‘Hollywood Hillbillies’ Star Delores ‘Mema’ Hughes Dies at 76

Angela Weiss/Getty Images for REELZ

Delores Hughes, better known to Hollywood Hillbillies fans as Mema, has passed away. The reality TV star was 76 years old.

Hughes’ family announced her death in a Facebook announcement on Thursday, November 10. “We are heartbroken to confirm the passing of the amazing, beautiful, kind soul of Delores ‘Mema’ Hughes,” the family wrote.

Hughes’ family said that she died on Wednesday, November 9, surrounded by her family. “Mema’s family was her whole world!” they added. “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 … she was a pure [comedy] genius without trying! Her memory will live on with all the stories and laughs she offered to anyone willing to listen! We love you, Mema! RIP queen!”

TMZ adds that Hughes died of heart failure at a hospital in Grayson, GA.

Hollywood Hillbillies, which aired on Reelz between 2014 and 2015, followed Hughes and her family as they moved from rural Georgia to Hollywood after Michael Kittrell, Hughes’ grandson, went viral on YouTube with his “Gingers Do Have Souls” video.

In 2020, Hughes released the book Mema Says: From Country Porch to Hollywood Hillbillies. And she told TV Shows Ace at the time that she wasn’t ruling out a return to TV. “Who knows what’s going to happen,” she said. “When Hollywood came knocking the first time, we were all shocked. But you never know where you will see me and my family next! But as I’ve always said about everything, if it comes, it comes, [and] if it don’t, it don’t! I’m OK either way, really!”

David Weintraub, Hughes’ manager, told TMZ that she “was the greatest, most outspoken ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ personalities the world had ever seen on TV.”

“I know that she will still be bossing all of us around from heaven,” he added.