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Nancy Kulp
Nancy Kulp Circa 1960s.jpg
Kulp, 1960s
Nancy Jane Kulp

(1921-08-28)August 28, 1921
Died February 3, 1991(1991-02-03) (aged 69)
Resting place Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania
Alma mater
Years active 1951–89
Political party Democratic
Charles M. Dacus
(m. 1951; div. 1961)
Military service
Service United States Naval Reserve
Years of service 1944–1946
Rank Lieutenant, junior grade
Awards American Campaign Medal

Nancy Jane Kulp (August 28, 1921 – February 3, 1991) was an American character actress and comedienne best known as Miss Jane Hathaway on the CBS television series The Beverly Hillbillies.

Early life

Kulp was born to Robert Tilden and Marjorie C. (née Snyder) Kulp in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She was their only child. Kulp's father was a traveling salesman, and her mother was a schoolteacher and later a principal. The family moved from Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, to Miami-Dade County, Florida, sometime before 1935.

In 1943, Kulp graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Florida State College for Women. She continued her studies for a master's degree in English and French at the University of Miami, where she was a member of the sorority Pi Beta Phi. Early in the 1940s, she also worked as a feature writer for the Miami Beach Tropics newspaper, writing profiles of celebrities such as Clark Gable and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Military service

During World War II, Kulp left the University of Miami in 1944 to join the United States Naval Reserve. She attained the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, and received several decorations while in the service, including the American Campaign Medal. She was honorably discharged in 1946.



In 1951, not long after marrying Charles Malcolm Dacus, Kulp moved to Hollywood, California, to work in MGM's publicity department. Director George Cukor at the studio soon convinced her that she should be an actress, so the same year she began her publicity job at MGM, she also made her film debut as a character actress in The Model and the Marriage Broker. She then appeared in other films, including Shane, Sabrina, and A Star is Born. After working in television on The Bob Cummings Show and on Perry Mason in "The Case of the Deadly Toy" in 1959, Kulp returned to movies in Forever, Darling, The Three Faces of Eve, The Parent Trap, Who's Minding the Store?, and The Aristocats. In 1966, she appeared as Wilhelmina Peterson in the film The Night of the Grizzly, starring Clint Walker and Martha Hyer.


Max Baer Jr, Nancy Kulp and Sharon Tate in The Beverly Hillbillies, The Giant Jackrabbit episode
Kulp (center) with Max Baer Jr. and Sharon Tate in The Beverly Hillbillies, 1965

In 1955 Kulp joined the cast of The Bob Cummings Show (Love That Bob) with Bob Cummings, portraying pith-helmeted neighborhood bird watcher Pamela Livingstone. In 1956, she appeared as a waitress in the episode "Johnny Bravo" of the ABC/Warner Brothers series Cheyenne, with Clint Walker. Kulp played the role of Anastasia in three episodes of the NBC sitcom It's a Great Life in 1955 and 1956. In 1958, she appeared in Orson Welles' little-known pilot episode "The Fountain of Youth" in the television series Colgate Theatre. In 1960, she appeared as Emma St. John in the episode "Kill with Kindness" of the ABC/WB detective series Bourbon Street Beat, starring Andrew Duggan.

Kulp appeared on I Love Lucy in the 1956 episode "Lucy Meets the Queen", performing as an English maid, who shows Lucy and Ethel how to curtsy properly before Queen Elizabeth. Kulp also appeared in episodes of The Real McCoys, Perry Mason ("The Case of the Prodigal Parent", 1958, and "The Case of the Deadly Toy", 1959), The Jack Benny Program ("Don's 27th Anniversary with Jack"), 87th Precinct ("Killer's Choice"), Pete and Gladys, The Twilight Zone (as Mrs. Gann in "The Fugitive"), and Outlaws ("The Dark Sunrise of Griff Kincaid, Esquire"). Kulp portrayed a waitress in a scene with James Garner and Jean Willes in the 1959 Maverick episode "Full House". She played a housekeeper in a pilot for The William Bendix Show, which aired as the 1960–1961 season finale of CBS's Mister Ed under the title "Pine Lake Lodge". On the series My Three Sons in 1962, she portrayed a high school math and science teacher in two episodes under different character names, Miss Harris and Miss Fisher.

