It’s the house that those Clampetts built

Times Staff Writer

Paul Henning, the TV writer and producer who created the ‘60s sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies,” selected the Kirkeby Estate in Bel-Air to depict the Beverly Hills mansion of the Clampetts from the Ozarks.

His own idea of home was this Toluca Lake estate designed by his wife, Ruth, in collaboration with designer Robert Byrd. Ruth Barth was a Kansas City radio actress when she met Henning.

In a hand-typed, 15-page, single-space description of the home, Ruth, who died three years ago, expressed the same care and attention to detail that she put into designing the house, completed in 1971.


“Behind the stone fireplace and book-lined walls of the living room is small apartment for Mr. Henning’s sister, Jane, who lives with us,” Ruth wrote.

The house, which she described as “19th Century French Country” in style, has a master bedroom suite with his-and-hers studies, a fireplace and a circular staircase leading from the dressing room to the wine cellar. Nearby is a guest suite with a kitchenette.

In her notes, Ruth even elaborated on the details of decorating and landscaping. “This suite [the master bedroom] is all in white, gold and canary yellow,” she noted. “The exterior features a high terrace in front, planted with fruit trees and flowers.”

Ruth had her Missouri-born husband, the youngest of 10 children, and their own family in mind when she and Byrd designed the home. The Hennings had three children and two grandchildren.

Entertainment areas abound. What she called “the music center” had “a movie projector at the ready” and a bar area with a refrigerator. There is a pool, waterfall and diving rock in the backyard.

The Hennings were married for 63 years. He died in March at 93.

About this house: Byrd was known for his rustic cottage-style homes, ornamented with such details as rooftop birdhouses. He also designed homes with a Hansel-and-Gretel, knotty-pine look. He often installed used brick, rock and flagstone. In this house, he used Palos Verdes stone, used brick, railroad ties (for fencing), stucco and half-timbering.


Asking price: $3.5 million

Size: There are four bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a maid’s quarters in the 5,292-square-foot house, which sits on a 17,250-square-foot lot.

Features: The house has access to the lake, stained-glass and handcrafted accents, and seven fireplaces.

Where: Toluca Lake

Open house: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, only by RSVP to Lily Karavasilis, (310) 300-3329.

Listing agents: Heather Capps, (310) 300-3360, and Karen Lewis, (310) 300-3328, both at Nourmand & Associates, Brentwood.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, please send color interior and exterior photos on a CD with caption information and a description of the house, including what makes the property unusual, to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; or e-mail