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Petticoat Junction aired from September 1963 until September 1970 on CBS.
CBS introduced this rural sitcom one year after The Beverly Hillbillies, which had been the number one show of the 1962-1963 season; Petticoat Junction proved to be the most popular new show of the 1963-1964 season, ranking fourth that year. Though it's ratings declined sharpely after the first year, the show enjoyed a seven year run and was one of CBS' mainstays during the decade.
The setting for Petticoat Junction was the small farming community of Hooterville. Kate Bradley ( Bea Benaderet) was the widowed owner of the only tyransient housing in town, the Shady Rest. Helping her run the hotel were her three beautiful daughters, Billie Jo( Jeannine Riley, Gunilla Hutton, Meredith MacRae), Bobbie Jo ( Pat Woodell, Lori Saunders), and Betty Jo ( Linda Kaye). Also assisting was the girls' Uncle Joe ( Edgar Buchanan) , who had assumed the title of manager. In addition to the involvement with the hotel, the romantic lives of her daughters, and her associations with the townspeople, Kate was constantly at odds with Homer Bedloe ( Charles Lane), vice president of the C.&F.W. Railroad. Homer was determined to close down the steam-driven branch of the railroad that ran through Hooterville, scrap its lone engine ( the Cannonball) and put its two engineers Charlie Pratt and Floyd Smoot ( Smiley Burnette, Rufe Davis) out of jobs. Sam Drucker ( Frank Cady) ran the local general store. The dog on Petticoat Junction , whose real name was Higgins, was named simply dog.
Two years after the premiere of Petticoat Junction, CBS added Green Acres to its lineup. This situation was the story of a Manhattan lawyer who gave up big-city life and bought a farm near Hooterville. For the remainder of their existences there was a certain interplay between the characters of the two shows. The two characters from Green Acres who most frequently showed up on Petticoat Junction were farmer Newt Kiley and handyman Eb Dawson.
In the fall of 1966 pilot Steve Elliott ( Mike Minor) crashed outside Hooterville and was nursed back to health by the Bradley girls. He later became romantically involved with Betty Jo and eventually married her. They set up housekeeping not far from the hotel, and had a daughter Kathy Jo. This despite the efforts of Kate's hated adversary Selma Plout ( Virginia Sale and Elvia Allman), to get Steve interested in her daughter, Henrietta ( Susan Walther, Lynette Winter).
In 1967 Bea Benaderet fell ill with cancer and was seen only occasionally during the 1967-1968 season. Aunt Helen ( Rosemary DeCamp) took up the slack appearing in six episodes in early 1968. Ms. Benaderet passed away soon after production began for the 1968-1969 season and was written out of the show by having Kate go out of town to visit her sister. Her absence left the show without a unifying center of attention. To fill the void , the role of Dr. Janet Craig ( June Lockhart), a mature woman doctor who became the town physician when Old Dr. Stuart ( Regis Toomey) retired, was added late in 1968. The chemistry wasn't there anymore , however, and the show was canceled in 1970.
One of the distinguishing aspects of Petticoat Junction was the turover in its cast.In addition to those roles that were played by more than one performer, a number of actors had appeared abeit infrequently ,as
Dr. Stuart and barber Bert Smedley ( who eventually became a regular played by Paul Hartman). Not only that, but several people who eventually became regulars on the show-Elvia Allman, Mike Minor and Byron Fougler ( as Wendell Gibbs), had shown up previously on Petticoat Junction in other roles. The one regular who was most likely to stay, however was Linda Kaye ( Henning). Her father Paul Henning, was the producer of Petticoat Junction as well as The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres.
The first two seasons of Petticoat Junction were filmed in black and white, the standard of the day. They have never been seen since their original airings. Only the color episodes , which ran from the fall of 1965 through 1970 have been syndicated on local television stations around the country. The B/W episodes were finally shown by ME-Tv in the 2010's.
A short Article from Time Magazine
Published on October 25, 1968
Died. Bea Benaderet, 62, character actress, who starred as the folksy, warmhearted Kate Bradley in TV's Petticoat Junction; of lung cancer; in Los Angeles. After years of bending her voice on radio into every accent from Brooklyn to the Ozarks as a comic foil for Fibber McGee and Molly, and Jack Benny, Bea finally got a chance to show her face on TV. In 1950, she appeared as Blanche Morton on The George Burns-Gracie Allen Show and in 1962, as Cousin Pearl on The Beverly Hillbillies, before graduating to Petticoat Junction in 1963.
