Nancy Kulp, Who Played Secretary on ‘Beverly Hillbillies,’ Dies

From Associated Press

Actress Nancy Kulp, best known for her role as the erudite secretary Jane Hathaway on “The Beverly Hillbillies” TV series, has died of cancer. She was 69.

Miss Kulp died Sunday at 12:35 a.m. in a desert residence, according to a funeral home spokesman. Names of survivors were not immediately known, and funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Miss Kulp graduated with a journalism degree from Florida State University and wrote feature stories for the Miami Beach Tropics in the early 1940s.

“My first love has always been journalism,” she once said in an interview. Miss Kulp wrote profiles, she said, of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and Errol Flynn.


Kulp began her film career with non-speaking parts before landing talking roles in “The Model and the Marriage Broker” and “Shane.” Her comedic skills were first exposed when she played the secretary in “Love That Bob,” starring Robert Cummings.

She was cast in “The Beverly Hillbillies” in 1962 as the plain, erudite secretary hopelessly in love with Jethro in the hit TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

She tried running for Congress as a Democrat from Port Royal, Pa., in the 1980s, but was defeated after “Beverly Hillbillies” co-star Buddy Ebsen publicly opposed her.

She then moved to Palm Springs and became involved in several charity organizations, , including the Humane Society of the Desert, the Desert Theatre League and United Cerebral Palsy.