Don’t mess with Elly May Clampett.
That’s the message actress Donna Douglas sent to Mattel Inc. and CBS Corp. when she sued them for creating a Barbie doll based on the character she played on “Beverly Hillbillies,” a hit 1960s TV show that featured a poor, country family who moved to California after striking oil and becoming millionaires.
Douglas, 78, sued the toy company and media corporation in May 2011 for using her name, likeness and image to sell the “Elly May” Barbie, which wears a blue-and-white gingham shirt, jeans and curly pigtails, just as she did on the TV show.
The former actress, who still makes appearances in association with her role as Elly May, said the companies didn’t have permission to use her likeness for the doll and sought a minimum of $75,000 in damages. But CBS contended that it holds exclusive rights to the character.
Douglas settled her lawsuit last week for an undisclosed amount. Her attorney told Reuters that Douglas was happy with the result.