An Article from Time Magazine on CBS Entertainment President James Aubrey.
Return of Smiling Jim
Friday, Oct. 31, 1969
In Jacqueline Susann's peekaboo novel The Love Machine, which focuses on wide-screen sex and power conflict in the television world, the anti-hero is Robin Stone, who advances to a top network job over the prostrate bodies of rivals and girls. Inevitably, show business insiders recognized in Stone at least a passing resemblance to James T. Aubrey Jr., 51. As president of CBS-TV for more than five years, Aubrey ruled with a high hand and a low common denominator of programming (The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction) that for most of that time won CBS leadership in the ratings. After hours, Aubrey said of himself: "I don't pretend to be any saint. If anyone wants to indict me for liking pretty girls, I guess I'm guilty." Partly because of his after-hours tastes, Aubrey was ousted from CBS in 1965. He moved to Los Angeles and set up a small film-production company.
Last week Aubrey returned to power. Las Vegas Financier Kirk Kerkorian, who a month ago won control of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, picked him to be the company's new president to replace Louis ("Bo") Polk Jr., 39, who was fired. Polk had been chosen only last January by Edgar M. Bronfman, whose 16% holding in the company was the largest until Kerkorian bought roughly a 40% share for about $100 million. (Time Inc. owns 5%.) Bronfman and one of three other directors representing his interests quit the 19-man board last week.
Smelling the Public. Kerkorian hopes that Aubrey, whom he met for the first time only two weeks ago, can put new vigor into the ailing MGM lion. Kerkorian wanted a show business veteran to replace financial man Polk, but his choice for the presidency, Herb Jaffe, a vice president of United Artists, turned the job down. Gregson Bautzer, the Los Angeles socialite lawyer who counts both Kerkorian and Aubrey among his clients, introduced the two men at the Beverly Hilton and recommended Aubrey for the job. Bautzer's sales pitch: "Jim Aubrey has a real good sense of smell about what the American public wants to buy for entertainment."
According to Bautzer, Aubrey told Kerkorian: "I don't want a contract. If I do a job on this, the contract will take care of itself. If you don't like the way I'm doing it, you can say 'Get lost, Jim' without any obligations." Aubrey will get $208,000 yearly, plus an option to buy 17,500 shares.
MGM is expected to report a loss of about $25 million for the year that ended Aug. 31. Deficits were biggest in the film and record divisions; earnings from television have also suffered, and of the major divisions of the company only the music publishing business raised its profits. Apparently, MGM's creative people have lost touch with what the public wants in films. Last year nearly all the company's films lost money. MGM's last big hit was Doctor Zhivago.
Kerkorian believes that MGM can go nowhere but up. His operating policy for the company: "Clear out the nonproductive items and keep the productive ones, and you have a successful business." MGM began last year to sell off its real estate holdings, which are scattered from Culver City, Calif., to London. In order to realize some quick profits, Kerkorian is likely to dispose of more.
To read Bea Benaderet's Obituary go to https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.obituaries/3m3KAqsQFOs
To read Edgar Buchanan's Obituary go to https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=quINAAAAIBAJ&sjid=W20DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4346%2C540219
Here is Meredith MacRae's Obituary from The New York Times
Meredith MacRae, TV Actress, 56
Published: July 16, 2000
Meredith MacRae, who played Billie Jo Bradley in the 1960's sitcom ''Petticoat Junction,'' died Friday from brain cancer. She was 56.
Ms. MacRae, who had a tumor removed from the right side of her brain in January 1999 and received an excellent prognosis at the time, died at her Manhattan Beach home, said Sandy Pollock, her publicist.
Ms. MacRae played Billie Jo from 1966 to 1970 on the series, which ran on CBS and starred Bea Benaderet as the widowed owner of the Shady Rest Hotel and mother of three eye-catching daughters who helped run the establishment.
Ms. MacRae was born in Houston to a Hollywood family: her father was the late actor-singer Gordon MacRae, who played the lovesick cowboy Curly in ''Oklahoma!'' Her mother is Sheila MacRae, one of the actresses who starred opposite Jackie Gleason as Ralph Cramden's wife, Alice, in ''The Honeymooners.''
