6 fascinating facts about Petticoat Junction
Did you know of its ties to The Flintstones, Beatles, Benji and Back to the Future III?
Television producer and writer Paul Henning created some of the most memorable sitcoms in history. Sandwiched between The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres was Petticoat Junction, which starred his daughter, Linda Kaye. In hindsight, Petticoat may not resonate with younger generations quite like Hillbillies and Green Acres, which was actually its spin-off, but the series is no less beloved by those who grew up with it in the 1960s.
1. Bea Benaderet was the original voice of Betty RubbleAs Kate, the proprietor of the Shady Rest Hotel, veteran actress Benaderet finally got her chance to lead a cast. She had a couple near misses, as she was nearly cast as Ethyl on I Love Lucy and Granny on Beverly Hillbillies. Her voice, however, had been a star. Benaderet worked on several radio programs, such those by Jack Benny and Mel Blanc. She got to play the prehistoric wife of the latter on the early seasons of The Flintstones, when she became the perfect voice of Betty Rubble from 1960–64. Accept no substitutes.
2. The same train appeared in 'Back to the Future III'Seemingly everything on Petticoat Junction was a star, down to the vehicles and animals. The locomotive that served as the Hooterville Cannonball on the show was a storied Hollywood choo-choo. The Sierra No. 3 got its start early in westerns, chugging along Gary Cooper in The Virginian, High Noon and many more. The machine worked into the 1990s, even getting a time-traveling makeover in Back to the Future III.
3. Higgins, the dog, is perhaps the most famous actor on the showDoes that adorable face look familiar? Posing here with the Petticoat women, Higgins was only honing his chops for greater success. While only known as "Dog" on the sitcom, he become a household name late in life as the titular hero of Benji. Yes, he's Benji! The mutt was close pals with Edgar Buchanan, who acted with him on Petticoat, Green Acres and Benji.
4. Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo formed a fictional band called The Ladybugs and actually played Ed Sullivan
In 1964, Beatlemania knew no borders. The Bradley daughters catch a case of Mop Top Fever and form their own band, a tribute of sorts called The Ladybugs. Ed Sullivan was so enamored with the idea, he had the fake act play for real on his television show. They covered "I Saw Her Standing There"—well, "I saw Him Standing There." The group also released a 45 single, "Sooner or Later."