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The Beverly Hillbillies is an American sitcom about the poor, backwoods Clampett family from the hills of the Ozarks, who move to posh Beverly Hills, CA, after striking oil on their land. An ensemble cast of characters led by the impoverished widower Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen), his beautiful daughter Elly May Clampett (Donna Douglas), a tomboy who collects many “critters”; Daisy May Moses (Irene Ryan), who is Jed’s mother-in-law and Elly May’s ‘Granny’ and a devout “Confederate Baptist” who is a mountain M.D. with a liking for home brewing and fixing vittles. Jethro Bodine (Max Baer Jr.) rounds out the household. He is Jed’s cousin Pearle’s (Bea Benaderet) son who wants to further his “sixth-grade education”. The Clampetts are met in California by their banker and new neighbor Mr. Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey) and Drysdale’s loyal, highly educated, and efficient secretary, Miss Jane Hathaway (Nancy Kulp).
The Beverly Hillbillies was the first of three Henning-inspired “country cousin” interrelated series. After the first season of The Beverly Hillbillies, Bea Benaderet was given her own series, starring as Kate Bradley the proprietor of the Shady Rest Hotel on Petticoat Junction. The third series was Green Acres, which reversed the rags-to-riches, country-to-city model of The Beverly Hillbillies.