R.I.P. Pat Woodell of 'Petticoat Junction'

The first Bobbie Jo passes away at the age of 71.

Pat Woodell was was best known as Bobbie Jo Bradley — the first Bobbie Jo. Over its seven-year run, Petticoat Junction changed several cast members. After season two, Woodell, the brunette Bradley daughter, left the series along with her blonde screen sister, Jeannine Riley. Last month, Woodell died at the age of 71, her husband Vern McDade reported to the Los Angeles Times over the weekend. The former actress had battled cancer for twenty years.

Though she only appeared in a fraction of Petticoat Junction episodes, Woodell left a lasting impression on the sitcom. An aspiring singer who worked many of her younger years as a nightclub act, Woodell formed a Beatles-esque rock & roll band called the Ladybugs with her faux siblings Riley and Shiela James. The girl group even released a single and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in March 1964. On another episode, Woodell further demonstrated her pipes, singing "All Those Endearing Young Charms."

Woodell left Petticoat Junction in 1965 and was replaced with Lori Saunders. "I am grateful for the television experience," she told the Chicago Tribune in 1971, but that type of role is real depredation after awhile, and I just had to get out." In 1965, Woodell released a pop single, "What Good Would It Do," a slice of Nancy Sinatra–like romance. The flip side, "Somehow It Got to Be Tomorrow Today," was just as good. 

Sadly, her music career never took off. The Massachusetts native popped up in an episode of The Munsters and landed some roles in explotation films such as The Big Doll House and The Woman Hunt before quietly retiring from the industry in 1973. From 1964 to 1977, she was married to actor Gary Clarke of The Virginian. She married McDade in 1978. For four decades, she operated a consulting firm, retiring in 2013.

Fortunately, she will she lives on in television and records.

Petticoat Junction returns to MeTV on weekday mornings at 7:30 AM | 6:30 C on October 26.

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