|Bea and Gale Gordon on My Favorite Husband.|
Always in demand for character roles, Benaderet claimed she was caught by surprise when, after playing Cousin Pearl on the first year of The Beverly Hillbillies, creator/producer Paul Henning offered her a show of her own. "It was entirely his idea," she told syndicated columnist Bob Thomas in a 1965 interview. During her second season on Petticoat Junction, she said, "Sometimes I think, 'Goodness, this business of appearing in every scene of the script is too much work.' But let a script come along in which I'm not in all the scenes, and I go, 'Grrrrr.'"
After Bea's death in 1968, Petticoat Junction was never quite the same, despite the addition of the capable June Lockhart as motherly Dr. Janet Craig. But there's still plenty of Bea to be seen and appreciated, and surely someone will get around to writing a book that pays her the tribute she deserves. Who knows, it might even be me.