Who is Lori Saunders?
Born on October 4, 1941 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Linda Marie Hines is an actress, and under her adopted stage name Lori Saunders, she is probably best known for her work on the television series “Petticoat Junction”, in which she portrayed the character Bobby Jo Bradley. She has also worked on other projects such as ‘Mara of the Wilderness’, ‘Blood Bath’ and ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’.
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The Wealth of Lori Saunders
As of early 2020, Lori Saunders’ net worth is estimated at over $3 million, earned through a successful career in the entertainment industry from 1960 to 1980. In addition to her acting projects, she also ventured into the music industry, releasing multiple singles during her career. .
Lori started a professional acting career in 1960 and took the name Lori Saunders because her name was already registered in the Actors’ Union. It was also a way of separating her acting character from her real life, keeping her privacy intact. She started her career by appearing on television and working as various characters in episodes of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”. The sitcom aired on ABC and originally started as a radio show before continuing its success with a television adaptation. The show starred the titular Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Nelson.
She then appeared on the show “Burke’s Law,” another ABC show, this time a detective series that follows the titular captain of the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Homicide Division. The show later changed to “Amos Burke Secret Agent” after continuing the story through the third and final season. Around the same time, she also worked on the hit TV series “rawhidestarring Clint Eastwood — the CBS show is one of the longest-running western series on American TV, surpassed only by names like the “Death Valley Days” and “Bonanza.”
Saunders got her biggest role in 1965 when she was cast in the series “Petticoat Junction”. She joined the show during its third season in the role of Bobbie Jo, replacing Pat Woodell who opted out of the role to focus more on a singing career. The show takes place at the Shady Rest Hotel run by the Bradley Family, and was created after the initial success of “The Beverly Hillbillies” as part of a much larger interconnected universe from producer Paul Henning, all with a rural setting as the theme.
The show follows the life of the family, their relationships, activities, problems and their Uncle Joe, who often comes up with get rich quick.
It also featured a vintage steam train, the Hooterville Cannonball, whose crew makes frequent stops at the hotel. Like its predecessor, the show was very successful, thanks mainly to its shift towards more domestic comedy during the mid to later seasons. To be good luck led to another Henning creation in “Green Acres”.
Life after the Petticoat Junction
During Lori’s time on the show, she bonded with actress Meredith MacRae, who felt a connection to her when both characters replaced on the show. After the run, she later appeared in an episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies”, but did not reprise her role and played a different character, although the shows were linked. In 1970, she also appeared in an episode of the anthology series “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater”, which focused on various formats such as comedy episodes, drama, and musicals.
During the latter part of Saunders’ career, she focused more on film work,
reducing her TV appearances. She worked on the horror film “Blood Bath”, which follows the story of a delusional painter who mistakenly considers himself a vampire, targets women and kidnaps them to be used for his art. The film’s production was known for being deeply disturbing, with numerous reshoots and cuts, despite developing a cult following.
After working on “A Day at the White House” and “So Sad About Gloria”, she returned to television to work on the sitcom”Dusty’s Path”. The western show starring Forrest Tucker and Bob Denver, and is known as a western version of “Gilligan’s Island” for which Denver had become known.
Set in the 1800s, the show follows the lives of travelers who are separated from their wagon train on their way to California, leaving them on an adventure and finding their way back; the show ran for a year and about 26 episodes. Her character was based on May Ann, played by Dawn Elberta Wells in “Gilligan’s Island”. She even noted that the two shows were very similar, except that “Dusty’s Trail” had no coconuts!
Path to retirement
She also worked on the movie “Mara of the Wilderness” with Adam West and Theodore Marcuse; at that time she was on the verge of being official change her name to Lori.
The film tells the story of a woman who was raised by wolves in the Alaskan wilderness. She comes to the aid of an anthropologist who tries to teach her the world, while another tries to track her down. Her last film before her retirement was “Captive”.
She also released several singles marketing “Petticoat Junction” fame, including “Thirty Days Hath September”, “Out of Your Mind” and “Lonely Christmas”.
Lori has been married to Bernard Sandler since 1961 and tied the knot after a few years of dating; they have two children together.
The pair are known for their activism, often appearing in public against the ivory trade in the 1980s, at a time when elephants were hunted and near extinction due to the popularity of their ivory tusks.
While she never stated why she quit acting, she may be tired of the profession and the lack of new shows that matched the success of “Petticoat Junction”. She also developed a new love for art, especially painting, sculpture and photography, and concentrated on them. In addition to art, she is vegan and practices meditation.