Who is Lori Saunders?
Born on October 4, 1941 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Linda Marie Hines is an actress, and by her adopted stage name Lori Saunders she is probably best known for her work in the television series “Petticoat Junction” in which she portrayed the character Bobby Joe Bradley. She has also worked on other projects such as ‘Mara of the Wilderness’, ‘Blood Bath’ and ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’.
The Wealth of Lori Saunders
As of the beginning of 2020, Lori Saunders’ net worth is estimated to be over $3 million earned through a successful career in acting in the entertainment industry from 1960 to 1980. Apart from her acting projects, she also ventured into the music industry and released several singles during her career .
Lori began a professional acting career in 1960, taking the name Lori Saunders, as her name was already registered with the actors’ union. It was also a way to separate her acting persona from her real life, to keep 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 out 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 in the show ‘Burke’s Law’, another ABC show, this time a detective series where she follows the Chief Inspector of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Homicide Division. The show later changed to “Amos Burke Secret Agent” following the continuation of the story during 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 producer Paul Henning’s much larger interconnected universe, all themed around a rural setting. .
The show follows the life of the family, their relationships, activities, problems and their Uncle Joe, who often comes up with get-rich-quick schemes.
It also featured a vintage steam train, the Hooterville Cannonball, whose crew often makes stops at the hotel. Like its predecessor, the show was very successful, mainly due to the shift to more domestic themed comedy during the mid and later seasons. Are good luck led to another Henning creation in “Green Acres”.
Life after the Petticoat Junction
During Lori’s time on the show, she became close to actress Meredith MacRae, who felt a connection to her when both replaced characters 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 even though 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 different formats such as comedy episodes, drama and musicals.
During the latter part of Saunders’ career, she focused more on film work,
reduce her TV appearances. She worked on the horror film ‘Blood Bath’, which follows the story of a delusional painter who falsely believes himself to be a vampire, targets women and kidnaps them to be used for his art. The film’s production was known to be very troubled, with numerous takes 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 starred Forrest Tucker and Bob Denver, and is known as a Western-themed version of “Gilligan’s Island”, for which Denver had become known.
Set in the 19th century, the show follows the lives of travelers who become separated from their wagon train on their way to California, leading them to adventure and find 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 commented that the two shows were very similar, except “Dusty’s Trail” had no coconuts!
Path to retirement
She also collaborated with Adam West and Theodore Marcuse on the movie “Mara of the Wilderness”; at the time, she was on the verge of 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 ways of the world, while another tries to track her down. Her last movie before retirement was “Captive”.
She also released several singles using the fame of “Petticoat Junction” as marketing, 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 couple are known for their activism and often make public appearances against the ivory trade in the 1980s, at a time when elephants were being hunted and nearly extinct due to the popularity of their ivory tusks.
While she’s never specified why she retired from acting, she may be tired of the profession and the lack of new shows that could match the success of “Petticoat Junction.” She also developed a new love for art, especially painting, sculpture and photography and focused on them. Besides art, she is vegan and practices meditation.