‘The Beverly Hillbillies’: One Star Acted Opposite of Lucille Ball in Classic ‘I Love Lucy’ Episode

by Joe Rutland
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The Beverly Hillbillies” had some wonderful actors in its cast, but one of them appeared in another hit sitcom, “I Love Lucy.”

Actress Nancy Kulp, who played Jane Hathaway, secretary of bank president Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey), appeared as a maid in the episode “Lucy Meets the Queen.” The “I Love Lucy” episode features the Ricardos (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) and Mertzes (Vivian Vance and William Frawley) on their European trip and landing in London.

Lucy wants to meet the Queen of England, so she heads to Buckingham Palace and tries getting past some guards. It doesn’t work out but, of course, the laughs come when she’s trying to get what she wants.

‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Appeared In Other Shows Beyond Her Famous Sitcom

Kulp was a part of “The Beverly Hillbillies” for its entire nine-season run on CBS. But the sitcom about those country bumpkins coming to California was not her first taste of TV appearances. She also had roles on shows like “The Bob Cummings Show,” “Cheyenne,” “Perry Mason,” “Maverick,” and “The Jack Benny Program.”

While she definitely had a significant role on the show as Miss Jane, Kulp and co-star Buddy Ebsen were not close. What got in the way? Politics.

Ebsen, who played Jed Clampett on the sitcom, was a staunch Republican. Kulp was a staunch Democrat. Their arguments over issues of the day would cause issues with their cast members, too.

But her desire to join politics would heighten their differences. Kulp ran as a Democrat in Pennsylvania back in 1984. She was trying to take away a seat that had been held by a Republican for 12 years.

Kulp Lost Pennsylvania Election To Incumbent Who Had Help From Ebsen

She lost to incumbent E.G. Shuster. But Ebsen could not keep his mouth shut even though Kulp’s race was not in his home state of California.

Ebsen lent his Hollywood cred to Schuster. He did commercials for him, saying, “You’re too liberal for me–I’ve got to go with Bud Schuster.”

That was support Schuster didn’t ask for but people obviously knew him as a celebrity.

Kulp died from cancer on Feb. 3, 1991, at 69 years old.

Hillbillies Nearly Had a Different Show Name

Before stepping aside from “The Beverly Hillbillies,” this show’s title name actually was different from the first show.

It was going to be called “The Hillbillies of Beverly Hills,” according to The Life and Times of Hollywood.

But the show just used that title during the pilot, “The Clampetts Strike Oil.”

That show title changed by the second episode to “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

As for the theme song, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” was played by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

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