleans" in 1957.

When Douglas gave her autograph, she signed it with Proverbs 3: 5-6, which reads: 

English Standard Version (ESV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Donna's family asks that her funeral be private, and they'll make a statement Monday.

Copyright WAFB 2015. All Rights Reserved.

  • Recent HeadlinesMore>>

  • Police arrest suspected gunman for Oct 6 murder

    Police arrest suspected gunman for Oct 6 murder

    Sunday, October 22 2017 11:19 PM EDT2017-10-23 03:19:09 GMT
    Danny Haskins (MNPD)Danny Haskins (MNPD)

    Dyersburg Police have arrested Danny Haskins, 57, the murder suspect for the fatal shooting that occurred October 6 outside the Marathon gas station on John A. Merritt Blvd. He was taken into custody Sunday evening. Metro Police said he will be moved to Nashville in the near future.

    More >>

    Dyersburg Police have arrested Danny Haskins, 57, the murder suspect for the fatal shooting that occurred October 6 outside the Marathon gas station on John A. Merritt Blvd. He was taken into custody Sunday evening. Metro Police said he will be moved to Nashville in the near future.

    More >>
  • Davidson County Lieutenant arrested for aggravated assault

    Davidson County Lieutenant arrested for aggravated assault

    Sunday, October 22 2017 10:11 PM EDT2017-10-23 02:11:21 GMT
    (WSMV)(WSMV)

    Derrick Gleaves, a lieutenant with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, was arrested Friday for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to the affidavit, which you can read here (warning: the affidavit contains language that may be offensive to some), Gleaves followed a male mechanic who was dropping off a car to Gleaves' wife at her place of employment.

    More >>

    Derrick Gleaves, a lieutenant with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, was arrested Friday for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to the affidavit, which you can read here (warning: the affidavit contains language that may be offensive to some), Gleaves followed a male mechanic who was dropping off a car to Gleaves' wife at her place of employment.

    More >>
  • TDOC checks sex offender compliance ahead of Halloween

    TDOC checks sex offender compliance ahead of Halloween

    Sunday, October 22 2017 8:35 PM EDT2017-10-23 00:35:14 GMT

    As we approach Halloween, and more families head out into the neighborhoods for trick or treating the Tennessee Department of Corrections is hard at work making sure sex offenders are following rules and restrictions. Joseph Gallina is probation and parole manager for the Davidson County sex offender unit. 

    More >>

    As we approach Halloween, and more families head out into the neighborhoods for trick or treating the Tennessee Department of Corrections is hard at work making sure sex offenders are following rules and restrictions. Joseph Gallina is probation and parole manager for the Davidson County sex offender unit. 

    More >>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Judge tosses $417M award against Johnson & Johnson

    Judge tosses $417M award against Johnson & Johnson

    Saturday, October 21 2017 5:56 PM EDT2017-10-21 21:56:34 GMT
    In this April 15, 2011, file photo, a bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)In this April 15, 2011, file photo, a bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    A judge on Friday tossed out a $417 million jury award to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer by using Johnson & Johnson talc-based baby powder for feminine hygiene.

    More >>

    A judge on Friday tossed out a $417 million jury award to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer by using Johnson & Johnson talc-based baby powder for feminine hygiene.

    More >>
  • Mom charged in 2016 death of 6-month-old son

    Mom charged in 2016 death of 6-month-old son

    Thursday, October 19 2017 2:14 PM EDT2017-10-19 18:14:08 GMT

    The mother of a six-month-old boy was indicted on a charge of felony murder, according to a news release.

    More >>

    The mother of a six-month-old boy was indicted on a charge of felony murder, according to a news release.

    More >>
  • FBI couldn't access nearly 7K devices because of encryption

    FBI couldn't access nearly 7K devices because of encryption

    Sunday, October 22 2017 6:36 PM EDT2017-10-22 22:36:07 GMT
    (AP/Meredith Image)(AP/Meredith Image)

    The FBI hasn't been able to retrieve data from more than half of the mobile devices it tried to access in less than a year, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Sunday, turning up the heat on a debate between technology companies and law enforcement officials trying to recover encrypted communications. 

    More >>

    The FBI hasn't been able to retrieve data from more than half of the mobile devices it tried to access in less than a year, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Sunday, turning up the heat on a debate between technology companies and law enforcement officials trying to recover encrypted communications. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.