I really enjoyed your Petticoat Junction site. I loved the show as a boy and still enjoy the reruns occasionally. I have a few questions regarding the show that you may know the answer to. First, I recall reading that originally the part of Billy Jo was given to actress Sharon Tate, the same who was so brutally murdered by the Manson family in 1969, but the story goes that she posed in Playboy in 1963 so the powers at the network decided her image didn't fit in with the show. I recall seeing a publicity picture with her, Bea Benederet, Linda Kaye, and the first Bobbi Jo. Also why did the first actress who played Bobbi Jo, and the two who played Billy Jo #s 1& 2 leave the show? I have never seen any of the first two years worth of episodes-were they in color or B&W?
Sharon Tate had been playing secretary, Janet Trengo on the "Hillbillies" and was cast as the first Billie-Jo in 1963. She didn't pose for Playboy, the magazine acquired existing nude photos and published them.
The picture you referred to was taken on the "Hillbillies" kitchen set, I don't know it was taken, more likely a test shot rather than publicity.
Sharon's most famous role was in "Valley of the Dolls" (1967). She was murdered in 1969.
Pat Woodell didn't get along with the others, was generally un-happy and quit.
It's really kinda funny. Jeannine Riley
(Billie #1) and Gunilla Hutton (Billie #2) left for the same reason.
It was the 1960's and country wasn't cool. They both wanted to get
away from country bumpkin image. So after a well received performance
in "Electra Glide in Blue," Jeannine went on to "Dusty's Trail" and
Gunilla spent more than two decades on "Hee Haw."
There are 74 B&W episodes and 148 in color. They will begin airing them on TV Land in 2000.