Jim Backus Nancy Kulp Beverly Hillbillies 1963
Guest star Jim Backus with Kulp in The Beverly Hillbillies (1963)

Shortly after her performances on My Three Sons in 1962, Kulp landed her breakout role as Jane Hathaway, the love-starved, bird-watching, perennial spinster, on the CBS television series The Beverly Hillbillies. In 1967, she received an Emmy Award nomination for her role, and she remained with the show until its cancellation in 1971. In 1978, she appeared on The Love Boat in the episode "Mike and Ike / The Witness / The Kissing Bandit" and she played Aunt Gertrude in the episode "Tony and Julie / Separate Beds / America's Sweetheart". On April 7, 1989, she played a nun in the Quantum Leap season 1 episode "The Right Hand of God". Kulp also appeared on The Brian Keith Show and Sanford and Son.


Kulp also performed in the Broadway production of Morning's at Seven in 1980 to 1981 as Aaronetta Gibbs as a replacement for Elizabeth Wilson in the Lyceum Theatre.

Politics, academia and retirement

In 1984, after working with the Democratic state committee in her home state of Pennsylvania "on a variety of projects" over a period of years, Kulp ran unopposed as the Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 9th congressional district. As an opponent of the Republican incumbent Bud Shuster in a Republican-dominated district, Kulp was the decided underdog. Sixty-two years old at the time, Kulp said some voters might feel her background as an actress was "frivolous"; but she noted that Ronald Reagan had taken the route from screen to politics, and she said anyone who "listens and cares" can do well.

To her dismay, her Hillbillies co-star Buddy Ebsen contacted the Shuster campaign and volunteered to make a radio campaign ad in which he called Kulp "too liberal". Kulp said of Ebsen, "He's not the kindly old Jed Clampett that you saw on the show ... It's none of his business and he should have stayed out of it." She said Ebsen and she "didn't get along because I found him difficult to work with. But I never would have done something like this to him." Garnering 59,449 votes—just 33.6% of the ballots cast in the election—to Shuster's 117,203 votes and 66.4%, she lost. After this, according to her close friends and family, Ebsen was regarded as "persona non grata" to Kulp and she made it clear to people not to bring him up in conversation around her with the exception of interviews related to her time on Hillbillies. In his later years, especially after Kulp's death, Ebsen privately expressed remorse for doing the ad and they only reconciled shortly before Kulp's death.

After her defeat, she worked at Juniata College, a private liberal arts college in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, as an artist-in-residence. Later she taught acting.

Personal life

Nancy Kulp
Kulp in Tallahassee wearing a button supporting FSU football

Kulp married Charles Malcolm Dacus on April 1, 1951, in Dade County, Florida; they divorced in 1961. After her retirement from acting and teaching, she moved first to a farm in Connecticut and later to Palm Springs, California, where she became involved in several charity organizations, including the Humane Society of the Desert, the Desert Theatre League, and United Cerebral Palsy. Hadleigh states that Kulp was indicating that she was a lesbian. (Note that Boze Hadleigh is famous for publishing interviews of actors, after they've died, in which he states that they came out during the interview. Yet he refuses to share the audio tapes that would prove his claims.)


Kulp, a cigarette smoker,was diagnosed with cancer in 1990 and received chemotherapy. By 1991 the cancer had spread, and she died on February 3, 1991, aged 69, in Palm Desert, California. Her remains are interred at Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.



