Bobbie Faye Ferguson, 'Dukes of Hazzard' Actress, Dead at 78

Bobbie Faye Ferguson, an actress and the mother of The Conners star Jay R. Ferguson, has died. She was 78. Ferguson died of natural causes on June 25, her son's representatives at Industry Entertainment told The Hollywood Reporter Friday. Ferguson's acting credits included The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas, and Burt Reynolds' Evening Shade.

Ferguson was born on Oct. 10, 1943, in Memphis and raised in Eudora, Arkansas. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and taught speech and debate at a Dallas high school. She co-founded KD Studio, an acting school in Dallas.

After moving to Los Angeles, she found work in acting and modeling. She appeared in the 1983 episode of The Dukes of Hazzard "Coy vs. Vance." She also appeared in five episodes of Dallas, three episodes of Designing Women, and two episodes of Evening Shade. Jay played Taylor Newton, Reynolds and Marilu Henner's on-screen son, on Evening Shade. Ferguson made her last on-screen appearance in episodes of Hearts Afire.

During the 1990s, President Bill Clinton asked Ferguson to help launch NASA's multimedia program in Washington and she served as a NASA spokesperson. She served as a consultant on space-related films like Clint Eastwood's 2000 hit Space Cowboys and Werner Herzog's While Blue Yonder. She was also a consultant on the 2005 miniseries Human Trafficking, starring Donald Sutherland and Mira Sorvino.

Ferguson's son Jay began his career as a child actor, making his debut in a short-lived 1990 series adaptation of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. He starred in 98 episodes of Evening Shade, a sitcom starring Reynolds as a former pro football player who returns to his hometown in Arkansas to coach a high school football team. Jay is best-known today for playing Stan Rizzo on Mad Men, earning two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations as a member of the show's cast. He now stars as Ben Olinsky, Sara Gilbert's on-screen love interest in the Roseanne spin-off series The Conners.


In addition to Jay, Ferguson is survived by her daughter-in-law, three grandsons, two brothers, a sister-in-law, nieces, and nephews. Donations can be made in her memory to the Los Angeles Mission. A celebration of life is scheduled for Aug. 20 in Los Angeles.