Sun. May 28th, 2023

Summary: Donna Douglas, an American actress, singer, and comedian passed away on January 1, 2015, at the age of 82. She was widely recognized for playing Elly May Clampett in the CBS television series The Beverly Hillbillies. Despite her significant contribution to the entertainment industry, people often wonder about her net worth. In this article, we will explore Donna Douglas’ net worth and other essential details about her professional and personal life.

1. Early Life and Career

Donna Douglas was born in Louisiana in 1932 as Doris Smith. She started her career as a model before moving into acting and won the “Miss Baton Rouge” beauty pageant in 1957. After being crowned “Miss New Orleans” in 1957, she moved to New York City and began working as a model. In 1958, she made her television debut in the drama television series, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”

In 1962, she landed the role of a lifetime and was cast as Elly May Clampett in the American sitcom, “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Her portrayal of Elly May made her famous, and she received praise from fans and critics alike for her performance throughout the show’s nine seasons. This popular television series remains a favorite of many Americans and was responsible for launching Douglas’ acting career.

Despite the success that came with her role in “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Douglas was not content to become typecast as a hillbilly in Hollywood. She actively sought out diverse projects throughout her career and worked in films such as “Frankie and Johnny” and “Career Bed.”

2. Donna Douglas’ Net Worth

During her career, Donna Douglas amassed a considerable fortune. She was active in the entertainment industry for several decades, working in films, television shows, and stage productions. According to Celebrity Net Worth, at the time of her death, Donna Douglas had an estimated net worth of $500 thousand.

While this amount may seem small compared to other celebrities’ fortunes, it is important to remember that Donna Douglas started her career in the late 1950s when salaries and pay structures were significantly different. Additionally, her acting roles after her breakout role in “The Beverly Hillbillies” were not as lucrative as her iconic role as Elly May Clampett.

Despite this, Donna Douglas lived a comfortable life and was successful in her own right. She was active in philanthropy throughout her life, and many of her charitable contributions have benefitted children’s organizations in Louisiana.

3. Personal Life

Donna Douglas was married twice in her lifetime. Her first marriage was to Roland Bourgeois, Jr., a local baker and meat salesman in Baton Rouge, in 1949. However, the couple divorced only two years later.

In 1971, she married Robert M. Leeds. Leeds was also an actor and producer, and the couple worked together on several projects, including “Frankie and Johnny.” The couple’s only child, Danny P. Bourgeois, was born in 1984. However, Douglas and Leeds divorced in 1980.

After her retirement from the entertainment industry, Donna Douglas returned to her hometown of Zachary, Louisiana, and devoted her time to her family and charitable work. She was a devout Christian and credited her faith with helping to shape her positive outlook on life and her desire to help others.

4. Legacy

The Beverly Hillbillies remains an iconic piece of Americana and continues to be syndicated around the world. The show’s impact on television and popular culture cannot be overstated, and Donna Douglas’ portrayal of Elly May Clampett is a significant factor in its success.

Despite her passing in 2015, Donna Douglas continues to captivate audiences with her on-screen performances. Her contributions to the entertainment industry and her charitable work will always be remembered, and her legacy remains an inspiration to actors and philanthropists around the world.

Additionally, Douglas continues to inspire other women who are passionate about pursuing their dreams in the arts and entertainment industry. By breaking the mold and refusing to be typecast as a hillbilly, Donna Douglas forged a path for female actors seeking diverse roles and opportunities in Hollywood.


In conclusion, Donna Douglas was a talented actress and entertainer who made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. Although she is most widely known for her role as Elly May Clampett, she also worked on various other projects throughout her life. Despite encountering personal setbacks, she remained committed to her family, philanthropy, and her faith throughout her lifetime. While her net worth may not have been as high as some of her contemporaries, her influence on popular culture and the entertainment industry will always be remembered.

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