Who was Nancy Kulp?

Nancy Kulp was an American actress who became famous for her role of Miss Jane Hathaway in the TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1962-1971), and as Wilhelmina Peterson in the western film “The Night of the Grizzly” (1966), among numerous other roles which she secured during her career.

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Nancy Kulp as Miss Jane Hathaway, "The Beverly Hillbillies"

Posted by 60's & 70's Television on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Nancy Kulp Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Nancy Jane Kulp was born on the 28th August 1921 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, the daughter of Marjorie C. and her husband, Robert Tilden Kulp. She was the only child of a school teacher mother and a traveling salesman father. She spent her childhood in her hometown, but later the family moved to Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA. For her education, after high school, Nancy enrolled at Florida State University, which at the time was Florida State College for Women, from which she obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

She furthered her education at the University of Miami, where she studied for a master’s degree in English and French. However, Nancy left her studies during the Second World War, and joined the US Naval Reserve. She reached the rank of a lieutenant, junior grade, and for her service received several awards and honors, such as the American Campaign Medal. In 1946 she was honorably discharged.

Career Beginnings

Nancy’s acting career started in the early ’50s, when she moved to Hollywood.

Nancy Kulp

She secured a couple of minor roles in such films as “The Model and the Marriage Broker” (1951), then “The Marrying Kind” (1952), and “Steel Town”, also in 1952. She continued with minor roles throughout the ‘50s, with one noteworthy role of Pamela Livingstone in the TV comedy series “The Bob Cummings Show” (1955-1959).

Rise to Prominence

In the early ‘60s, Nancy’s name became more popular, and it was in 1962 that she secured her career role, as Jane Hathaway in the TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1962-1971). Nancy starred in 246 episodes next to Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Max Baer Jr. and Donna Douglas.

The particular role made her a national star. She wasn’t otherwise very active while on the show, but still had a few roles worth mentioning, including the part of Wilhelmina Peterson in the film “The Night of the Grizzly” (1966), and was also the voice of Frou-Frou in the animated film “Aristocats” in 1970. After the “Beverly Hillbillies” ended, Nancy continued with television roles, first as Mrs Gruber in the TV series “The Brian Keith Show” (1973-1974), and then as May Hopkins in the TV series “Sanford and Son” (1975-1976). Nancy repeated the role of Jane Hathaway in the television film “The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies” in 1981, and except for a short hiatus between 1983 and 1986, remained active as an actress until her death.

She had a few guest roles in the ‘80s, in such projects as the TV series “Simon & Simon” (1986), and “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” (1986), while her last on-screen role was in one of the episodes of the “ABC Afterschool Specials” in 1989.

Political Career and Acting Teacher

During her hiatus from acting, Nancy ran as a Democratic nominee for the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 9th congressional district. She lost the election to her Republican opponent Bud Shuster, with just 33.6% of votes. She blames her co-star Buddy Ebsen who described Nancy as too liberal in a radio campaign for Buddy Shuster.

Before her return on screen, Nancy was working at Juniata College, a private liberal arts college in Huntington, Pennsylvania, as an artist-in-residence, and later taught acting.

Nancy Kulp Net Worth

Do you know how rich Nancy Kulp was at the time of her death? Nancy appeared in over 90 films and TV titles during her career, all of which steadily increased her wealth. So, sources have estimated that Nancy’s wealth was as high as $1.1 million.

Cancer Diagnosis and Death

It was in 1990 that Nancy was diagnosed with cancer, which left her unable to continue her career. Upon diagnosis, she started the chemotherapy. However, there was no stopping the spread of the disease, and she sadly passed away on the 3rd February 1991; she was 69 years old. She was interred at Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, USA.

Nancy Kulp Personal Life, Marriage, Husband, Divorce

When it comes to Nancy’s private life, she liked to keep it that way, private. However, a few details have surfaced, and we are happy to share them with you.

Nancy married Charles M. Dacus in 1951, a few weeks before she launched her acting career. They didn’t have children and divorced in 1961. Thereafter Nancy remained single until her death.

Was Nancy a Lesbian?

Due to Nancy’s secretive ways and her single-life, she sparked rumors about her sexuality; she remained silent for years, but two years before her death, she came out and said that she was a lesbian, but never stated whether she was in a relationship with another woman or not.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. GEORGE H CONRAD Reply

    She taught at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania / not Huntington.

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