Buddy Ebsen dies

Jul 07, 2003 by Ian Evans

Buddy Ebsen, a talented actor and dancer whose career included film and television, died Sunday at the age of 95.

TV audiences will always remember Buddy as the lucky Jed Clampett, whose poor Ozark’s family struck oil in The Beverly Hillbillies. After completing that series, which ran from 1962 to 1971, Ebsen had another long-run playing PI Barnaby Jones from 1973 to 1980.

Ebsen, who was also a talented dancer, worked on stage in shows like the Ziegfeld Follies and in films opposite dance partners like Barbara Stanwyck and Shirley Temple. He also starred as Audrey Hepburns’s husband in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

A career as long as Ebsen’s, who at age 93 published a romance novel, can be filled with some tough breaks. One of the toughest for Buddy was an allergy to the aluminum paint MGM was using for Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. After spending two weeks in hospital, Ebsen was unable to continue and the role in the iconic film was given to Jack Haley.

Married three times, Buddy had seven children by his first two wives.