Believe it or not, it’s been 40 years since The Dukes of Hazzard premiered, and while the Dodge Charger in the program has become iconic, so have the short jeans that Catherine Bach‘s character wore — an outfit choice the actress said was her idea.
The 65-year-old, who will be reuniting with fellow actor Tom Wopat to celebrate the anniversary of the show with the “Good Ole Boys Tour,” a car show and concert series starting on Saturday, April 13 in Bakersfield, California, sat-down with Fox News to discuss her most memorable role, including the famous jean shorts.
“You would have too!” the actress said with a laugh, when asked if it was true she was the brainchild behind the outfit her character Daisy Duke wore. She continued, “[The creators] wanted me to wear a poodle skirt that matched the tablecloth. I said, ‘You want me to match the tablecloth? That’s demeaning to women.’ They went, “We didn’t come up with that!”
Catherine added, “They took me across the street from Warner Brothers and sure enough, there were these older ladies waitressing at this little Italian restaurant wearing poodle skirts that matched the tablecloth.” According to the Young and the Restless alum, the creator of the program was inspired by a certain legend.
“I had go-go boots, a white turtleneck and a blonde wig because the creator loved Dolly Parton,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘We need a costume change.’ So I got my jean shorts that I could never get even, with cowboy boots and a little top … They loved it.” And the rest is history. Catherine also shared her thoughts on the show’s impact.
“It’s just wild. I’m just so proud of this legacy,” she said. “We’ve managed to entertain people after all this time. And now it’s a hit on Amazon. It’s just wonderful. This is what the show was about — entertaining people.” The You Again costar continued, “I’ve done a lot of different things since that show, but this part somehow continues to connect with people. It just makes me proud. And I just love meeting the fans. We just want to take ‘Dukes’ on the road for them. … Because of that show, I’ve not only managed to meet fans but their kids too. It’s crazy … It’s a history we all share together.”
And yet, Catherine was almost not cast in the iconic role. “It was a complete fluke that I was Daisy Duke! I’m half Mexican and half German, and my agency said, ‘You’re way too exotic and just not television material’ — and they fired me!” she once exclusively revealed to Closer Weekly.
She added, “My first husband, David Shaw, worked with Bob Clark, who was writing with the show’s creator, Gy Waldron. Bob said, ‘It would be fun for them to meet someone I sort of based the character on.’ I told my girlfriend, ‘I’m not going to do it — they’ve been looking for a year and want a blonde like Dolly Parton, not me.’ She said, ‘Who cares? Just go.’
Catherine then made a decision. “Two weeks later, I had the role.”
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