Petticoat Junction actress Pat Woodell, who played one of the three original Bradley sisters on CBS’ rural sitcom stalwart of the 1960s, died of cancer September 29. She was 71. Woodell, a native of Massachusetts but living in Fallbrook, California, at the time of her death, originated the role of Bobbi Jo in 1963, but left after the second season (she was replaced in 1965 by Lori Saunders).
The Bradley sisters — Linda Kaye Henning was Betty Jo and Jeannine Riley was Billie Jo — were the comely daughters of Bea Benaderet’s Kate Bradley, the owner of the Shady Rest Hotel. The characters are perhaps best known for their opening-credit bath in a rickety water tower, and the theme-song lyric: “Lots of curves, you bet, even more when you get…to the Junction. Petticoat Junction.”
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The series continued on CBS until 1970, the wave of rural programming soon coming to an end. Woodell also made guest appearances in such ’60s and ’70s series as The Munsters, Cheyenne, and The New Perry Mason. After her TV heyday, she appeared in the 1971 prison exploitation film The Big Doll House. She’s survived by husband Vern McDade, according to an L.A. Times obit.
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