Who is Lori Saunders?
Linda Marie Hines was born on 4 October 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, and is an actress, and under her adopted stage name of Lori Saunders, is probably best known for her work in the television series “Petticoat Junction” in which she portrayed the character Bobby Jo Bradley. She’s 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 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, releasing several singles during her career.
Lori began a professional acting career in 1960, and adopted the name Lori Saunders as her name was already registered in the actor’s union. It was also a way to separate her acting persona from that of her real-life, to help keep her privacy intact. She started her career by appearing on television, working as various characters in episodes of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”. The sitcom aired on ABC, and originally started as a radio program before continuing its success with a televised adaptation. The show starred the titular Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Nelson.
Afterwards she made an appearance in the show ‘Burke’s Law”, another ABC show, this time a detective series following the titular captain of the homicide division of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The show later turned to “Amos Burke Secret Agent” following the continuation of its story during its third and final season. At around the same time, she also worked on the popular TV series “Rawhide” which starred Clint Eastwood – the CBS show is one of the longest-running Western series on US TV, exceeded only by names such as 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 in the Shady Rest Hotel run by the Bradley Family, and was created following the initial success of “The Beverly Hillbillies” as a part of a much larger interconnected universe of producer Paul Henning, all with a rural setting as its 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 schemes.
It also featured a vintage steam train, the Hooterville Cannonball, the crew of which often makes a stop at the hotel. Like its predecessor, the show was very successful, especially thanks to its shift towards more domestic themed comedy during its middle to later seasons. Its success led to another Henning creation in “Green Acres”.
Life After the Petticoat Junction
During Lori’s time in the show, she became close with actress Meredith MacRae, who felt a connection with her as both replaced characters in the show. Following its run, she later appeared in an episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies”, but didn’t reprise her role, playing a different character even though the shows were interconnected. In 1970, she also made an appearance in an episode of the anthology series “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre”, which focused on various formats such as comedy episodes, drama and musicals.
During the latter part of Saunders’s career, she focused more on film work,
lessening her TV appearances. She worked on the horror film “Blood Bath” which follows the story of a delusional painter who mistakenly believes himself as a vampire, targeting women and kidnapping them to be used for his art. The film’s production was known to be very troubled, going through numerous reshoots and cuts, despite which it developed 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 Trail”. The Western show starred Forrest Tucker and Bob Denver, and is known for being a Western-themed version of “Gilligan’s Island”, which Denver had become known for.
The show is set during the 19th century, following the lives of travelers who become separated from their wagon train while on their way to California, leading them to go on adventures 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 remarked that the two shows were very similar, except that “Dusty’s Trail” didn’t have any coconuts!
Path to Retirement
She also worked on the film “Mara of the Wilderness” alongside Adam West and Theodore Marcuse; at the time, she was on the verge of officially changing her name to Lori.
The film tells the story of a woman who was raised by wolves in the wilderness of Alaska. She comes to the aid of an anthropologist who tries to teach her the ways of the world, while another tries to hunt her down. Her last film before retirement was “Captive”.
She also released several singles using the fame from “Petticoat Junction” as marketing, some of which include “Thirty Days Hath September”, “Out of Your Mind”, and “Lonely Christmas”.
Lori has been married to Bernard Sandler since 1961, tying the knot after a couple of years dating; they have two children together.
The couple are known for their activism, often appearing in public working against the ivory trade during the 1980s, at a point in time when elephants were being hunted down and near to extinction due to the popularity of their tusks made of ivory.
While she’s never specified why she retired from acting, she may have grown tired of the profession, and the lack of any new shows that rivaled the success of “Petticoat Junction”. She also developed a new love for the arts, particularly painting, sculpture and photography, focusing on that instead. Aside from the arts, she is a vegan and practices meditation.