Year Title Role Notes
1951 The Model and the Marriage Broker Hazel Gingras Uncredited, Romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor.
1952 Steel Town Dolores Drama film directed by George Sherman.
The Marrying Kind Edie Uncredited, Comedy drama film directed by George Cukor.
1953 Shane Mrs. Howells
The Caddy Emma Uncredited, Comedy–musical–sports film directed by Norman Taurog.
Here Come the Girls Washwoman Uncredited, Musical–comedy film directed by Claude Binyon & filmed in technicolor.
1954 Sabrina Jenny, maid
  • Uncredited, Romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder.
  • Adapted from Samuel A. Taylor's play Sabrina Fair.
  • Its 1995 remake of the same name directed by Sydney Pollack.
A Star is Born Esther's neighbor in rooming house
  • Uncredited, Dramatic musical film starring Judy Garland & directed by George Cukor.
  • Based on the original 1937 film.
1955 The Shrike Mrs. Coleman
  • Uncredited, Drama film directed by José Ferrer.
  • Based on Joseph Kramm's play of the same name.
Not as a Stranger Deirdre
  • Uncredited, Drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer.
  • Based on the 1954 novel of the same name by Morton Thompson.
You're Never Too Young Marty's Mother Martin and Lewis comedy film directed by Norman Taurog.
Count Three and Pray Matty Miller Western film directed by George Sherman.
1956 Anything Goes A bobby soxer
  • Uncredited, Musical film directed by Robert Lewis.
  • Adapted from the 1934 stage play Anything Goes by Cole Porter which was a book by Guy Bolton & P.G. Wodehouse and heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse.
Forever, Darling Amy Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz romantic comedy film with fantasy overtones directed by Alexander Hall.
1957 Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend Cleaning Woman Uncredited, Western film directed by Richard L. Bare.
God Is My Partner Maxine Spelvana Drama film directed by William F. Claxton and written by Charles F. Royal.
The Three Faces of Eve Mrs. Black
  • CinemaScope drama–mystery film starring Joanne Woodward as a woman with a multiple personality disorder, directed by Nunnally Johnson.
  • Based on a book by psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, who also helped write the screenplay.
Kiss Them for Me WAVE Telephone Operator
  • Uncredited, Comedy film directed by Stanley Donen.
  • An adaptation of the 1945 Broadway play of the same name.
1958 The High Cost of Loving Miss Matthews, Cave's Secretary
1959 Five Gates to Hell Susette Adventure film written, produced, and directed by James Clavell.
1961 The Parent Trap Miss Grunecker
The Last Time I Saw Archie Miss Willoughby
The Two Little Bears Emily Wilkins Comedy film directed by Randall Hood.
1962 Moon Pilot Space Flight Nutritionist
  • Uncredited, Technicolor science fiction satirical comedy film directed by James Neilson.
  • Based on Robert Buckner's 1960 novel Starfire
  • Uncredited
1963 Who's Minding the Store? Emily Rothgraber Jerry Lewis comedy directed by Frank Tashlin.
1964 The Patsy Helen, Theatergoer Comedy directed by and starring Jerry Lewis.
1965 Strange Bedfellows Aggressive Woman Comedy film directed by Melvin Frank.
1966 The Night of the Grizzly Wilhelmina Peterson Western–adventure film directed by Joseph Pevney.
1970 The Aristocats Frou-Frou Voice, Animated musical adventure-comedy film directed by Wolfgang Reitherman.


