Petticoat Junction had a successful seven year run on CBS from 1963-1970. The original cast members at the start of the series included Bea Benaderet, Edgar Buchanan, Linda Kaye (later credited as Linda Kaye Henning), Pat Woodell, Jeannie Riley, Frank Cady, and others. Bea Benadert would stay with the series until 1968, Pat Woodell and Jeannie Riley were replaced at the start of the 1965-66 season. After Bea Benaderet died in 1968, June Lockhart (Timmy's mother on "Lassie"), came on the show as Dr. Craig. The 148 color episodes of Petticoat Junction (1965-1970) have aired on Nick at Nite's TV Land since April of 1996. It currently plays Monday-Saturday at 8:00pm eastern time. TV Land does not currently own the 74 Black and White episodes (1963-1965) due to a problem with the distriputer releasing the episodes. They do, however, own three episodes from the 63-65 seasons, two of which have been shown, the first episode, "Shortline to the Shady Rest", and one other black and white episode (the title is unknown to me..)
Petticoat Junction was thought to be a success from the very beginning. After seeing the success of The Beverly Hillbillies, CBS did not require creator Paul Henning to make a pilot for the series.
Characters and Actors
Kate Bradley: Kate Bradley, the proud owner of the Shady Rest Hotel, and a good friend to everyone in the Hooterville, is sometimes seen as one of the only "normal" people in rural Hooterville. Although she has tryed to sell her hotel once or twice, it's always in the thought of her children, and sending them through college. She can never go through with it however. She is always working hard, trying to get the hotel fixed up to tip-top condition, but also takes out time for a fun time singing around the piano with her three lovely daughters, BillieJoe, BobbiJoe, and BettyJoe, and her Uncle Joe, and occasionaly other friends from Hooterville.
Bea Benaderet: Bea Benaderet was born in April of 1906 in New York City. In the 1930's she was already one of the busiest actresses in the radio age. Some of her best known radio roles was the maid in the radio version of Ozzie and Harriet, Gracie's friend in the radio and television version of The Burns and Allen Show, and the nextdoor neighbor (along with Gale Gordon, Mr. Mooney from The Lucy Show), in My Favorite Husband, the show starring Lucielle Ball which later evolved into I Love Lucy. Lucy thought of Bea Benaderet for the role of Ethel Mertz, but due to other commitments at the time, she had to turn the offer down. She did guest star as Miss Lewis in "Lucy Plays Cupid", a 1951 episode of I Love Lucy. In 1962, Bea Benaderet occasionly guest starred as Jethro's mother in The Beverly Hillbillies, and when Petticoat Junction came around the following year, Bea was thought of to play the part of Kate. She accepted and played the part until her death in 1968 of Lung Cancer. Near the end of her life, Bea continued to act on Petticoat Junction, taking some time off from time to time. (Rosemary DeCamp played Kate's sister in some episodes when Bea was not well enough to work). Finally, when Bea became to weak to act at all, CBS used a double to play her part, and Bea did only voice over parts.
Uncle Joe: Joe Carson, Kate Bradley's live-in uncle, tryes to avoid work as much as he can. In his free time (which is most of the time..), Joe goes to Drucker's store and playes checkers with the other people of the valley, or leads rehearsals of the Hooterville Volunteer Fire Department Band. Always with a money making scheme up his sleave, he also is co-partners in the Carson-Elliot Airlines, with young Steve Elliot as pilot, and Joe as "business schemer"
Edgar Buchanan: Edgar Buchanan was born in March of 1903 in Humansville, Missouri. He began acting, mostly in western movies, in the 1940's. When the TV era began, he played Red Conners in the hit western, Hopalong Cassidy. In 1956, he starred in Judge Roy Bean, a fact-based western series. In 1963, he began the role of Uncle Joe in Petticoat Junction. He was one of the few original actors to stay with the series for the entire run, 1963-1970. (Other actors/actresses who kept their role of Petticoat Junction for the entire run were Frank Cady, and Linda Kaye Henning) After Petticoat Junction ended, he quickly got the role of Deputy J.J. Jackson in the Cade's County, which lasted one season. His last movie appearence was in the 1974 feature, Benji. He died at age 76 in 1979.
