Skip to comments."Beverly Hillbillies" creator Paul Henning dies at 93
Posted on 03/25/2005 7:02:08 PM PST by NormsRevenge
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - Paul Henning, who created the iconic 1960s TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies" and wrote its theme song, died Friday at the age of 93.
Henning, who lived in Toluca Lake, died in a Burbank hospital of natural causes. He had been sick for some time, his daughter Carol said.
Henning was born on a farm in Missouri on Sept. 16, 1911 and grew up in Independence. As a teenager, he worked behind the soda fountain at Brown's Drugstore, where he met Harry Truman, who advised the young boy to become a lawyer, his daughter said.
He graduated from Kansas City School of Law, but soon went to work writing for radio. He wrote for "Fibber McGee and Molly" and "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show," among others.
After writing for television for several years, he created "The Beverly Hillbillies," which debuted on CBS in 1962.
Henning created the show based on his encounters with residents during camping trips in the Ozarks with the Boy Scouts, his daughter said.
The CBS series starring Buddy Ebsen as the patriarch Jed drew up to 60 million viewers at its peak and ran until 1971.
Henning also wrote the words and music to "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," which was sung by Jerry Scoggins while Nashville bluegrass stars Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs played guitar and banjo.
The ballad began, "Come and listen to a story about a man name Jed/ a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed/ then one day he was shootin' for some food/ and up through the ground came a bubblin' crude."
In 1963, he created "Petticoat Junction," a "Hillbillies" spinoff.
While he is sometimes credited with creating the TV show "Green Acres," his daughter said Henning helped the show's creator Jay Sommers cast the show and served as its executive producer.
Henning also worked in films, writing the 1964 film "Bedtime Story," starring Marlon Brando and David Niven. The film later served as the basis for the 1988 "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
Later in his life, Henning and his wife Ruth donated land near Branson, Missouri to the state for a conservation area.
Henning is survived by two daughters, a son and two grandsons.
I kid, I kid!
I would have thought he passed away long ago.
Loved the Burns and Allen Show.
Jane Hathaway, "Jethro, when I'm through with you, they'll be saying, 'Jethro Bodeen, B.A., M.A., P.hd.'"
Jethro, "Miz Jane, I know you're a really smart lady an all, but that aint how you spell Bodeen."
Donna Douglass was a hottie!
He was out one day, shootin' for some food/Now he's in the ground just like crude. Dead, that is. Stiff as a board, pushing daisies.
'Johnny Ringo' passed too.
The lead singer of the song passed last December, ..
'Beverly Hillbillies' Singer Dies at 93 ^
LOS ANGELES - "Jerry Scoggins, who sang "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" that introduced the comical Clampett clan on "The Beverly Hillbillies," has died. He was 93. Scoggins, the lead singer of the Cass County Boys, died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Westlake Village. In 1962, the country and western singer was working as a stockbroker and singing on weekends when he was asked to record a theme song for the pilot of the television series starring Buddy Ebsen (news). Bluegrass stars Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs played guitar and banjo on "The Ballad of Jed Clampett"...
The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres were two of the best shows on T.V. I still get a chuckle out of them even now.
And Eddie Albert will be 97 in April! Henning was probably the 2nd most famous graduate of William Chrisman High School in Independence, Missouri. The first...Harry Truman.
probably the funniest show (first couple of seasons) ever to hit television
Maybe it's just the day I've been having and all the news...
But that's the best laugh I've had in days. And I bet Henning would laugh too.
GREEN ACRES was the best. And it still holds up.
I'm with Corin on that line.. LOL
I Loved the Beverly Hillbillies. The Clinton's gave hillbillies such a bad name.
But Petticoat junction was set in......... HOOTERVILLE!!!!!!
And those girls floated in that water tank, no paddling necessary.
I wonder what Hooterville tap water tasted like?
Goodbye, uncle. We will miss you.
Jethro once strapped a couple of rockets to his back and told Jed he was going to the moon to meet the moon maidens!
Yup, that there's the real reason behind the space program.
An interesting fact about the show is that Sharon Tate was the original secretary.
I wonder what Hooterville tap water tasted like?
My town water has flouride.
Petticoat Junction water'd be "damn near vee-agre"!!!!
You two are REALLY bad!
Did they bury him in the CE-ment pond?
Was that when Jethro was going through his 'double-naught spy' phase?
BTW--I saw an interview a few years back with Nancy Kulp (Miss Jane Hathaway) in which she revealed that in real life, she and Max Baer (Jethro) really hated each other.
Here is his latest scheme -
Policeman: "What are you doing?"
Granny: "I'm going to smoke some crawdads, but first I have to have a little pot."
The cast to BH was extremely diverse. Nancy Kulp was a east coast sophisicated type...Max Baer was the son of a world-class boxer and had little to do with sophistication...Buddy Ebson was a classic actor who was nice to the core...Irene Ryan had done most radio comedy and was southern to the max...Donna Douglas was simply the dumb blonde who later became a major real estate agent and got into the church.
One curious note...when Max Baer finally finished the show...he found no work for 3 years. He was a character actor and was destined to never return to the screen or tv. He and a friend...produced Macon County Line...which was an extremely low-budget affair (less than $200k)...which ended up with $35 million by the time it ran through every southern town in America. This was the front money he needed for his busienss and casino operations in Reno (where he lives today).
Shows like Beverly Hillbillies is much more fun and entertaining to watch than most of the dreck they put out today.