December 30, 2011 by staff
Donna Douglas, The Beverly Hillbillies actress Donna Douglas won a lawsuit against Mattel and CBS Consumer Products over a Barbie doll that used her likeness. She claimed that the companies used her likeness and photograph without her permission to make and promote the doll.
According to Reuters, Douglas, 78, who played tomboy Elly May on the CBS program that ran from 1962 to 1971, was seeking $75,000 in damages, although the exact financial terms of the decision were not revealed. She first filed the lawsuit in May.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the “Elly May” Barbie doll featured all the significant details that made the original character famous, like tight-fitting jeans and blond hair with pigtails and ribbons. Mattel argued that it did not need Douglas’ permission to use her likeness and photographs because they had permission from CBS, which has the rights to the character.
Douglas’ lawyer, Philip Shaheen, would not comment on the exact specifics of the agreement because of a confidentiality agreement. “I can’t give anybody any details or they’ll come down on me,” he told the Times. Mattel and CBS also did not comment on the agreement.
Douglas, who now lives in Louisiana, played Elly May for all nine seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies, which centered on a poor family that moves to Beverly Hills once they strike oil, according to The New York Post.
The doll is part of the “Barbie Collector” series of dolls based on famous celebrities and characters. Mattel claims that the doll “captures the essence of the classic 60s TV character and show, The Beverly Hillbillies.”
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