HEp-2 cells were infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 and labeled with [3H]thymidine and 14C-amino acids. Infected cells or nuclei prepared from them were extracted with Triton X-100 and NaCl, utilizing a method recently described, and the low-speed supernatant (extract) was partially purified by sedimentation on sucrose gradients. A nucleoprotein complex which sedimented as a wide peak around 200S was identified. The nucleoprotein complex contained viral DNA, which banded at the expected density in CsCl isopycnic gradients and was intact after measurements taken on electron microscopic photographic enlargements. The autoradiographic pattern of 14C-labeled proteins after electrophoresis showed that only a few of the virus-specific polypeptides were present in the nucleoprotein complexes, in particular, VP5, VP12, VP15.2, VP19, and VP24. Cellular histones were absent. The extracts and the nucleoprotein complexes were centrifuged to equilibrium in metrizamide density gradients without prefixation. Electron microscopic direct visualization of the nucleoprotein complexes after sucrose or metrizamide purification revealed that the proteins were preferentially associated with one end of the DNA molecule and formed large irregular terminal thickenings or capsid-like transparent shells enclosing polyglobular cores. No nucleosomes were observed on herpes simplex virus nucleoprotein complexes. The same type of complex was detected after phosphonoacetic acid addition, and grossly altered nucleocapsids were formed.