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Bea Benaderet

Bea Benaderet
Benadaret in 1966.
Born Beatrice Benaderet
(1906-04-04)April 4, 1906
New York, New York, U.S.
Died October 13, 1968(1968-10-13) (aged 62)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Lung cancer and pneumonia
Resting place Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1926–1968
Spouse(s) Jim Bannon (1938–1950; divorced); 2 children
Eugene Twombly (1957–1968; her death)
Children Jack Bannon
Maggie Bannon

Beatrice “Bea” Benaderet (April 4, 1906 – October 13, 1968)[1] was an American actress born in Betty Rubble during the first four seasons of The Flintstones, and in The Beverly Hillbillies as Pearl Bodine. She did a great deal of voice work in Warner Bros. animated cartoons of the 1940s and early 1950s, most famously as Granny.


  • Early life 1
  • Radio career 2
  • Television 3
  • Voice acting 4
  • Family 5
  • Later life and career 6
  • Illness/death 7
  • Walk of Fame 8
  • Filmography 9
    • Shorts 9.1
  • Radio 10
  • Television work 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14

Early life

Benaderet was born in 1906 in Manhattan, although occasionally her year of birth was given as 1907 or 1909 in census records.[1] Her father Samuel was a Turkish Jewish emigrant. Her mother, Margaret (née O'Keefe), was Irish-American.[2] Her family moved to San Francisco, California around 1910, where she attended St. Rose Academy, a private girls' school.[3]

Radio career

Her debut on radio came when was 12. She performed in a children's production of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.


When Lucille Ball and husband The Burns and Allen Show.[6] While three different actors played her husband during the course of the series, Benaderet co-starred on the show throughout its run on both radio and television, as Gracie's best friend and neighbor. Vivian Vance, a relatively unknown character actress and singer, was eventually cast in the Ethel Mertz part. Benaderet did eventually appear in a guest role on I Love Lucy on January 21, 1952, as "Miss Lewis", a love-starved spinster neighbor.

Benaderet was a cast member of the NBC sitcom series "Peter Loves Mary" starring

External links

  • Sitcom Queens: Divas of the Small Screen by Michael Karol (2005); ISBN 0-595-40251-8
  • The Women Who Made Television Funny: Ten Stars of 1950s Sitcoms by David C. Tucker (2007); ISBN 978-0-7864-2900-4

Further reading

  1. ^ a b California Deaths, 1940-1997. Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database) and this link both confirm the 1906 birth year.
  2. ^ Jim Cox, The Great Radio Sitcoms, McFarland & Company Incorporated Pub, 2007, p. 191.
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^ Welles, Orson, and Peter Bogdanovich, edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum, This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins Publishers 1992 ISBN 0-06-016616-9.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Sickels, Robert C. 100 Entertainers Who Changed America: An Encyclopedia of Pop Culture Luminaries p. 62 (2013) Greenwood
  11. ^ Thill, Scott "Happy 75th Birthday, Bugs Bunny! Here’s 7.5 Times You Changed Cartoons Forever" 07/27/2015 retrieved October 25, 2015
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^


Television work




Benaderet was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame February 8, 1960, as a star of television. Her star is at 1611 Vine Street.[14]

Walk of Fame

Benaderet was diagnosed with cancer in 1967, which led to her departure from Petticoat Junction in what was hoped would be a temporary absence. On October 13, 1968, Benaderet died in Los Angeles, California, aged 62 at the Good Samaritan Hospital from lung cancer and pneumonia. She was survived by her second husband, and her two children.[13] She was entombed in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Her second husband Eugene Twombly died of a heart attack on the day of her funeral (four days after her death), and was interred beside her. Twombly had been a sound-effects artist for a number of radio and television shows.

Crypt of Bea Benaderet at Valhalla Memorial Park


Petticoat Junction proved an enormous hit in its first season, and remained a top-25 program for several years. Benaderet had done a radio variation of Green Acres with Gale Gordon beginning in 1950 called Granby's Green Acres. Green Acres was a spinoff of Petticoat Junction, with Eva Gabor portraying Benaderet's original part, and Benaderet herself appearing in several episodes as her Petticoat Junction character, in order to establish the Hooterville setting. (Eddie Albert took Gale Gordon's role as the lawyer who moves to the country to become a farmer as Gordon was then occupied with his role as "Mr. Mooney" on The Lucy Show.)

Benaderet was considered for the role of Granny in The Beverly Hillbillies by producer Paul Henning,[12] who felt she was too buxom and feminine for the character he envisioned as a frail but caustic spitfire; Irene Ryan was eventually cast. Henning cast Benaderet as middle-aged, widowed Cousin Pearl Bodine (Jethro's mother), and she appeared in the pilot, as well as a majority of episodes throughout the series' first season. Cousin Pearl and her daughter Jethrine (Max Baer, Jr. in drag with Linda Kaye Henning providing the voice) moved into the Clampett mansion in the first season. However, the female Bodines disappeared after Henning cast Benaderet in his next series Petticoat Junction, which premiered in September 1963. She starred as Kate Bradley owner/operator of the Shady Rest Hotel.

Benaderet was busy during the last decade of her life, starting with a voice role as Betty Rubble in the animated series The Flintstones, which debuted in 1960. The Flintstones reunited Benaderet with her 1940s co-workers Alan Reed (Fred Flintstone) and Mel Blanc (Barney Rubble and Dino). Benaderet received no on-screen credit for her many voice characterizations with Warner Bros., as the studio was bound by Blanc's contractual stipulation that no other voice actor receive credit while he was under contract to Warners.

Later life and career

Benaderet and her first husband, actor Jim Bannon had two children: Jack, an actor, and Maggie.


Benaderet voiced numerous female characters in the Warner Bros. animated shorts of the 1940s, including "Granny," the sometimes dimwitted, sometimes assertive owner of Tweety. [3] She performed the voice of Granny until 1955, when she was succeeded by June Foray. [10] She also portrayed Little Red Riding Hood as a loud, obnoxious teenager in the 1944 Bugs Bunny cartoon Little Red Riding Rabbit. [11]

Voice acting

[9] in 1959.The Restless Gun In addition to her more familiar comedic roles, Benaderet had a dramatic role in [8][7]

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