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Dancer-actor Buddy Ebsen dies at 95

Discussion in 'In Memoriam...' started by eminovitz, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. eminovitz

    eminovitz Research Guru / Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 30, 2013
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    Jul 7, 2003

    Dancer-actor Buddy Ebsen, who died Sunday morning at 95, was well-known for his roles on the big and little screen...as Paul Roberts (Shirley Temple's dance partner) in Captain January, as Jed in The Beverly Hillbillies, as the star of Barnaby Jones.

    But he also had voice roles in a couple of cartoons.

    Buddy was Squire Badger (the narrator) in the NBC Christmas special The Tiny Tree (DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, 1975).

    Much more recently, he had a guest shot (as "Chet Elderson") in the King of the Hill episode A Fire Fighting We Will Go (Film Roman Productions, 1999).

    Ebsen also did some live work for Disney in the 1950s (as Davy Crockett's friend George Russell).

    Buddy very nearly played Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, but he had a bad reaction to the aluminum paint during filming and had to be replaced by Jack Haley. I heard it was very lucky that he didn't die back then of aluminum poisoning.
  2. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

    Nov 5, 2013
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    Talented actor and dancer.

    Author Ric Meyers who wrote books on tv detective series respectfully compared the joys of Ebsen's "Barnaby Jones" series to the fun of watching a Droopy Dog cartoon.

    "Barnaby Jones" starred Ebsen as a retired private eye who comes out of retirement to investigate the murder of his son who also was a private detective and resuming his detective career after bringing his son's killer to justice. Like "Columbo" and the detectives of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent", the stories started with the tv viewers seeing the guest star bad guys planning and carrying out their crimes that usually end up in murder. The stories then switched back and forth from the detective(s) investigating the crimes to the bad guys doing everything to cover their tracks and get away. The wrap-up usually had the detectives piecing together the clues and the witness/suspect/accomplice interviews to capture the bad guys at the end. A Watch-Them-Do It mystery since the tv viewers know Whodunit.

    For the Droopy/Barnaby comparisons...The evil wolves/bad guys would do the dirty deeds and frantically do everything to escape...and everywhere they go, they would turn around and see droopy old Barnaby standing behind them and asking them questions about the crime. The bad guys did all of the panicking and running while calm cool Barnaby would quietly conduct his investigation, interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and discussing theories with his daughter-in-law/office secretary Betty (Lee Meriwether), his cousin/assistant J.R. (Mark Shera), and his police contact Lt. Biddle (John Carter). Eventually Barnaby would catch up to villains, confront them with the evidence, and catching the bad guys at the end.

    "Barnaby Jones" ran from 1973 to 1980 on CBS. A Quinn Martin production. Great show.

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