Donna Douglas was asked to milk a goat for her ''Beverly Hillbillies'' audition

Douglas had only been in acting school for a week.

Donna Douglas was no doubt destined to play Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. During an interview with The Tennessean, she explained her start as an actor, which began with her moving to New York before departing to California. Douglas explained that she felt the best way to gain knowledge was through action. She explained, "I had to learn as I went along. That's how I got started. I never said a word until I got to Hollywood."

When Douglas tried out for the part of Elly May, she was up against 500 other actors who were also auditioning. She noted that she had only been in acting school for a single week before she read for the part. Still, Douglas was determined and optimistic. She said, "I was pretty simple but I knew I could learn."

Most auditions are stressful because an actor is required to read for a group of casting directors and producers who will determine their future employment. However, Donna Douglas's Beverly Hillbillies audition had an extra unforeseen layer of stress. According to an article in the Associated Press, Donna Douglas had to milk a live goat. Luckily, Douglas had a remarkably similar upbringing to Elly May and knew her way around a farm animal. Douglas explained, "I had milked cows before. I figured they were equipped the same, so I just went on over and did it." 

This very well could have been what won her the role, which was excellent news for Douglas, who quickly became attached to the character. She told The Tennessean, "When I read for that part I was so thankful. I wanted to do a family show. When you work together nine years you're just like family. That was a dream role."

She continued, "I knew everything about Elly May from day one. I never needed direction on my character. It was homemade."

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13 Comments

Snickers 1 month ago
How would you feel if you came in to audition for a part on a TV show and they asked you to milk a goat?
Runeshaper 1 month ago
It’s important to remember where we come from, regardless of where we are or where we’re going 🙂
IndianaRockz Runeshaper 1 month ago
Very well said, Runeshaper!
bj1606 IndianaRockz 1 month ago
Yep I agree
Runeshaper bj1606 1 month ago
THANK YOU! :)
IndianaRockz 1 month ago
You can tell what an animal lover in real life she was because of how good & kind she was handling all the critters on the show.

Wonder why the article didn't mention where she was born & raised.
bj1606 IndianaRockz 1 month ago
I think the clue was Tennessee or Kentucky
Donna Douglas was born Doris lone Smith in the community of Pride, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, on September 26, 1932." Wikipedia
Btw, hit singer from the 60s, Johnny Rivers was from Baton Rouge too ;)
Thanks for those lil nuggets of knowledge, SomeKnucklehead! I always say I can have a lil fun AND learn a lil sumpin' here on the MeTV playground! 😁
cperrynaples 1 month ago
Well that wasn't her first acting role! We all remember "The Eye Of The Beholder"! MeTV even got a promo out of it!
Samuel cperrynaples 1 month ago
She was on an episode of MR ED. I have the complete series on dvd.
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