Year Title Role Notes
1954 Lux Video Theatre Daisy Episode: "To Each His Own" (S 5:Ep 1)
Topper Guest Episode: "The Seance" (S 2:Ep 4)
December Bride Louella Episode: "Lily Hires a Maid" (S 1:Ep 9)
1955–1959 The Bob Cummings Show Pamela Livingstone Recurring: 15 episodes
1955 It's a Great Life Mrs. Bell Episode: "The Missing Stamp" (S 1:Ep 20)
The Life of Riley Charlotte Lindsay Episode: "Love Comes to Waldo Binney" (S 4:Ep 4)
Svengali and the Blonde Honorine Made-for-TV-Movie musical written and directed by Alan Handley.
Schlitz Playhouse Guest Episode: "Meet Mr. Justice" (S 4:Ep 45)
Topper Mrs. Bandle Episode: "The Neighbors" (S 2:Ep 35)
TV Reader's Digest Ruth Episode: "Around the Horn to Matrimony" (S 1:Ep 19)
Schlitz Playhouse Guest Episode: "The Girl Who Scared Men Off" (S 5:Ep 4)
The Life of Riley Charlotte Lindsay Episode: "Waldo's Mother" (S 4:Ep 15)
It's a Great Life Gloria Episode: "The Crystal Ball" (S 2: Ep 12)
General Electric Theater Miss Lamb Episode: "The Seeds of Hate" (S 4:Ep 11)
1956 It's a Great Life Anastasia Episode: "Beauty Contest" (S 2:Ep 18)
I Love Lucy Maid Episode: "Lucy Meets the Queen" (S 5:Ep 15)
Navy Log Guest Episode: "Web Feet" (S 1:Ep 23)
It's a Great Life Girl Episode: "Kid Sister" (S 2:Ep 30)
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre Guest Episode: "Shoot the Moon" (S 1:Ep 30)
December Bride Florence Episode: "Lily the Matchmaker" (S 2:Ep 30)
Cheyenne Waitress Episode: "Johnny Bravo" (S 1:Ep 14)
The Gale Storm Show Helga Petersen Episode: "Passenger Incognito" (S 1:Ep 3)
Our Miss Brooks Lucretia Hannibal Recurring
The 20th Century Fox Hour Miss Gillis Episode: "The Hefferan Family" (S 1:Ep 18)
The Red Skelton Show Witch Episode: "The Magic Shoes" (S 6:Ep 5)
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Nancy Episode: "The Balloons" (S 5:Ep 9)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Nurse Episode: "Jonathan" (S 2:Ep 10)
1957 Date with the Angels Dolly Cates Recurring
The Thin Man Desk clerk
1958 The Loretta Young Show Helen Episode: "Dear Milkman" (S 5:Ep 15)
Perry Mason Sarah Winslow Episode: "The Case of the Prodigal Parent" (S 1:Ep 36)
Cheyenne Waitress
  • Episode: "Noose at Noon" (S 3:Ep 19)
  • Uncredited
Perry Mason Sarah Winslow Episode: "The Case of the Prodigal Parent" (S1:Ep 36)
Colgate Theatre Guest
  • Episode: "Adventures of a Model"
  • Directed by Norman Tokar.
Stella Morgan
  • Episode: "The Fountain of Youth
  • Directed by Orson Welles."
  • Credited as Nancy Culp
The Real McCoys Harriet Reynolds Episode: "The Dancin' Fool" (S 2:Ep 4)
77 Sunset Strip Landlady Episode: "Casualty" (S 1:Ep 4)
1959 December Bride Librarian Episode: "The Hi-Fi Show" (S 5:Ep 20)
The Dennis O'Keefe Show Miss Mansfield Episode: "Teacher's Pest" (S 1:Ep 2)
Playhouse 90 Leona Episode: "A Marriage of Strangers" (S 3:Ep 32)
Perry Mason Katherine Collins Episode: "The Case of the Deadly Toy" (S 2:Ep 27)
Maverick Waitress
  • Episode: "Full House" (S 3:Ep 7)
  • Uncredited
Sunday Showcase Girl at Well Episode: "The Milton Berle Special" (S 1:Ep 7)
1960 Bourbon Street Beat Emma St. John Episode: "Kill with Kindness" (S 1:Ep 14)
The Gale Storm Show Gertrude Episode: "Captain Courageous" (S 4:Ep 22)
The Comedy Spot Guest
  • Episode: "Adventures of a Model"
  • Directed by Norman Tokar.
1961 Shirley Temple's Storybook Guardian Episode: "The Little Mermaid" (S 2:Ep 22)
Mister Ed Martha Episode: "Pine Lake Lodge" (S 1:Ep 25)
Pete and Gladys Miss Hotchkiss Episode: "Gladys' Political Campaign" (S 1:Ep 16)
