Bea Benaderet wasn't worried about anyone stealing her scenes in Petticoat Junction

There were two things some actors worried would steal their scenes: dogs and children. Benaderet was worry-free.

Actors often worry about getting their scenes stolen, which can occur when another cast member wants all of the attention or unexpectedly gets it during filming. In the '60s, there was a moment when actors felt that there were two things that could take the attention off of them in a scene: a furry animal and children. As a result, some chose not to film with either. Petticoat Junction's Bea Benaderet was not one of those actors.

In an interview with The Daily Record, the actress clarified that she wasn't worried about anyone stealing her shine while filming, especially Petticoat Junction's beloved dog.

"He's great; you'd have to be an idiot not to admire him," she began. "Any time you are going to worry about a dog stealing a scene, you simply aren't concerned with your show. Anything that makes a good ingredient, I'm for."

The dog, referred to in the article as no-name, had a history of working in television. Benaderet revealed that her interactions with the animal were always pleasant. The actress said the dog knew what a camera was and when it was time for him to film.

"The other day, we were doing a scene when all of a sudden, he discovered a blanket that was laying on the floor," she added. "He went after it, played with it, rubbed his back with it - all on camera. And the director printed it. The dog comes prepared. He's got the bark built in."

Anything the dog didn't learn before filming could be taught quickly. During one scene in Petticoat Junction, Kate, played by Benaderet, and two of her daughters were listening to Uncle Joe tell a boring story. The actress thought it would be funny for no-name to yawn with them, and he learned how to do it in just a few minutes.

"He learned it in less than five minutes," Benaderet said. "We yawned, and he yawned right at the same time - right with us. We didn't even have to cut to a close-up of him."

The actress truly admired her furry castmate, and while some actors chose not to film with animals, she made sure to play with him between scenes.

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12 Comments

wallyandbagfan 1 month ago
https://youtu.be/LRmadYrQuJA
Eddie Cantor in Whoopee.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Bea Benaderet sounds like a wonderful person and the dog sound brilliant! "He's got the bark built in."
ncadams27 1 month ago
Sone shows use the birth of a child as a way to create interest and draw viewers. I’ve noticed that shortly after the child is born, they don’t appear as much (are typically played by identical twins). When they do a show that doesn’t involve kids, one if the parents will make the comment “I’m glad (neighbor, family member) was able to watch the baby today “ then continue on with the rest of the story.
Pacificsun ncadams27 1 month ago
That's because Professional Kids are a pain to work with.

Full House seemed to be the exception. But I think it was because of the Comics who supported them.
Pacificsun 2 months ago
I believe that the dog's real name was Higgins. And he won the equivalent of an Emmy for Animal Actors. Many of them (so the saying goes) were discovered in Animal Shelters and displayed exceptional talent. They were bred (if possible) to be the talented offspring, but weren't always naturals. But they did stand-in well however, for the actual performer. And particular dogs of the same breed (ex. Collies) were used for certain talents for specific scenes (running, swimming, etc..).

The legend as quoted is actually kind of an exaggeration. "Working Actors" know how to handle "scene stealing." The real shortcoming about children and animals is the added time involved, particularly with labor laws protecting children. Those Takes have to be done quickly and effectively during a normal day. So actors can't be creating their own kind of delays. They do know however that children and animals bring viewers into a scene, which makes a Show more watchable.

Glad you presented a story about Bea Benaderet, and haven't heard a bad word about her.
daDoctah 2 months ago
It's not that hard to get an animal to yawn along with you. I taught this to my ex-girlfriend's sister with regard to cats, and she tried it out by fake-yawning at a mountain lion at the Desert Museum in Tucson. Right on cue, the big cat yawned back, and Sheila ran around for the rest of the day beaming about "I made a mountain lion yawn!"
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Wait....so actors chose not to film with cute furry animals and children. I would think that would limit them in roles. If an actor was concerned about that, they were probably more worried about their acting skills. Obviously Bea Benaderet was comfortable with her abilities as an actress. JMO
Moody LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Believe or not, there are people who just simply don't like animals or children. Go figure, right? That may be the case for some actors. Maybe they don't like being upstaged by animals & children or they just don't like them at all for some reason but I don't think it's because they doubt their acting skills. Some people are comfortable around them & some are not. Just another opinion.
Pacificsun Moody 2 months ago
I've read that some had a bad encounter with a dog as a child. That kind of a fear can be hard to get over. But I've also read that actors with a fear of horses get over that just in order to take the role. There are a lot of actors out there with a fear of heights and water, and I know which ones, who just suck it up so they're never excluded from an audition.

Let's face it, it's probably more about (true) Stage Mothers being more annoying than the children.
LoveMETV22 Moody 2 months ago
I can see the dislike or maybe fear of a specific animal would be a reason to pass on a certain role.
On the acting alongside children or "perception" they would be upstaged by a child actor, well that would be their choice to not take the role. It just seems they would be limiting opportunities, but again it was their choice.
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