When it comes to keeping up with the news, I don't even pretend to be current on what is happening in the world. I don't have television service, and I don't subscribe to a newspaper. I do follow stories and topics that interest me over the internet. Over the past few years the internet has evolved into my primary window on the world.
Not surprisingly, given my lackadaisical attitude toward things beyond my yard, I occasionally miss a story that would have been of interest to me. That happened this week as I was surfing the web and came across a human interest article on famous people who had died in 2015. The first name was that of Donna Douglas, the buxom blond actress who played the teenage tomboy and animal lover, Elly May Clampett, on the 1960's classic television series, The Beverly Hillbillies. Donna Douglas had died on New Year's Day in Louisiana at the age of eighty-two.
Eighty-two? Once a show ends, are the actors supposed to age?
I was fourteen when The Beverly Hillbillies premiered in 1962. Douglas, though obviously an adult woman at the time, played the role of a country teen whose granny was worried that she was well on the way to spinsterhood. Now, I'm slipping up on seventy, so yeah, I guess her being eighty-two was possible - but damn!
My old buddy, the internet, provided a couple of more details about Ms. Douglas that proved to be as surprising as her age. The virginal hillbilly goddess was actually a thirty-year-old divorcee when the series began, and she had an eight-year-old son. It's a good thing People magazine or Entertainment Tonight weren't around in those days - she would have been exposed in a Hollywood minute!
Granny, Jed, and Elly May have all passed from the scene and only Jethro (Max Baer, Jr) remains. He is seventy-seven.