Billie Jo Bradley

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Billie Jo Bradley
Petticoat Junction character
First appearance"Spur Line to Shady Rest"
Last appearance"Betty Jo's Business"
Created byPaul Henning
Portrayed byJeannine Riley (1963–65)
Gunilla Hutton (1965–66)
Meredith MacRae (1966–70)
Information
Nickname(s)Billie
Miss Golden Dreams
Glamour queen
GenderFemale
RelativesKate Bradley (mother)
Bill Bradley (father; deceased)
Bobbie Jo Bradley (sister)
Betty Jo Bradley (sister)
Joe Carson (uncle)
Helen (aunt)
Mae Belle Jennings (cousin)
Steve Elliott (brother-in-law)
Kathy Jo Elliott (niece)
 
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Billie Jo Bradley
Petticoat Junction character
First appearance"Spur Line to Shady Rest"
Last appearance"Betty Jo's Business"
Created byPaul Henning
Portrayed byJeannine Riley (1963–65)
Gunilla Hutton (1965–66)
Meredith MacRae (1966–70)
Information
Nickname(s)Billie
Miss Golden Dreams
Glamour queen
GenderFemale
RelativesKate Bradley (mother)
Bill Bradley (father; deceased)
Bobbie Jo Bradley (sister)
Betty Jo Bradley (sister)
Joe Carson (uncle)
Helen (aunt)
Mae Belle Jennings (cousin)
Steve Elliott (brother-in-law)
Kathy Jo Elliott (niece)

Billie Jo Bradley is a main character on Petticoat Junction. During the run of the series, she was portrayed by three different actresses.

Character summary[edit]

Willimena Josephine, on the show always called just Billie Jo, was originally a ditsy, boy-crazy blonde who occasionally took all the attention from her sisters. According to one episode, Billie Jo's younger sister, Bobbie Jo, Billie Jo became "interested in boys when she found out they weren't girls." Billie Jo also admits that she'd "never chase a boy away," to which her mother replies that she "knows that very well." An early episode explains that Billie Jo was named after her late father, Bill Bradley.

As the series progressed Billie Jo's ditsy image faded, and she became more sophisticated and mature. This transformation began around the beginning of season four with the third actress (Meredith MacRae's) debut in the role. Although she had several boyfriends, Billie Jo never marries on the series. However, in season four, she becomes romantically involved with pilot Steve Elliott. Nevertheless, Steve ends up marrying Billie Jo's younger sister, Betty Jo.

By the end of the series, Billie Jo becomes a singer, her goal since the fourth season. For the remaining three seasons, this is a main focus of some of the sitcom's story lines.

Like many other characters on Petticoat Junction, Billie Jo also appeared in three episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies along with the rest of her family. However, unlike her mother, her sisters, and her Uncle Joe, Billie Jo never appeared in any episodes of the crossover series, Green Acres.

Of Petticoat Junction's 222 episodes, Billie Jo Bradley appeared in 205. During the show's first two seasons (and in all 74 episodes from that duration), Billie Jo was played by Jeannine Riley (1963–65), who left to pursue a motion picture career. For 24 episodes (out of 34) in the third season (1965–66), Billie Jo was portrayed by Gunilla Hutton, who also left for other career options. From seasons four to seven (1966–70), Billie Jo was played in 107 episodes (out of 114) by Meredith MacRae. According to Linda Kaye (who played Billie Jo's sister, Betty Jo Bradley), CBS never got angry when the actresses wanted to leave, they just worried about finding the perfect replacement.