Buddy Ebsen: "I've always been a long shot."

"It's fun to surprise people," Ebsen said.

CBS Television Distribution

Buddy Ebsen had a performance career that spanned decades and lasted through various mediums in show business. Before acting on the stage, Ebsen had made a name for himself as a vaudevillian performer. Later, he gained notoriety on the screen in programs like The Beverly Hillbillies and Barnaby Jones.

When asked by the Orlando Sentinel about his lengthy career, Ebsen stayed humble and instead made light of the shifting period that entertainment had gone through. "This business is always in transition. Radio to silent films to talkies to TV. Now they're talking about cassettes and pay TV - and satellite programming."

"I think there were more colorful people around in those days," said Ebsen of the early years of the film industry. "It seems there used to be more room for characters in the entertainment industry."

Still, Ebsen found merit in studying his fellow television entertainers, especially when he took on his role as Barnaby Jones. "I watch all the detective series, study the characterizations," Ebsen said. "I don't steal from them, but I do gain insight into attitudes and feelings." It was character preparation that neither Ebsen nor the press thought he'd ever need, considering that the actor himself was ready to jump ship when the series began and the media believed it would never make it to a second season.

"When I found out it was going to be an hour [series], I wanted out," Ebsen said. "I only decided to stick around because I figured I'd already embarrassed my agent enough. As it's turned out, I love it."

Ebsen had also noticed the media's wariness to Barnaby Jones. "You know, a lot of the press predicted Barnaby Jones wouldn't last past the first thirteen weeks." It's an underestimation that Ebsen was familiar with. "They said that about my Beverly Hillbillies series too." The actor said.

"I've always been a long shot, never had the big buildup some actors get," Ebsen said, "But I've managed to come through. And if you know something, I kind of like it that way. It's fun to surprise people." Ebsen said.

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Runeshaper 26 days ago
I'd say that Ebsen was "a long shot" that paid off!
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