Actor Mike Minor died Monday, January 25, 2016, at age 75. Predeceased by his father, producer Don Fedderson, mother Tido Fedderson, and younger brother Gregg Fedderson, Minor is best known for playing Steve Elliot on Petticoat Junction. He also had roles on four now-cancelled soap operas: Another World, All My Children, As the World Turns, and The Edge of Night.
Minor was married to his Petticoat Junction co-star Linda Henning (Betty Jo) from 1968 until their divorce in 1973. Her father, Paul Henning, created both Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies, and executive produced Green Acres. All three countrified TV shows were cancelled by CBS between 1970 and 1971, in what is referred to to as the “rural purge,” which began when networks started targeting the 18-49 year old viewer ratings demographic.
Between 1968 and 1970, Minor brought Petticoat Junction‘s Steve Elliot character to five episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. In 1971, he again appeared in the last few episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies TV series, playing an out-of-work actor, Dick Bremerkamp. In an attempt to get his hands on the Clampett fortune, Bremerkamp woos Elly May (Donna Douglas).
To impress the bird-watching Jane Hathaway (Nancy Kulp), Bremerkamp says he is Robert Audubon, a made-up relative of the famed ornithologist, John James Audubon. Miss Jane soon falls in love with him.
He poses as Robert Crockett (a supposed descendent of Davy Crockett) to win over Granny Clampett (Irene Ryan). He also passes himself off as one Robert Getty of the wealthy Getty family, to reel in Mr. Drysdale (Raymond Bailey).
In “Jethro’s Return” — the episode that would turn out to be The Beverly Hillbillies‘ unplanned TV series finale — Bremerkamp heads off to Vegas to marry Elly May, who thinks he is Miss Jane’s beau. When Elly May realizes what he has in mind, she makes him take her home.
On All My Children, Minor played Brandon Kingsley, a cosmetics tycoon and lover of Erica Kane (Susan Lucci). Erica’s affair with Kingsley occurs at the end of her marriage to Tom Cudahy (Richard Shoberg), as her modeling career takes off.
Minor’s father, Fedderson, executive produced the My Three Sons TV series from 1960 to 1972. Over the life of the show, Minor appeared eight times, as several different characters.
Minor’s final TV appearance was as Dr. Gerhardt in an 1993 episode of L.A. Law, “That’s Why the Lady is a Stamp.”
Per Programming Insider, Minor’s death was cancer-related. He reportedly had one child with first wife Monyeen Rae Martini. No further information is available, at this time.
Among Minor’s survivors are his stepmother, Yvonne Lime Fedderson, co-founder of the Childhelp organization, for the prevention and treatment of child abuse.
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