The Jack Benny Program Elocution Teacher Episode: "Don's 27th Anniversary with Jack" (S 11:Ep 13)
1962 Outlaws Jennifer Veasy Episode: "The Dark Sunrise of Griff Kincaid" (S 2:Ep 13)
Pete and Gladys Vickie Episode: "Office Wife" (S 2:Ep 24)
87th Precinct Miss Fitzhenry Episode: "Killer's Choice" (S 1:Ep 23)
The Twilight Zone Agnes Gann Episode: "The Fugitive" (S 3:Ep 25)
The Danny Thomas Show Mrs. Keltner Episode: "The P.T.A. Bash" (S 9:Ep 19)
The Joey Bishop Show Guest Episode: "A Man's Best Friend" (S 1:Ep 21)
My Three Sons Miss Harris Episode: "Robbie Valentino" (S 2:Ep 21)
General Electric Theater Miss Lamb Episode: "The Free Wheelers" (S 10:Ep 22)
My Three Sons Miss Fisher Episode: "The Big Game" (S 2:Ep 24)
The Jack Benny Program Jeanette Episode: "Alexander Hamilton Show" (S 12:Ep 20)
King of Diamonds Sergeant Vadolski Episode: "Backlash" (S 1:Ep 22)
Hawaiian Eye Edie Barnes Episode: "'V' is for Victim"
The Comedy Spot Woman Episode: "The Soft Touch"
Ernestine Woman Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Sidney Salkow.
The Lucy Show Jane Corey Episode: "Lucy Becomes an Astronaut"
1962–71 The Beverly Hillbillies Jane Hathaway Series regular: 246 episodes
1963 77 Sunset Strip Eloise Episode: "The Checkmate Caper" (S 5:Ep 35)
1966 Password Herself Game show contestant / Celebrity guest star
1968 Petticoat Junction Jane Hathaway Episode: "A Cake from Granny"
1971 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Guest Episode: "Ver-r-r-ry Interesting"
1973–74 The Brian Keith Show Mrs. Gruber Recurring
1975–76 Sanford and Son May Hopkins Recurring
1978 The Love Boat Gert Epispde: "Mike and Ike / The Witness / The Kissing Bandi" (S 2:Ep 6)
1979 CHiPs Herself
  • Episode: "Roller Disco: Part 2" (S 3:Ep 2)
  • Uncredited
The Love Boat Sylvia McTigue Episode: "The Spider Serenade, The / Next Door Wife / Harder They Fall" (S 3:Ep 15)
1981 Aunt Gert Episode: "Tony and Julie / Separate Beds / America's Sweetheart" (S 4:Ep 27)
Return of the Beverly Hillbillies Jane Hathaway Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Robert M. Leeds.
1983 The Wilder Summer Camp Director Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Deborah Reinisch.
Fantasy Island Mrs. Potroy Episode: "Revenge of the Forgotten / Charo" (S 6:Ep 14)
1986 Simon & Simon Shirley Graham Episode: "Still Phil After All These Years" (S 6:Ep 3)
Scarecrow and Mrs. King Dr. Claudia Joyce Episode: "Billy's Lost Weekend" (S 4:Ep 7)
1989 Quantum Leap Sister Sarah Episode: "The Right Hand of God" (S 1:Ep 4)
ABC Afterschool Special Aurora
  • Episode: "Private Affairs" (S 18:Ep 2), (final appearance)
  • Directed and written by Neal Baer.


Year Title Role Venue Notes
1980–81 Morning's at Seven Aaronetta Gibbs Lyceum Theatre (April 10, 1980 – August 16, 1981)
  • Replacement for Elizabeth Wilson.
  • Directed by Vivian Matalon, written by Paul Osborn, and produced by Elizabeth I. McCann, Nelle Nugent & Ray Larsen.

Awards and nominations

List of acting awards and nominations
Year Award Category Title Role Result Ref.
1967 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series The Beverly Hillbillies Jane Hathaway Nominated


  • Jerome Kern: Show Boat, conducted by John McGlinn, EMI, 1988

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Nancy Kulp para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Renowned Hispanic physicians
Alexander De Soto
Maria J. Merino
Raquel Eidelman Cohen
Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
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