Meredith MacRae made her film debut in 1953 at the age of 7 in ''By the Light of the Silvery Moon,'' which starred her father and Doris Day. Her first TV series was ''My Three Sons,'' in which she played Sally, the love interest for Mike (Tim Considine), from 1963 to 1965.
Ms. MacRae later began a TV talk show career with ''Mid-Morning L.A.,'' which ran for eight years and for which she won a local Emmy Award in 1986. She followed that with ''Born Famous,'' in which she interviewed the offspring of celebrities.
She worked with charities and civic groups, including the League of Women Voters, Women in Film and the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. She served as the foundation's telethon host for two decades.
Ms. MacRae lectured nationally on alcoholism and produced a TV special on the subject.
Ms. MacRae, whose marriages to Richard Berger, a movie executive, and Greg Mullavey, an actor, ended in divorce, married Phil Neal, a business executive, in 1995.
Here is Charles Lane's Obituary from The New York Times
Charles Lane, Hollywood Character Actor, Dies at 102
By ROBERT BERKVIST
Published: July 11, 2007
Charles Lane, a veteran character actor whose lean frame and stern features were familiar to millions of movie and television fans, most of whom, it is safe to say, never knew his name, died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 102.
Mr. Lane was busily employed from the 1930s to the 90s, playing hotel clerks, cashiers, reporters, lawyers, judges, tax collectors, mean-spirited businessmen, the powerful as well as the nondescript. Sometimes he was little more than a face in the crowd, with only a line or two of dialogue, which made it easy for him to trot from one movie set to another and rack up two or three film credits in a single day. He appeared in hundreds of comedies, dramas, gangster flicks and musicals, ranging from You Can't Take It With You (1938) and Tarzan''s New York Adventure (1942) to Mighty Joe Young (1949) and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963).
Some directors sought him out. He appeared in no fewer than nine films directed by Frank Capra, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life.
It was Mr. Capra who cast him as the income tax collector in You Can't Take It With You (1938), which Mr. Lane said was his favorite role.
His bony physique, craggy face and the authoritarian or supercilious way he would peer through his spectacles at his fellow actors eventually led to his being typecast and locked into playing a succession of lawyers, judges, assorted lawmen and other abrasive roles. It was, he said in an interview, stupid and unfair to be called upon to play the same kinds of roles over and over again.
It didn't give me a chance, he said. But, he added, it made the casting easier for the studio.
He was not alone in the typecast colony of Hollywood curmudgeons, who included familiar faces but relatively unknown names like Byron Foulger, Chester Clute, Charles Halton, Howland Chamberlin and Percy Helton. But no one made more movies, though even he may not have not been sure of the exact total. In 1933 alone, he made 23, and from then through 1947 he appeared in at least 200 more.
His career was interrupted by World War II, and his fellow crew members on an attack transport would amuse themselves by running and re-running one of his movies.
During his heyday, and Hollywood's, he would work from 9 to 5 at whatever studio he was booked for (he worked for many if not all of them), and then he would depart promptly for Pasadena, where his wife and two children waited.
Mr. Lane's wife, the former Ruth Covell, whom he married in 1932, died in 2002. In addition to his son, his survivors include a daughter, Alice Deane; and a grandchild.
Mr. Lane routinely forgot the names of the movies in which he appeared.
When I get in the car, turn the switch and start home, I forget all about them, he told The New York Times in 1947. On at least one occasion, he was quite astonished to see himself turn up in a movie he had paid good money to see. And as one of the first members of the Screen Actors Guild, he made good money, for the times. His salary in 1947 was $750 a week.
He was so omnipresent and so much the representative of his type, whatever that was, that people would come up to him in the street and greet him, because they thought they knew him from their hometowns.
Charles Gerstle Levison was born on Jan. 26, 1905, in San Francisco. He was working as an insurance salesman when a friend persuaded him to try his hand at acting. He joined the Pasadena Playhouse and soon moved on the Hollywood, where one of his early appearances, uncredited, was as a hotel desk clerk in Smart Money (1931), which starred Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney.
