Harriet MacGibbon

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Harriet MacGibbon
MacGibbon in Man with a Camera (1959)
Harriet Elizabeth McGibbon

(1905-10-05)October 5, 1905
DiedFebruary 8, 1987(1987-02-08) (aged 81)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
Alma materAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts[3]
Years active1925–1987

Harriet Elizabeth MacGibbon[4][5] (October 5, 1905[6][5] – February 8, 1987)[2] was an American film, stage and television actress best known for her role as the insufferably snobbish, "blue-blooded Bostonian" Mrs. Margaret Drysdale in the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.


MacGibbon joined the stock company of Edward Clarke Lilley at Akron, Ohio. She then went to San Francisco and played leading roles for Henry Duffy. In Louisville, Kentucky, she acted with Wilton Lackaye, Edmund Breese, William Faversham, Tom Wise and Nance O'Neil. Credits included Ned McCobb's Daughter, The Front Page, and a "transcontinental tour" of Max Marcin's The Big Fight (in which she starred opposite former world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey), beginning in Boston, taking in New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut, and ending at Caine's storehouse in Los Angeles.[7][8]

She had a long and distinguished career on the Broadway stage, beginning in 1925 at the age of 19 when she acted in the play Beggar on Horseback at the Shubert Theatre. In the late 1930s, she did You Can't Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, at the Biltmore Theatre in Los Angeles. From 1934 to 1937, MacGibbon portrayed Lucy Kent on the NBC radio soap opera Home Sweet Home.[9]

MacGibbon in The Golf Specialist (1930)

Her film debut was a non-speaking bit as a snooty woman walking a dog across a golf course in W.C. Fields' The Golf Specialist (1930), shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[10] She made numerous guest appearances on television starting in 1950, including Bewitched, Ray Milland's sitcom Meet Mr. McNutley. Another sitcom in which MacGibbon appeared was My Three Sons, performing as Margaret Cunningham in the 1961 episode "Bub Goes to School". She was cast in five theatrical movies, including Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), which was directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer, and Lee J. Cobb.

Personal life and death[edit]

MacGibbon married at least twice: in September 1930 to producer William Reno Kane of Philadelphia,[11] from whom she obtained a divorce in April 1942,[12][13] at which time she married writer Charles Corwin White.[14] They remained married until White's death in 1967, on Christmas Day. She had one child by her first marriage, a son, William McKibbon Kane.[15]

MacGibbon died at age 81. She was cremated, and her ashes interred in niche 61046 in the Columbarium of Remembrance at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1930 The Golf Specialist snooty woman walking dog short, bit part, uncredited[10]
1961 Cry for Happy Mrs. Bennett
1961 The Absent Minded Professor wedding guest uncredited
1961 All in a Night's Work dowager uncredited
1962 A Majority of One Mrs. Putnam
1962 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Dona Luisa Desnoyers
1963 Son of Flubber Mrs. Edna Daggett
1965 Fluffy Mrs. Claridge

TV filmography[edit]

  • Wacky Zoo of Morgan City (1970) as Mrs. Westerfield
  • The Judge and Jake Wyler (1972) as hostess
  • The Best Place to Be (1979)

TV series – regular[edit]


  1. ^ Zylstra, Freida (April 17, 1964). "TV Actress Places Cooking at the Top of Her Hobby List". Chicago Tribune. pp. B10. ProQuest 179445867. Harriet was born in Chicago, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Walter P. MacGibbon, and was still a child when her family moved to New York City.
  2. ^ a b "Obituaries". The Hollywood Reporter. February 12, 1982. p. 14. ProQuest 2587909681. Harriet MacGibbon, stage, film and television actress, died Feb. 8 of pulmonary and cardiac problems in Beverly Hills. She was 82.
  3. ^ "Harriet MacGibbon Is Appearing at Lakewood". Morning Sentinel. July 17, 1940. p. 8. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  4. ^ United Press (September 3, 1930). "Pair Given Waiver to Go On with Wedding". Camden Courier-Post. p. 9. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949", database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q239-ZR6N : 5 October 2022), Harriet Elizabeth Mac Gibbon, 1943.
  6. ^ a b Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. August 19, 2016. ISBN 9781476625997.
  7. ^ "Theater News: Estelle Taylor to Withdraw". New York Herald Tribune. October 11, 1928. p. 18. ProQuest 1113394569. As a result of illness, according to the Sam H. Harris office, Estelle Taylor, appearing at the Majestic opposite her husband Jack Dempsey, in 'The Big Fight,' will leave the cast of that show when it takes to the road with the completion of this week's run. Harriet MacGibbon, who was the heroine in 'Ringside,' will fill the role left vacant by Miss Taylor.
  8. ^ "Wandering Player Settles Down With Touring Group". The Los Angeles Times. February 17, 1938. p. 10. ProQuest 164836305. There were regular productions, including Ned McCobb's Daughter, The Front Page, The Big Fight, and a 'transcontinental tour' of The Big Fight, which began in Boston, Massachusetts, took in New Haven, Connecticut and Hartford, Connecticut, and ended at Caine's storehouse. Jack Dempsey was also in the cast.
  9. ^ Cox, Jim (July 17, 2009), The A to Z of American Radio Soap Operas, Scarecrow Press, p. 103, ISBN 9780810863491
  10. ^ a b The Golf Specialist (1930) on YouTube
  11. ^ Brustein, Louis (September 7, 1930). "Prelate Halts Wedding; Actress in Role of Bride". New York Daily News. p. 3. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  12. ^ "Actions Filed". Nevada State Journal. April 14, 1942. p. 9. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  13. ^ "Decrees Granted". Nevada State Journal. April 25, 1942. p. 12. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  14. ^ Yale University. (1951) After Twenty-Five Years : Classes of 1926-1926S. Class Secretaries Bureau. pp. 454-455.
  15. ^ "Deaths, Funeral Announcements: White, Charles Corwin". The Los Angeles Times. December 27, 1967. Class Secretaries Bureau. p. 26. Retrieved July 2, 2023.

External links[edit]