‘The Beverly Hillbillies’: Bea Benaderet Wanted to Play Granny So Why She Was Cast as Pearl?

It’s hard to think about The Beverly Hillbillies without finally thinking about Granny. Short-tempered and rainy, she delivers some intense energy to the sitcom. Fans of the TV show will remember that the late Irene Ryan was asked to bring the character to life. But, fun enough, there is another member of it The Beverly Hillbillies once dreamed of playing the role.

Beverly Hillbillies were thrown
Tossed Beverly Hillbillies by Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Although Ryan was selected for the role, Bea Benaderet fell in love with the part before Ryan even had a chance to take a screen test. Decades before The Beverly Hillbillies Benaderet was a friend of Paul Henning, who created and wrote the show. Of course, in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Henning once revealed that he was looking for Benaderet to get her opinion on the script before the team was finalized.

Bea Benaderet wanted to join ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ as Granny

“Bea Benaderet was more than just a good actress,” The Beverly Hillbillies shared creator. “She was, in my opinion, a good judge of material. And I asked her to read the script and she said ‘This is wonderful’. ” In fact, Benaderet was so pleased with the script that she immediately started joining the team in Granny ‘s role. However, Benaderet was not at all like the image of Granny that Henning created in his mind.

“This is wonderful,” she said. Henning continued, sharing how Benaderet took the lead The Beverly Hillbillies script. “’I’d like to play Granny’ and I said ‘Bea you’re not raised like my picture of Granny. ‘”Although Benaderet did not respond to Granny’s bill, Henning still allowed her to take a screen test for the position. In addition, she was present when other actors were looking for a place in the team.

Irene Ryan eventually won the Granny role

In fact, it became clear to both Henning and Benaderet that Ryan was the right choice for Granny after testing for the role. Thanks to him Dennis Day Show, Henning knew Ryan and when she stopped by a Universal studio crane for a visit, Henning asked her if she believed she would be up for a hill show in The Beverly Hillbillies. When Ryan announced that she was over the act, Henning gave her a screen test and he and Benaderet agreed that they had found their Granny.

“When we got the screen tests Bea Benaderet was there to try out for Granny’s part and as soon as Irene Ryan read the part, Bea came over to me and says ‘Yes Granny,'” Henning. The Beverly Hillbillies the creator then followed a gush about his longtime friend. “She had an unmistakable eye for script and character. She was just wonderful. ”

The creator of ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Benaderet wrote to later events

Although Benaderet was not quite right for Granny ‘s role, Henning played a big part in it The Beverly Hillbillies for her later. Fans of the actor and comedian admired what she could bring to the character of Cousin Pearl Bodine and the show would not have been the same without her.

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