Donna Douglas lost her Southern accent to be in show business — then had to get it back when she starred in ''The Beverly Hillbillies''
How Donna got her accent back.
A television series has the potential to capture the attention of the whole world, which means that every decision that goes into it is usually about how to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, so as to not lose any potential fans. Many qualities that make an actor unique are tossed aside to avoid limiting your roles, or worse, being typecast.
Donna Douglas was originally from Louisiana but left the South in order to pursue a career in acting. However, when she got there, she found that she would have to adhere to the unspoken set of standards that plague all actors.
According to The Charlotte News, Douglas was told that her noticeable Southern accent would have to go if she wanted to make it anywhere in Hollywood. So, Douglas kept her head down and, with hard work, she was able to lose the accent.
Unfortunately, shortly after this, she had an audition for the role that would break her into stardom: Elly Mae of The Beverly Hillbillies. When she was being considered for an audition, the casting directors liked her but had one stipulation before she was cast. They said, "You'll do, But you'll have to learn to talk southern."
Strangely enough, Douglas didn't really consider herself an actor, even when she had found success on Hillbillies. She said, "I'm still more of a fan than an actress. I respect talent and have an appreciation for talented people." Still, Douglas was aware of how lucky she was to be on the series and wanted to keep acting on it for as long as possible.
She said, "I love the Hillbillies. I signed a six-year contract for this show and I think life is so great I just want to get on the stick and get everything to working."