‘Beverly Hillbillies’ actress settles suit over Barbie doll

A Clampett may have struck it rich yet again.

Or at least the actress who played the beautiful tomboy Elly May on the television show “The Beverly Hillbillies,” who settled a lawsuit with toy giant Mattel Inc. and CBS Consumer Products over a Barbie doll modeled after her character.

Actress Donna Douglas, who held the role of buxom Elly May, claimed that she never gave permission for the El Segundo toy maker to use her photo or name in promoting the doll, according to court filings.

The lawsuit asked for at least $75,000 in compensation, but the settlement amount could be more.

The Elly May doll sports a gingham shirt, tight-fitting jeans and the character’s trademark blond pigtails tied with ribbons. Mattel said in promotional material that the Barbie “captures the essence of the classic ’60’s TV character and show.”

The toy maker argued that it did not need permission from Douglas after obtaining a license from CBS, which owns exclusive rights to the Elly May character.


Philip Shaheen, a lawyer representing Douglas, said that a confidential settlement had been reached but could not give more details.

“There is a settlement in place with CBS and Mattel,” Shaheen said in an interview. “We all signed off on a confidentiality agreement. I can’t give anybody any details or they’ll come down on me.”

Douglas played Elly May for the entire nine seasons of “Beverly Hillbillies,” which ran on CBS from 1962 to 1971 and followed the comic misadventures of a poor family that moves to Beverly Hills after discovering oil on their land.

Douglas now lives in Louisiana.