Saturday, January 03, 2015

Donna Douglas

Actress Donna Douglas has died. She was known for 2 roles.

1) Elly May on the tv show, The Beverly Hillbillies

2) The female patient, in a famous Twilight Zone episode:


Here is how the LA Times described the episode:

'The episode recounted the recovery of a woman named Janet Tyler after a series of medical procedures attempting to fix a face that has apparently been completely deformed. While she deals with the doctors and nurses in the hospital, we see her head wrapped completely in bandages... But in the episode's final moments, the bandages are removed and Tyler's face is revealed to be Douglas'. "No change. No change at all," the doctor laments. And then we see the face of the medical staff -- snouted and horrific. But in this world, it's Douglas' face that's the monstrosity.'

Ayn Rand described the episode with more dramatic flair and philosophical overtones:

'In some indeterminate world of another dimension, the shadowy, white-clad, authoritarian figures of doctors and social scientists are deeply concerned with the problem of a young girl who looks so different from everyone else that she is shunned as a freak, a disfigured outcast unable to lead a normal life. She has appealed to them for help, but all plastic surgery operations have failed—and now the doctors are grimly preparing to give her a last chance: one more attempt at plastic surgery; if it fails, she will remain a monstrosity for life. In heavily tragic tones, the doctors speak of the girl's need to be like others, to belong, to be loved, etc. We are not shown any of the characters' faces, but we hear the tense, ominous, oddly lifeless voices of their dim figures, as the last operation progresses. The operation fails. The doctors declare, with contemptuous compassion, that they will have to find a young man as deformed as this girl, who might be able to accept her. Then, for the first time, we see the girl's face: lying motionless on the pillow of a hospital bed, it is a face of perfect, radiant beauty. The camera moves to the faces of the doctors: it is an unspeakably horrifying row, not of human faces, but of mangled, distorted, disfigured pigs' heads, recognizable only by their snouts. Fade-out.'

I don't think I ever knew that Elly May and the Not-Really-Ugly Patient were played by the same actress.

The snouted plastic surgeons failed,
and radiant beauty instead prevailed.

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