Buddy Ebsen dead at 95

July 7, 2003 at 9:49 AM
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TORRANCE, Calif., July 7 (UPI) -- Actor and dancer Buddy Ebsen, known to millions as hillbilly Jed Clampett and detective Barnaby Jones died in Southern California. He was 95.

Ebsen died Sunday at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center of an undisclosed ailment.

The amiable actor worked as a soda jerk until he and his sister, Vilma, began a tap dance act in Broadway shows and MGM musicals in the 1930s.

Ebsen was the original Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz but fell ill from the aluminum silver paint 10 days into shooting, and was replaced by Jack Haley.

His most memorable role for the masses was as Jed Clampett, the Ozark patriarch of The Beverly Hillbillies, which ran on CBS from 1962 to 1971.

He returned to television in 1973 as "Barnaby Jones," a private investigator forced out of retirement to solve the murder of his son, Hal.

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