Buddy Ebsen (April 2, 1908 – July 6, 2003) was an American character actor and dancer. A performer for seven decades, he had starring roles as Jed Clampett in the long-running television series The Beverly Hillbillies and as the title character in the 1970s detective series Barnaby Jones.
He was born Christian Rudolph Ebsen, Jr. in Belleville, Illinois. His father, Christian Rudolph Ebsen, Sr., was Danish and his mother, Frances, was Latvian. He was reared in Belleville until the age of 10, when his family moved to Palm Beach County, Florida. After a brief stay, Ebsen and his family relocated to Orlando, Florida, in 1920. Ebsen and his sisters learned to dance at the dance studio his father operated in Orlando.
He graduated from Orlando High School in 1926. Initially interested in a medical career, Ebsen attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, from 1926 to 1927, and then Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, from 1927 to 1928. Family financial problems caused by the collapse of the Florida land boom forced him to leave college at the age of 20.