Linda Kaye Henning was an advocate for cancer research

Warning: This story is a bit of a tear-jerker.

Regarding actors, usually, the most publicized stories are the professional parts. We learn about their lives onscreen, what they were like on set, and who they were to their costars. But, lots of times, the aspects that are outside of the public view are even richer and more interesting. 

Linda Henning's most notable onscreen role was as Betty Jo Bradley on Petticoat Junction. Henning starred in the show, which her father produced, from 1963 to 1970. She was one of only three cast members to stick with the show for its entirety. Henning appeared in all but three of the show's 222 episodes.

During her time on the show, Henning became affiliated with the San Fernando Valley Unit of the American Cancer Society and would remain active as a volunteer for years to come.

"Cancer was hitting me very close to home," Henning told the Contra Costa Times in 1977. "Bea Benaderet was a very special person in my life. She was the one who got me on the show, even though my father, a writer, was its creator.

"She educated me and coaxed me and so it is very hard to describe how I felt as I watched her literally smoking herself to death."

Linda Henning took this sad story and turned it into a lifelong advocacy for cancer research. While still an actress, her schedule kept her from volunteering full-time, but Henning still found the hours to put in the work. She signed up with the San Fernando Valley Unit's transportation department in her free time. She would remain on-call to drive patients in need to their appointments. 

At first, she was apprehensive about how much she had to give, but eventually, she grew to love and appreciate the work.

"One man told me he felt good about having a volunteer driving him," Henning said. "He said he always felt as if he were imposing when he called on a relative for help, but with a volunteer, he didn't. 'You guys do it because you want to,' he told me."


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15 Comments

Runeshaper 2 months ago
It’s wonderful that she volunteered ❤️
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
PS Updated:
Off topic R.I.P Ryan O'Neal who passed yesterday December 8, 2023.
He had guest roles on several series that air on MeTV, however a regular on Peyton Place
Best known for film roles in Love Story and Paper Moon, as well as others.

Condolences to his family and friends. Barbara Streisand posted a kind remembrances on "X" (Twitter), yesterday, however that list will surely grow.


LoveMETV22 LoveMETV22 2 months ago
There was an ABC affiliate that did a segment with some of the Series/ Films he starred in. :


Andybandit 2 months ago
That was sad about Bea. She needed to stop smoking. But it is hard for people to quit.
McGillahooala Andybandit 2 months ago
It was a different time. Doctors and nurses were still smoking in their offices and hospitals at that time. Not too many years before, doctors were promoting cigarettes for their health benefits.
Deleted 2 months ago
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cperrynaples 2 months ago
Fun Fact: O'Neal appeared on Perry Mason, but his brother [who died earlier this year] may have had the more notable appearance! He was Perry's client in the only color episode!
cperrynaples 2 months ago
PS Obviously that was not the real Stanley Kubrick as he died in 1999! Someone apparantly registered under his name! Barbra Streisand is proably real as she just released her autobiography!
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
PS; Updated post from yesterday. Would think the post from Barbara Streisand on "X' is authentic, as many media sources seem to be publishing comments from her and would imagine Twitter "X" would pull if it were bogus.

It looks like the Stanley Kubrick post is from a website established after his passing that is dedicated to his works and also some merchandising. Not one for semantics but the post began with a "We", so most likely the comment was in the collective not Mr. Kubrick himself,
"for obvious reason." So probably legit.

There are similar websites for other notary individuals who have passed Ex: Charles M. Schulz Museum website- which also has links to merchandise.

cperrynaples 2 months ago
I knew that wasn't the real Kubrick, but then again I don't trust anything owned by Elon Musk!
cperrynaples 2 months ago
PS what disgusts me most about Musk is that when a reporter asked what he thought of advertizers who boycott him, he responded with a vulgar rant!
cperrynaples 2 months ago
I sorta knew about Benaderet's smoking and how it killed her at the beginning of season 6! Ironically, her last episode was when Betty Jo gave birth! Too bad Henning couldn't save her TV mother but found an outlet to save others! BTW, she's still alive at 80!
harlow1313 2 months ago
I find the article's final paragraph to be poignant.
Pacificsun 2 months ago
Volunteers make a huge difference in people's lives. Unless someone has been on either side of the situation, that service is underestimated.
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