Billie Hayes, Actress Who Played Witchiepoo in H.R. Pufnstuf , Dead at 96

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Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Billie Hayes (née Brosch), identified for taking part in Witchiepoo within the beloved 1969 kids’s present H.R. Pufnstuf, has died. She was 96.

The veteran actress died Thursday of pure causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, in response to Deadline. Her household introduced the information of her dying.

She was finest identified for her efficiency on H.R. Pufnstuf, which ran for 17 episodes on NBC in 1969, in addition to the 1970 characteristic adaptation, Pufnstuf

Hayes entertained audiences with a slapstick, vaudeville fashion efficiency of Witchiepoo, the villainous witch who was consistently attempting to steal the magical Freddy the Flute. 

Hayes revived the position of Witchiepoo in Sid and Marty Krofft’s different exhibits, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour and Lidsville, and once more on The Paul Lynde Halloween Special in 1976.

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Everett Collection

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She additionally gave a memorable efficiency as Mammy Yokum within the 1956 Broadway musical adaptation of the sketch Li’l Abner. She additionally performed the position within the 1959 film and a 1971 TV particular.

The Illinois native’s different credit embody appearances in The Monkees, Bewitched, Donny and Marie and Murder, She Wrote

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Walt Disney Television through Getty

She additionally had various voiceover roles in animated collection together with The Flinstones Comedy Show, The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, The Black Cauldron, The Real Ghostbusters, The Night Before Christmas, Rugrats and The Powerpuff Girls.

Born April 11, 1925 in Du Quoin, Illinois, to an assistant reduction administrator to the underprivileged and a coal miner union chief, she started acting at age 9, when she danced at native nightclubs. Hayes carried out a solo act in Chicago throughout her teenagers, touring across the Midwest, earlier than touchdown in New York City.

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She made her Broadway debut in Leonard Sillman’s New Faces of 1956, alongside Maggie Smith, after showing within the revue What’s New with Paul Lynde

After her flip in Li’l Abner, she performed Minnie Fay, touring with the nationwide manufacturing of Hello Dolly! starring Betty Grable.

An animal lover and vegetarian, she based the animal rescue non-profit Pet Hope in 1984. She served because the group’s president till her dying.

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