Friday, January 2, 2015

Elly May gone to that cement pond in the sky

Actress Donna Douglas passed away on January 2, 2015, at the age of 81. She was best known for her role as Elly May Clampett from the 1960s show Beverly Hillbillies. I know I certainly paid attention when I saw that blond hair, plaid shirt and rope belt. They were a golden combination in all the rerun episodes I watched - regardless whether they were in black-and-white or color.

Douglas had a dalliance with NASCAR too - albeit apparently just a single event. She was the guest celebrity, grand marshal, or however you might refer to her for the 1972 Southern 500 at Darlington.

Source: Spartanburg Herald via Google News Archive
As referenced in the article, she joined the local lookers at the annual Miss Southern 500 beauty pageant and took part in the Darlington town parade. The race program for the 1973 race included a couple of photos from the 1972 pre-race events.

"Elly May's" Darlington appearance was also referenced in Jerry Bledsoe's fantastic book The World's Number One, Flat-Out, All-Time Great, Stock Car Racing Book. (The book is a must-read for fans interested in southern NASCAR racing and its personalities of the late 1960s through the early 1970s.)

R.I.P. Elly May


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