Starting in the 1950s, Mr. Lane also became a familiar presence on television. Over the years, he made guest appearances on series like Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone and The Munsters. He had recurring roles as a crafty landlord on The Beverly Hillbillies and a penny-pinching railroad executive on Petticoat Junction
He met Lucille Ball when she was still an RKO chorus girl, and the two became friends. Years later he was a frequent guest on I Love Lucy and appeared in one of that series's most-watched episodes, the birth of Little Ricky, in 1953. As Lucy's husband, Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), anxiously waits outside the maternity ward for news, Mr. Lane, as another expectant father, confides that he already has six daughters. The nurse announces that his wife has just given birth to three more. Mr. Lane marches grimly from the room, muttering only two words: Nine girls!
Mr. Lane continued working well into his 80s. His last appearance in a feature film found him playing a priest with a taste for marijuana in Date With an Angel (1987). He bid farewell to television in 1995, when he appeared in a remake of the 1970 Disney film comedy The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.
He never lost his enthusiasm. In 2005, when friends and industry admirers gathered to celebrate his 100th birthday, he accepted their plaudits from a wheelchair and declared, If you're interested, I'm still available.
Correction: July 17, 2007
An obituary on Wednesday about the Hollywood character actor Charles Lane misspelled the surnames of two other character actors. They were Byron Foulger, not Folger, and Howland Chamberlain, not Chamberlin.
Here is Frank Cady's Obituary from The New York Times
Frank Cady, Kept Store on Green Acres, Dies at 96
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK JUNE 11, 2012
Frank Cady, a character actor best known for playing the down-home shopkeeper, Sam Drucker, on the popular 1960s sitcoms Petticoat Junction and Green Acres, died on Friday at his home in Wilsonville, Ore. He was 96.
Catherine Turk, his daughter, confirmed his death.
Mr. Cady played Sam Drucker for nearly a decade on the two shows, both set in the fictional town of Hooterville.
Mr. Drucker was a bit of a straight man to the colorfully zany folk who populated the series, both on CBS. His general store was the closest thing Hooterville had to a social club, and unlike the shops in neighboring Pixley, Drucker's extended credit.
Mr. Cady's Sam Drucker also appeared occasionally on a third homespun comedy, The Beverly Hillbillies. All three shows were produced by Paul Henning.
Critics found the shows simple-minded, but in 1990 Mr. Cady defended Green Acres, about a city couple who move to the country.
The only thing I resent is people calling it a corny show, he told CBS News. It's highly sophisticated, and it's timeless, as I think all the reruns are establishing.
Mr. Cady had an extensive career outside of Drucker's store. He played the part of Doc Williams on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet from 1953 to 1964, appeared on television shows like Wagon Train and Perry Mason, and acted in films, including Rear Window and Ace in the Hole.
Mr. Cady largely retired in 1977, but he did reprise the role of Sam Drucker in 1990, in the TV movie Return to Green Acres.
Frank Randolph Cady was born on Sept. 8, 1915, in Susanville, Calif., and graduated from Stanford University's drama department in 1938. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II and started acting onstage after returning from the war.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Steven; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife, Shirley, whom he married in 1940, died in 2008.
Here is Pat Woodell's Obituary from The LA Times
Pat Woodell dies at 71; actress best known for 1960s sitcom 'Petticoat Junction'
Actress Pat Woodell, who starred as one of a trio of sisters in the wholesome 1960s sitcom "Petticoat Junction" before she went on to be featured in a series of not-so-wholesome exploitation films, died Sept. 29 at her home in Fallbrook, Calif. She was 71.
Known as Patricia McDade off screen, she had battled cancer for more than 20 years, said her husband, Vern McDade.
She was born July 12, 1944, in Winthrop, Mass. Her initial aim in show business was to be a singer, and she had early gigs at resorts in the Catskills. In 1962, gossip columnist Harrison Carroll wrote, "Everybody wants to hear 18-year-old singer Pat Woodell."
Woodell, a statuesque brunette, was signed to a contract by Warner Bros., and her first network TV credit was on a 1962 episode of the western series "Cheyenne." She followed that up with appearances on "Hawaiian Eye" and "77 Sunset Strip," and had a role in a government-sponsored anti-communism drama, "Red Nightmare," narrated by Jack Webb.
Her best-known role came in the hit series "Petticoat Junction," set near the bucolic town of Hooterville. Many of the plots revolved around the misadventures of the three teenage daughters of widow Kate Bradley, played by veteran TV actress Bea Benaderet, as they tried to keep the slightly run-down Shady Rest Hotel afloat.
