‘Hollywood Hillbillies’ Star Dolores ‘Mema’ Hughes Dead at 76
Dolores Hughes, the breakout star of Reelz' Hollywood Hillbillies, has died. Fans and viewers simply knew her as Mema.
The 76-year-old died surrounded by family in her hometown of Grayson, Ga., on Nov. 9. TMZ first reported news that the family had confirmed several days earlier. Hollywood Hillbillies followed YouTuber Michael Kittrell as he moved his family from Georgia to Hollywood.
"She definitely didn’t understand Hollywood," a note on Hughes' Facebook page reads.
Manager David Weintraub tells the celebrity news website that he's sure "Mema" would now be bossing the family around from heaven. "Mema was the greatest, most outspoken 'tell-it-like-it-is personalities the world had ever seen on TV," he shared in a statement.
We are heartbroken to confirm the passing of the amazing, beautiful, kind soul of Delores “Mema” Hughes. Mema passed yesterday 11-9-2022 surrounded by her loving family! Mema’s family was her WHOLE WORLD! She bragged about them to anyone every time she had the opportunity! Mema was a trailblazer in many way! She never really understood why so many people loved her and wanted to be around her! She definitely didn’t understand Hollywood! But one thing about, she was a PURE COMEDIAN GENIUS without trying! Her memory will live on with all the stories and laughs she offered to anyone willing to listen!
The family's message ends with "We love you Mema! RIP Queen!"
How Did Mema From Hollywood Hillbillies Die?
Weintraub shares that Dolores "Mema" Hughes died of heart failure at a hospital in Grayson. While active through the pandemic, she'd been fairly quiet on Facebook for the last year. A final photo shared on social media shows her with her family before a meal at Waffle House.
What Happened to Hollywood Hillbillies?
In addition to Kittrell and Hughes, Hollywood Hillbillies included an uncle named John Cox, an aunt named Dee Dee Peters, her boyfriend Paul Conlon. Twenty-three episodes aired between 2014 and 2015 before the show was canceled, but TMZ points out that the show — which spoofed the '60s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies — was the No. 1 show on Reelz.
Kittrell's Copper Cab YouTube channel has not delivered new content in more than a year. In 2016, he came out as transgender, but has since indicated he stopped hormone therapy. The 30-year-old was raised by his grandmother since age 12.
In 2020, Hughes released a book about her life called Mema Says that tells her story of spousal abuse, a forced abortion, a near fatal car wreck and the death of a child.