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Blair's Girls: The Bradley Girls
Bea Benaderet as Kate Bradley (1963-1968)
Pat Woodell as Bobbie Jo Bradley #1 (1963-1965)
Lori Saunders as Bobbie Jo Bradley #2 (1965-1970)
Sharon Tate as Billie Jo Bradley #0 (1963)
Jeannine Riley as Billie Jo Bradley #1 (1963-1965)
Gunilla Hutton as Billie Jo Bradley #2 (1965-1966)
Meredith Mac Rae as Billie Jo Bradley #3 (1966-1970)
Linda Kaye Henning as Betty Jo Bradley (1963-1970)
June Lockhart as Dr. Janet Craig (1968-1970)
"Petticoat Junction" (1963-1970 TV Series)

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About the Girls

About the Girls"Petticoat Junction" was a nice, funny, family sitcom set in the small town of Hooterville.  The gag of the show is that no one knows exactly where Hooterville is in the U.S.A.  Creator Paul Henning made it this way so viewers would think Hooterville could be anywhere, and would feel more empathy for the characters in their situations.  It was simply recreating small rural town America with unique twists and concepts.  From 1963 to 1968, Kate Bradley and her three very different, but equally beautiful daughters ran a bread-and-breakfast called the Shady Rest Hotel.  When actress Bea Benaderet died in 1968, the character of Kate Bradley died as well.  A wise decision by the producers was to not recast the Kate Bradley character, but instead replace the character with a pretty lady doctor played by June Lockhart named Dr. Janet Craig.  The show went on for two more years and could have gone on a lot longer, but the CBS network decided to cancel it along with several other rural themed shows.  "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Green Acres", "Mayberry R.F.D.", and "Hee Haw" were also canned around the same time.  CBS, as a network, has made ton of mistakes in its history and the cancelling of these shows is just one of those mistakes.  June Lockhart did a commendable job and it was no easy task coming in after Bea Benaderet, who was such an important fixture in the show for the first five years.

Linda Kaye, later on credited as Linda Kaye Henning, was the only actress that remained with the show from beginning to end.  She played the red-haired tomboy daughter Betty Jo Bradley, who was the youngest of the daughters.  Betty Jo gradually outgrew her tomboy ways and married pilot Steve Elliot.  The character of Bobbie Jo (the smart one) was played by two different actresses.  Pat Woodell played her for the first two years, Lori Saunders played her from season three to the end.  Both of these actresses did a wonderful job as well.  Pat Woodell's Bobbie Jo was strictly intellectual and intense, and Lori made the character a lot more mellow and fun-loving while still maintaining her intelligence.  Billie Jo (the boy-crazy one) was first played by Jeannine Riley for the first two seasons, then by Gunilla Hutton for one season, and Meredith Mac Rae for the last four seasons.  Meredith Mac Rae's Billie Jo was still somewhat boy-crazy, but like the other daughters in the show, she too grew up and became more sophisticated.

My thoughts on the Bradley Daughters:  I love them all, and they all have their own strengths that they bring into the show!  Of anybody who ever worked on the show, it looks like Linda Henning is having the most fun.  You can really tell she's enjoying her role.  I like that a lot.  Of the three original daughters, Jeannine Riley as Billie Jo is the funniest.  That's mainly because she's given the funniest material to work with.  Since she's so boy-crazy she's often allowed to get goofy in the shows.  I really like Pat Woodell as Bobbie Jo because she's the straightwoman and the dreamer.  Lori Saunders as Bobbie Jo was also very good, although very different from Pat's portrayal.  She started out in the show being a real intellectual, but eventually morphed into a silly, fun-loving, boy-crazy girl.  From the time she came into the show until the show ended, Lori was the funniest of the three.  Meanwhile Meredith MacRae as Billie Jo became a lot more mellow and sensitive like Pat Woodell's Bobbie Jo had been.  I like Meredith because she's very easy to take.  Gunilla Hutton was fantastic as Billie Jo before Meredith came in, although it was only for one season.  She looks great and she continued the boy-crazy antics that had been established by Jeannine Riley.

Kate Bradley, the mother, really brought the whole show together.  She wasn't strictly a "straight-man" character, and she wasn't always the goofy "comedy relief" either.  Kate had both qualities which was important for doing what the character was supposed to do in the show.  She has to be funny most of the time, because this is a comedy show after all, but she also tries to right wrongs and help out others, which requires someone of a thoughtful nature.  It worked!  The daughters were funny because they got themselves into such situations which usually required their mother's assistance.  What also makes them funny is that they're all so pretty, but so different from each other.  You kind of wonder how all three daughters could have the same mother.  There's definitely a variety not just in looks (they each have a different hair color), but in actions as well.  Dr. Janet Craig was a different type of character from Kate Bradley.  She wasn't always that funny, like Kate, because that wasn't her character, but she still did funny things and always tried to help others.  Overall, this is an entertaining, colorful show complimented by a wonderful female cast.