The show made its debut in 1963 on CBS, with Woodell playing Bobbie Jo, the smart, studious daughter. (The trio was rounded out by Linda Kaye Henning, who portrayed tomboy Betty Jo, and Jeannine Riley, who was boy-crazy Billie Jo.)
One of the better-known episodes that featured Woodell had her falling for a traveling-through beatnik type, played by Dennis Hopper. He spews over-the-top, angry verse that insults the townspeople. Yet a smitten Bobbie Jo tells him, "I think that was one of the most exciting poems I've ever heard." In the end, with her mother's help, she realizes he's more insane than artistic.
"The show has such a nostalgic note that it hits for so many people," Woodell said in an interview in the mid-2000s for a DVD compilation of the series. "Even today, after so many decades, I can be doing anything, anywhere in the world, by the way, and people will remember 'Petticoat Junction.'"
Woodell did some singing on the show including in a Beatles parody group, the Ladybugs with her on-screen sisters and the addition of actress Sheila Kuehl, now a Los Angeles County supervisor.
But Woodell grew tired of playing Bobbie Jo and left after two seasons of "Petticoat Junction," which ran until April 1970.
She had some success as a singer, including touring with comedian Jack Benny and recording an album, but stardom remained out of reach.
In the early 1970s she began appearing in low-budget exploitation films that thrived on nudity and violence, long before those were amply available on cable. Perhaps the best known of those films was the 1971 women's prison flick "The Big Doll House," which exclaimed in its trailer: "Their bodies were caged, but not their desires!"
"I have no delusions about this movie," Woodell said in a 1971 Chicago Tribune interview. But she didn't break through to more mainstream fare, and in 1973 gave up acting after attending a seminar developed by the controversial Werner Erhard. His est human potential programs were in vogue at the time, and Woodell went to work for his organization. She later co-founded a business consulting firm, retiring in 2013.
In addition to her husband they were married in 1978 she is survived by her stepfather, Joe Saveriano.
Here is Mike Minor's Obituary from The Boston Herald
Mike Minor, actor on 'Petticoat Junction,' daytime soaps, dies at 75 ..
February 2, 2016
Mike Minor, whose hunky, dashing "Petticoat Junction" character Steve Elliott was memorably introduced at the beginning of season four, crashing next to the train tracks as "Petticoat's" trio of beauties are bathing in the water tower, died Jan. 28. He was 75. His sister-in-law Marlene Duerr Dedderson confirmed the news on Facebook.
After the crash of Elliott's plane, Billie Jo asks the family, "Do you think we'll get to keep him?" while the family stands over the crop duster, who's been knocked out.
Steve Elliott was a character on "Petticoat Junction" from fall 1966 until the series ended in 1970. Elliott married Betty Jo on the show -- and Minor married Linda Kaye Henning, who portrayed Linda Jo in 1968. (Henning and Elliott were married for five years.)
He appeared on "CHiPs" and "Vega$" and recurred in 1980-81 as Brandon Kingsley, one of Erica Kane's lovers, on "All My Children" (he also appeared on "Another World" in 1964, "The Edge of Night" in 1972 and "As the World Turns" in 1965), making his last screen appearance in a 1993 episode of "L.A. Law."
Michael Fedderson was born in San Francisco, the son of TV producer Don Fedderson (whose series included "My Three Sons") and actress Tido Fedderson.
Minor was also a singer whose album "This Is Mike Minor" was released in 1966; he also turned out successful singles including "Silver Dollar" and "One Day at a Time." He sang repeatedly on "Petticoat Junction."
Minor was thrice married.
To watch episodes of Petticoat Junction go to http://www.solie.org/alibrary/PetticoatJunction.html
For more on Petticoat Junction go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petticoat_Junction
For a Website dedicated to Petticoat Junction go to https://web.archive.org/web/20050203215214/http://petticoat.topcities.com/page1.htm
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/PetticoatJunction.htm
To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100107171708/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/junction.html
For the Official Website of Meredith MacRae go to http://www.meredithmacrae.com/gallery.html
To watch Petticoat Junction-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/petticoat-junction
For another Review of Petticoat Junction go to https://web.archive.org/web/20090709124527/http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/junction.htm
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Keywords: Petticoat Junction Cast (Links Updated 5/28/2017)