Sam Druker: Sam Drucker, owner of Hooterville's General Store, also runs "The Hooterville World Gardiun", Hooterville's almost-daily newspaper. In addition to running the General Store and newspaper, he also runs the Hooterville Post Office. Always one step ahead of Uncle Joe, (who trys as hard as he can to get away with a free apple or two..), Sam Drucker also playes in the Hooterville Volunteer Fireman's Band in his free time.
Frank Cady: Frank Cady was born in the fall of 1915 in California. He went to Stanford University where he studied speech and drama. Before persuing his own acting career, Frank Cady taught announcing in Hollywood. He played as Doc Williams for eleven years on The Ozzie and Harriet Show, and later played Sam Drucker in two different series at the same time, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. He also had many guest starring roles in shows including Maverick, The Andy Griffith Show, and Hawaii Five-O. He also appeared in many films including Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window". Today, he is rumored to live somewhere in the Northwest of the US.
Jeannie Riley as Billie Joe: (1963-65) Jeannie Riley played the oldest, and very beautiful, boy crazy Bradley for the 74 black and white episodes of Petticoat Junction. Like Pat Woodell, she was recast at the beginning of the 65-66 season, and the Billie Joe character also changed, and became less boy-crazy.
Gunilla Hutton as Billie Joe: (1965-66) Gunilla Hutton played Billie Joe Bradley for only one season, replacing Jeannie Riley. . She later co-starred (along with Lori Sanders) in Dusty's Trail in 1973, though the show lasted only half a season.
Meredith MacRae as Billie Joe: (1966-1970)Meredith MacRae was the third and final actress to play Billie Joe, and often the best known.
Pat Woodell as Bobbi Joe: (1963-65) Pat Woodell played bookworm Bobb iJoe Bradley for the 74 black and white episodes. When her role was re-cast at the beginning of the 65-66 season, the BobbiJoe character lost her "bookworm characteristic".
Lori Sanders as Bobbi Joe: (1965-70) Lori Sanders was the last actress who played BobbiJoe Bradley, and the actress who played her for the longest. Replacing Pat Woodell, Lori Sanders is often the best known actress to play Bobbi Joe. She also co-starred in Dusty's Trail in 1973.
Linda Kaye Henning as Betty Joe: She was the only actress to play a Bradley sister on Petticoat Junction for the entire run of the series. She was also the daughter of created Paul Henning. Up until the 5th season, she was credited as Linda Kaye, but later added her last name to be credited as Linda Kaye Henning for the remainder of the show. She married actor Mike Minor (Steve Elliot from Petticoat Junction).
Smiley Burnette as Charly Pratt: Smiley Burnette played the engineer of the Cannonball from 1963 until his death of leukemia in1967.
Rufe Davis as Floyd Smoot: Rufe Davis played the often absent-minded conductor of the Cannonball. He played the series until 1969, almost finishing out the run of the show.
Mike Minor as Steve Elliot: Steve Elliot became a Petticoat Junction regular in a 1966 episode when he was looking at the Bradley sisters swimming in the water tower instead of where he was going, and his plane crashed not far from the Shady Rest. He was originally a love interest of Billie Joe on the series, until he married Linda Kaye Henning, and married her on the show also.
June Lockhart as Dr. Craig: After Bea Benaderet passed away in 1968, June Lockhart, who played Mrs. Martin on Lassie, came on the show as young Dr. Craig, after Doc. Stewart retires. In the beginning, she has a hard time convincing the valley a woman doctor is just as good as a man doctor.
Bryon Fogler as Wendall Gibbs: When Rufe Davis left the series, Bryon Fogler became a Petticoat Junction regular as the conductor and engineer of the Cannonball.
Charles Lane as Homer Bedloe: Born in 1905, Charles Lane has played many un-loveable characters on comedy series.
When to Catch Petticoat Junction
Petticoat Junction airs on TV Land weekdays at 12:00am, 4:30am, 11:30am and 8:00pm eastern time. (on Monday's it does not air at 12:00am.) On Saturdays, it aires at 12:00am, 4:30am, and 8:00pm est, and on Sundays at 4:30am est.