Billie Hayes, Witchiepoo on 'H.R. Pufnstuf,' Dies at 96 - Hollywood Reporter
May 04, 2021 54 secs

Billie Hayes as Witchiepoo on 'H.R.

Billie Hayes, who played the cackling Wilhelmina W.

Pufnstuf and the scrappy Mammy Yokum in the Broadway and big-screen versions of Li'l Abner, has died.

Margaret Hamilton (Wizard of Oz) once told us that Billie Hayes was "one of the best witches ever” We couldn’t agree more.

More recently, Hayes served as a voice actor for The Black Cauldron (1985) and for such cartoons as Trollkins, The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Paw Paws, Darkwing Duck, The Brothers Flub and Transformers: Rescue Bots.

5, 1924, in DuQuoin, Illinois, Hayes played in bandleader Vince Genovese's orchestra while in high school, then toured with her own singing and dancing act throughout the Midwest.

Hayes made her Broadway debut in Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1956, then succeeded Charlotte Rae as Mammy Yokum in Li'l Abner.

She played the bare-knuckle champion of Dogpatch for the remainder of its Broadway run through July 1958, then segued to the 1959 Paramount big-screen version that also starred Peter Palmer, Leslie Parrish, Stubby Kaye, Julie Newmar and Stella Stevens.

(Hayes portrayed Mammy Yokum again in a 1971 ABC telefilm.)


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