See the cast of Green Acres in their early screen roles

You could find them alongside Ronald Reagan and Lucille Ball.

Images: The Everett Collection

Every actor has to start somewhere, but the cast of Green Acres got off to rather notable first starts. They acted alongside future presidents and sitcom icons.

Let's take a look and see how these stars began their career — long before they hit Hooterville. Well, one of them made a screen debut in Hooterville.

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1. Eddie Albert

We begin with the star himself, the man known in Hooterville as Oliver Wendell Douglas. Albert (born Heimberger) began on the radio in New York City, co-hosting a radio show called The Honeymooners – Grace and Eddie Show (no relation to the Jackie Gleason sitcom). Soon after, he became most known as Bing Edwards in Brother Rat, a role that began on Broadway and soon expanded to Hollywood adaptation. The 1938 Brother Rat film would be his screen debut, pictured here. His costar? Ronald Reagan!

Image: The Everett Collection

2. Eva Gabor

The Hungarian-born actress and younger sister of Zsa Zsa landed her first screen role in, well, Forced Landing. She's the exotic love interest in the 1941 adventure-romance, pictured here as her character Johanna Van Deuren. Eva was the first Gabor to emigrate to the United States. That glamor carried over to her role as city slicker Lisa Douglas.

Image: The Everett Collection

3. Barbara Pepper

Arnold the pig was the most famous Ziffel on the show. Pepper played the pig's owner, Doris Ziffel, an elderly neighbor to Oliver and Lisa. Roll back the clock a few decades and you can find Pepper making her screen debut in Roman Scandals, seen her as an uncredited dancer. She had good company. Another young up-and-comer named Lucille Ball was alongside her, also making her debut. Yep! Lucy and Doris Ziffel made their first Hollywood appearances together!

Image: The Everett Collection

4. Hank Patterson

What about Mr. Ziffel, you ask? Well, old Fred (Hank Patterson) cut his teeth in Westerns. In 1939 and the early 1940s, Patterson popped up in a few uncredited roles — background bits in oaters like The Arizona Kid and John Wayne's Three Faces West. The former vaudeville piano player earned his first credited role in Abilene Town (1946), seen here.

Image: United Artists

5. Pat Buttram

Sponsored by Alka-Seltzer every Saturday night, National Barn Dance was a country-music radio show based out of Chicago. Yep, the Second City had a country scene. Alabama native Buttram was a key player on the program, which jumped to the big screen in 1944 with film adaptation of the same name. Here he is in a scene from National Barn Dance the movie. Before becoming Mr. Haney on Green Acres, he was also a sidekick to Roy Rogers for a spell.

Image: The Everett Collection

6. Frank Cady

Frank Cady is one of those actors who is hard to picture young. His Sam Drucker character was such a common presence on 1960s television, appearing in the "Hooterville universe" on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. The Stanford graduate began his film career in the late 1940s, following his military service. His first credited role was already a mature role — he played a professor in the 1947 comedy Sarge Goes to College, a film starring Alan Hale Jr. of Gilligan's Island. The following year, he was in Bungalow 13, pictured here.

Image: The Everett Collection

7. Alvy Moore

Jack Alvin Moore appeared in the vast majority of Green Acres episodes as the ditzy local agricultural agent Hank Kimball. The Indiana kid served in the Marines in the Pacific during World War II. No wonder so many of his early film roles throughout the 1950s were soldiers in war flicks. Before that, in 1951, he made his TV debut on Space Patrol, seen here in the episode "A Big Wheel Named Ferris."

Image: Space Patrol

8. Mary Grace Canfield

The Monroe "brothers" were a constant source on the sitcom. Canfield played Ralph, the sister in actuality. In the late 1950s, Canfield took a few small roles on obscure television series such as The Best of Broadway and Robert Montgomery Presents, challenging to find if not lost to time. In 1960, however, she made a memorable turn in Polyanna, the Hayley Mills favorite, seen here.

