internationally know for her portrayal of Elly May in “The Beverly
Hillbillies”, was born near Baton rouge, Louisiana. As a young
girl she spent much of her time on her grandfather’s farm developing
into a real tomboy - climbing trees, swinging on vines and playing
football and softball. After winning several beauty contests as a
teenager, including “Miss Baton Rouge” and “Miss New Orleans”
crowns, she pursued a career in entertainment in New York. There she
was featured as a “Letters Girl” on “The Perry Como Show” and a
“Billboard Girl” on “The Steve Allen Show”.
|These and other appearences led New York
Photographers and newspaper reporters to award her the “Miss By-Line”
crown, which she wore on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Producer Hal
Willis saw that telecast and brought Donna to Hollywood, casting her in
the movie “Career”, with Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. Roles
in other movies such as “Lil’ Abner” and Lover Come Back”
followed, as well as roles in numerous television sweries. The
turning point in her budding career came when she was chosen over 500
other aspirants to play the role of Elly May. “The Beverly
Hillbillies” was the number one series in the nation for two years and
it was in the top 20 in the 9th year. Today, it remains one of the
most popular shows in worldwide syndication.
Since “The Beverly Hillbillies”, Donna has remained active in television and personal appearences. She is in great demand in this and other countries as a speaker for women’s groups, churches, conventions and youth and civic organizations.
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