The "Beverly Hillbillies" cast came together to make the show so hysterically funny that people still watch reruns of it today—clearly illustrating that finding humor in the antics of dumb hicks is a timeless American pastime. The show was about a clueless country family who basically won the lottery by finding oil on their backwoods property, upon which they packed their jalopy for California with their new found loot. They bought a huge mansion in Beverly Hills, but still dressed like they were dirt poor most of the time. Since they were not used to having any cash to spend, watching them try to figure out what to do with all of their money was always funny. Even the names of the characters makes you laugh.
Buddy Ebsen – Jed Clampett. Jed was about as smart as a box of rocks, but his character helped the Hillbillies reach the top of the Nielson ratings for the first two years that it aired. Even though he had a boatload of money, Jed usually wore an old hat that looked like it had been run over a few 100 times. Ebsen would later portray the title character in the long-running TV show “Barnaby Jones.”
Irene Ryan – Daisy “Granny” Moses. Ryan was cast as “Granny,” an old country woman with a screeching voice who was always whining about something. Granny liked to cook in the mansion kitchen most of the time, but no sane person would eat anything that she made since it was beyond disgusting. "Possum Stew" is one example of her cooking talents. Ryan received two Emmy nominations for her performance as Granny. She died in 1973, with “Granny” being her last major role.
Max Baer Jr. – Jethro Bodine. Baer played Jethro as if were a clueless uneducated hick, but in real life he actually had a college degree. He is the son of former heavyweight champion Max Baer. After “The Beverly Hillbillies” run ended, Baer played a few minor TV roles before becoming a producer. He will always be remembered for playing Jethro though, and he did a good job acting like a hayseed even if he wasn't one in real life.
Donna Douglas – Elly May Clampett. Douglas was cast as Jed’s daughter on the show. She had blonde hair and pigtails, and she put the "country" in country girl. Elly May was one of the main reasons, and maybe the only reason, that so many men watched the Hillbillies. Douglas appeared in a few TV shows after “The Beverly Hillbillies,” including the 1981 TV movie that reunited all of the living cast.
Nancy Kulp – Jane Hathaway. “Miss Jane” as Jed called her was Kulp’s most popular TV role. Kulp received an Emmy nomination for her role as the banking secretary who had a thing for Jethro. Chasing after Jethro was pretty much all she liked to do, and the two had some funny scenes whenever they were on screen at the same time. She passed away in 1991 after a long TV career.