Coming from the 77-year-old, that means a lot, because he says, “I’m such a bastard that if you’re a dick when your living — you’re a dead dick.” But he says that wasn’t the case with the 81-year-old actress, who died of pancreatic cancer Thursday at her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“She was Elly May until the day she died,” he tells us exclusively. “When I saw her for autograph signings or other gatherings, she always dressed the same with pink or blue” and of course those signature pigtails.
Max, who was the youngest star on the show, says, “I spoke to her on a semi-regular basis. We weren’t the kind of people who would text, but we would call each other when there was something to share.”
The Beverly Hillbillies star says the last time he saw the blonde beauty was in January 2013 for an autograph signing in Los Angeles. And, he didn’t know she was sick until she passed away.
Max says Donna had pancreatic cancer for the past four months, “but she was a very private person — nothing like me.” A friend told him Donna had a message for him: “Tell Maxie I thought I was going to get better.”
The actor, who still embraces Jethro, has fond memories of Donna and the show that made him famous: “Some of those shows — if you didn’t laugh, you had to be a pretty strange person. They were as much slapstick as Chaplin.”
With a sad tone in his voice, Max says, “I’m the last man standing. All the actors, producers — everybody on the show is gone.”