Beverly Hillbillies Wiki
Paul Henning
Born September 16, 1911(1911-09-16)
Where Independence, Missouri, USA
Died March 25, 2005(2005-03-25) (aged 93)
Where Burbank, California, USA
Gender Male
Years Active 1930s-1993
Spouse Ruth Henning (1939-2002) (her death)
Birth Name Paul William Henning
Occupation Television producer and writer
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Last Appearance: {{{last}}}

Paul William Henning (September 16, 1911 – March 25, 2005) was an American Television producer and writer. Most famous for the successful TV sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, he was crucial in the development of several "rural" comedies for CBS.

Early life[]

He was born and grew up on a farm in Independence, Missouri. While working in a drugstore as a teenager, he met future President Harry S. Truman, who advised him to become a lawyer. Although he did attend the Kansas City School of Law, his ambition was to be a singer on the radio. When the local radio station KMBZ (AM) [1] (KMBC at the time) had no money for writers to create the "filler" between songs, he became a writer as well as a singer.

TV writer[]

Writing proved the more lucrative of the two and he abandoned singing, eventually writing for such series as Fibber McGee & Molly and the The Burns & Allen Show, and later such television series as The Dennis Day Show, The Real McCoys, and The Andy Griffith Show. Henning was also the creator, writer and producer of The Bob Cummings Show, where he first met many of the actors who were subsequently to appear in his later series. Another series produced by Henning was The Ray Bolger Show. He also wrote or co-wrote such feature films as Lover Come Back (1961), for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) but lost to William Inge and also wrote for Bedtime Story (film) (1964).

Most popular television series[]

In 1962, Henning created The Beverly Hillbillies, a sitcom based on his past experiences while camping in the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri. He also wrote the music and lyrics for the popular theme song, The Ballad of Jed Clampett.

The Beverly Hillbillies was one of the highest-rated series of all time, even becoming a feature film about three decades later. Henning also had a hand in developing Green Acres and created Petticoat Junction, which had a starring role for his daughter (who shared a September 16 birthday with Paul) Linda Kaye Henning (billed as "Linda Kaye", portraying (Betty Jo Bradley). The latter two shows were set in the small town of Hooterville and Petticoat had, particularly its later seasons, frequent crossovers with Hillbillies. All three programs were popular, but changing times led their parent network, CBS to look down on the so-called "ruralcoms" and move in a more "adult", sophisticated direction with series such as All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Thus in 1971, The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres were canceled as a result of the rural purge, joining Petticoat Junction (which ended the year before) in syndicated reruns.

Personal life and death[]

He married Ruth Barth in 1939 and the couple had 3 children; Linda Kaye Henning on whom Paul partially based the character of Elly May Clampett, Carol Alice and Paul Anthony Henning.

Ruth Henning often told her husband about how she and her female cousins often visited her grandparents at the tiny hotel they owned near the Rock Island Railroad station located in Eldon, Missouri. This later became the concept for Petticoat Junction. Later in life Henning and his wife Ruth donated land to a conservation area near Branson, Missouri.[2] The conservation area is 1,534-acres of oak and hickory forest, steep hills, and glades with four designated trails created by the Missouri Department of Conservation and one longer trail created largely by the members of Boy Scout Troop 2001.[3][4] His wife Ruth Barth Henning died, aged 88 from a heart attack on January 15, 2002 at their home in Los Angeles, California. Henning retired to Toluca Lake, California, dying in a Burbank hospital on March 25, 2005, aged 93.


External links[]

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