Linda Kaye Henning is an American actress, dancer and singer, born on September 16, 1944 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is perhaps still best known for portraying Betty Jo’s character in the sitcom “Petticoat Junction”.
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Linda Kay Henning is the first daughter of Paul and Ruth Henning, and the older sister of Carol Alice and Paul Anthony. In an effort to overcome her shyness, Linda Kay was enrolled by her mother in “The Peter Pan Players”, a children’s theater club in which Linda starred in several plays inspired by fairy tales such as “Cinderella”, “Snow White” and “Pinocchio”. During her teenage years, she continued her acting activities and studied dance.
There is no information about Linda’s basic education, although she is known to have attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), but it is not known what year she graduated.
Acting Debut and Petticoat Junction
Linda Kay’s first TV appearance was as Penelope, a minor role on the comedy series “Mr. Ed”, who went on to appear as a teenage dancer in the film “Bye Bye Birdie”. Despite only being cast in small roles at the time, actress Bea Benaderet suggested Paul Henning, Linda Kay’s father and producer of “Petticoat Junction”, to include her as one of the three main girls on the show.
However, her father suspected he would be accused of favoritism if his daughter was cast on the show, so he did not participate in the casting, and after Linda landed a part as one of the Bradley sisters, he even asked her to her middle name to Kaye so people wouldn’t know they were related.
Known as Linda Kaye Henning, her character Betty Jo became the role she is best known for, but at the same time she was in other productions, such as “Green Acres” and “The Beverly Hillbillies”. She also made her debut as a singer in the TV series “Toast of the Town” in 1964.
Other well-known series in which Linda acted were “Family Affair”, “Mork & Mindy” and “Happy Days”, also seen as Mrs Osbourne in the movie “Mad About You”.
Her most recent role on TV was in 2007, when she played the character of Mrs. Mallory in “Sliders.” However, she has not been active as an actress since then.
Linda Kaye met actor Mike Minor on the set of “Petticoat Junction”, where he performed as Steve Elliott. While Betty and Steve’s characters fell in love on set, the actors fell in love in real life as well. They became engaged in early 1967, to be married on September 9 of that year, the exact date their characters in the series were to get married. However, in the spring of that year, the couple surprisingly broke off their engagement.
Later that year, Minor would reveal the reason for the breakup as the couple’s feud caused by his insecurities about their careers, although Mike assured that he never stopped loving Linda Kaye during the time they were separated. After their TV marriage, the couple reconciled and resolved their differences, getting married in real life in 1968.
Minor, who was previously married to Monyeen Rae Martini until 1966, played roles in several series such as “My Three Sons” and “All My Children”. He was also a singer, whose debut album was “This Is Mike Minor” from 1966, and he released several other singles. During his time in “Petticoat Junction”, he sang several songs with the cast of the series and sang the theme song of “The Smiths Family”.
Minor and Henning’s marriage ended in 1973 for unknown reasons.
Linda Kaye married actor Ashby Adams in 1994, although the couple’s love story is unknown. Adams is also an actor, known for his roles in “The Doctors”, “Santa Barbara” and “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.”.
Linda Kaye .’s father Paul Henning was a successful director and writer of several television shows, including the creator of “Petticoat Junction,” and got the idea of the show from a childhood story his wife told him, “My wife had told me about her early days in Missouri, where her grandparents had a hotel next to the railway. Salesmen came because the prices were very reasonable and they cooked at home.’
He also worked as a director of “The Ezio Pinza Show”, “The Bob Cummings Show” and “Green Acres”. He is also credited as the screenwriter of “Where’s Raymond?” and “The RCA Victor Show”.
Together with Linda’s mother Ruth, he founded “The Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area” in Missouri.
Linda Kaye Henning’s net worth is estimated at $1 million, as a result of her long career as an actress.
Linda Kaye Hennings is considered a beautiful red-haired woman, of white ethnicity. She is 1.60 m tall, but her weight is unknown, although she has always been of a slim build.
In addition to her love of dance and acting, Linda Kaye Hennings also showed a strong interest in science from a young age.
Mike Minor’s first time in “Petticoat Junction” was actually in 1964, when he played a minor character. During that one-of-a-kind appearance, he developed a crush on Linda Kaye, although the redhead never noticed him because they never acted together in a scene. At the time, however, he was still married to his first wife.
In her marriage to Mike Minor, Linda wore the same dress as during their fictional TV wedding.
Linda Kaye Hennings is a member of the California Artists Radio Theater.
She shares her date of birth with her father.
Bea Benaderet was Linda’s TV mom during “Petticoat Junction”. Sadly, Benaderet died of lung cancer in 1968, two years before the show’s cancellation. In an interviewLinda recalls a sad experience on the show after Benaderet’s death: ‘The hardest day was when they wrote a letter from Kate to Betty Jo. They recorded Bea reading it, and I just tried not to burst into tears during the scene.”