Image: The Everett Collection

9. Sid Melton

Alf, the other Monroe, showcased Sid Melton's comedic skills. He began his career in low-budget flicks, often as comic relief. His first credited role (As "Sidney") was in Dr. Broadway (1942). His second, Girls in Chains (1943), was a crime tale, pictured here.

Image: The Everett Collection

10. Tom Lester

Lester, an honest-to-goodness farm boy, was perfect for the part of Eb. It is said that Lester beat out 400 other actors for the role of Eb because he actually knew how to milk a cow. No wonder it was his first acting role.

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Piglet 21 days ago
Tom Lester is a farmer and for many years has been a Christian speaker who travels the nation, preaching a message of faith and obedience. In 1997, Lester was the recipient of Mississippi's "Wildlife Farmer of the Year" award. Lester was married for the first and only time in July 2007 at the age of 68. He and his wife Kaylie live on the 250-acre family farm in Vossburg, Mississippi.
With the death of Mary Grace Canfield on February 15, 2014, who portrayed Ralph Monroe, Lester is the only surviving regular cast member of Green Acres.
TVChel 22 days ago
Love Pat Buttram as Mr Haney!
lear1980 22 days ago
Alvy Moore's first big role was as Dick Powell's sidekick Virgil in Susan Slept Here with Debbie Reynolds.
bajaboy2000 22 days ago
Pat Buttram made memorable appearances on Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast. He brought the house down when he humbly said: I'm the only person here I never heard of!
jholton30062 22 days ago
Eddie Albert was in a movie called "My Love Came Back" with Olivia de Havilland. It was one of his first roles, while it was the first role after "Gone With The Wind" for Ms. de Havilland. Always liked him in comedies...
Brian 22 days ago
So many other old TV shows have been redone (MacGyver, Magnum PI, and many, many more) so isn't it about time for Green Acres 2.0? Who's with me?!
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Wiseguy Brian 22 days ago
They already tried that with the TV movie "Return to Green Acres." It was so bad Eddie Albert wanted to back out but the producers threatened to sue him if he did.
AllisonWunderland Brian 22 days ago
Lol! Every TV show they try to remake turns out to be absolutely worthless 😝 I'm beginning to wunder...is there any creativity anymore? 🤷‍♀️ Jeeez
harlow1313 Brian 21 days ago
RuPaul as Doris Ziffel.
ruswilinc Brian 6 days ago
I utterly despise remakes. People with no writing talent or a bad case of laziness do remakes hoping to bank on the success of the original, while re imagining characters and events.
Lamar 23 days ago
I grew up on green acres. It's nice to see the actors In their younger years
bobbygood 23 days ago
Eddie Albert was also in one of my favorite movies ever, the WW2 flick about D-Day, “The Longest Day.”
Lillyrose 23 days ago
Eddie Albert was also in "Roman Holiday."
That was a really great performance.
Jeremy 24 days ago
Eddie Albert had worked with Lucille Ball on Frank Tashlin's "The Fuller Brush Girl."
Gary 24 days ago
Maybe Tom Lester could teach Bloomberg how to milk a cow😜
BrittReid 24 days ago
Mary Grace Canfield was also in The St.Valentine's Day Massacre.
ndebrabant 24 days ago
Sid Melton was on The Danny Thomas Show, (AKA) Make Room For Daddy. He played Charley Halper.
RedSamRackham 24 days ago
* Pat Buttram had been Gene Autry's sidekick as well. The Gipper met both of his wives as co-stars in his movies. ☺
I'm pretty certain Buttram worked with Autry, but not Rogers! Roy's sidekick was Pat Brady!
Bella cperrynaples 22 days ago
Roy Rogers most certainly worked with Pat Buttram. Rogers had many sidekicks during his career including Gabby Hayes, Pat Buttram, Pat Brady and Pinky Lee.
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