lori saunders
Wikipedia/CBS TV

'Petticoat Junction': What Happened to the Bradley Sisters?

Petticoat Junction was one of the most popular TV series of the 60s. The beloved show followed three teenage sisters and their mother living and working at the Shady Rest Hotel as well as all of the eclectic neighbors surrounding them in their small town. The CBS sitcom had it all — musical numbers, a stellar cast, cross-over episodes with two of their other popular shows Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies, and a rural setting that really resonated with audiences at the time. It had to have been so much fun for fans to see their favorite Petticoat Junction characters interacting with the hilarious Clampetts during the surprise cross-over episodes.

Running from 1963 to 1970, the show was immensely popular, despite recasting lead roles several times throughout the show's run. Some of the characters were even blatantly reinvented as the series went on but it seemed to not matter to viewers who kept tuning in week after week. Sadly the death of Bea Benaderet, who played matriarch Kate Bradley on the series, was a major loss. That, combined with the rural purge happening in television at the time, led to the show ending for good after the seventh season. But the show still remains special to fans decades later, fondly remembered for its humor, music, and storytelling.

Here's what happened to the girls from Petticoat Junction following their days starring on the show as the three Bradley sisters.

Read More: 'Petticoat Junction': The Classic '60s Sitcom Was Inspired By a Small Missouri Town

Betty Jo Bradley

The only Bradley sister to be played by the same actress throughout the series run was Betty Jo. Linda Kaye Henning played the youngest daughter for all seven seasons and even married her on-screen love interest in real life, played by Mike Minor, though the marriage didn't last. Henning, though best known for her role on the classic sitcom, appeared on numerous other shows like Happy DaysMork & MindyThe Facts of Life, and The Ed Sullivan Show.

Billie Jo Bradley

lori saunders

(Jeannine Riley) Wikipedia/CBS TV / (Gunilla Hutton) YouTube / (Meredith MacRae) Wikipedia/CBS TV

Jeannine Riley appeared as Billie Jo in the first two seasons of Petticoat Junction. She left the series in 1965 to pursue a movie career and went on to appear in more TV shows like Hee Haw and Gilligan's Island as well as various films including The Big Mouth, Fever Heat, The Comic, and Electra Glide in Blue.

The second actress to tackle Billie Jo was Gunilla Hutton, but only for the third season. The Texas native was best known for being a regular cast member on Hee Haw until 1992.

Meredith MacRae was the third and final actress to take on Billie Jo for seasons 4-7. She had previously been well known for playing Sally Morrison on My Three Sons and went on to appear on numerous TV shows including The Beverly Hillbillies and Love, American Style as well as films like Bikini Beach and Footsteps in the Snow.

Bobbie Jo Bradley

lori saunders

(Pat Woodell) Wikipedia/CBS TV / (Lori Saunders) YouTube

Pat Woodell was the first actress to portray Bobbie Jo. Initially, the brunette sister was known as being intelligent and book smart, but after she was recast, Bobbie Joe became a bit ditzy and was used for comic relief. After appearing in shows like The Hollywood Palace and The Munsters, Woodell retired from acting in the early 70s and went on to work for Werner Erhard, eventually founding her own consulting firm.

Lori Saunders (born Linda Marie Hines) took over Bobbie Jo in the third season and stayed on the show until the seventh and final season of the popular television series. The Kansas City, Missouri native also appeared in the final season of The Beverly Hillbillies, Dusty's Trail, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Burke's Law, Daniel Boone, Blood Bath, So Sad About Gloria, Captive, and Frasier, the Sensuous Lion.

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