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Billy Hayes is dead: Witchiepoo of “HR Pufnstuf” was 96



5:26 PM PDT 3/5/2021

from

Mike Barnes

She also played Mami Yokum in the Broadway versions and on the big screen of Li’l Abner.

Billy Hayes, who played the enchanted Wilhelmina W. Wichipu on Sid and Marty Croft HR Pufnstuf and the meager Mami Yokum in the Broadway versions and the big screen of Lil Abner, Has passed away. She was 96.

Hayes died Thursday of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a family spokesman said.

After playing the role of the evil hero in the children̵

7;s program from 1969-70. HR Pufnstuf, she reunited with the Croft brothers in 1971-72. Leedsville, another Saturday morning children’s show (she played the incompetent Weenie the Genie in this).

Kroffts reacted on Twitter to the news of her death:

Most recently, Hayes served as a voice actor for The black cauldron (1985) and for such cartoons as Trolkins,, The new mysteries of Scooby-Doo,, Paw Paws,, Darkwing Duck,, Brothers Club and Transformers: Rescue bots.

Born on August 5, 1924 in DuQuoin, Illinois, Hayes played in the band’s leader Vince Genovese’s orchestra while in high school, then toured the Midwest with her own singing and dancing activities.

After moving to New York, she auditioned for theater legend JJ Schubert and was hired for starring roles in three operettas on the roadshow: Student Prince,, The merry widow and Time to flourish.

Hayes debuts on Broadway in “Leonard Silman” New faces since 1956, then succeeded Charlotte Ray as Mami Yokum Lil Abner. She played the bare-knuckle champion of Dogpatch for the rest of Broadway in July 1958, then moved to the 1959 Paramount’s big-screen version, which also featured Peter Palmer, Leslie Parish, Stubby Kay. Julie Newmar and Stella Stevens. (Hayes again portrays Mami Yokum in the 1971 ABC film)

In 1966, she toured with the national company of Hello, Dolly!, starring Betty Grabble, and later appeared on television shows such as The monkeys,, Enchanted,, Trapper John, Ph.D. and Multispecialty hospital.

Survivors include her niece Nancy and nieces Tom, Louis and Guy.

Donations in her memory can be made to the humanitarian organization she founded: Pet Hope, PO Box 69493, West Hollywood CA 90048.




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