Buddy Ebsen wanted to quit Barnaby Jones, at first

Why he almost left, and why he decided to stay.

Like any great hero, Barnaby Jones sometimes has his reservations about a case he's taking on. Like any good actor, Buddy Ebsen has the same reservations, except as a television star, his mainly revolved around potential roles.

According to an article in The Ottowa Citizen, there was a brief period of time during the beginning of Barnaby Jones's production when Ebsen was looking for an excuse out of the series.

In the article, Ebsen explained that as a veteran of sitcoms like The Beverly Hillbillies, he was much more comfortable with a script and episode runtime that was contained, about thirty minutes. He said, "With Hillbillies, we'd just wait to get our script, then sit down and have a good laugh. It was only a half-hour show, so it all went along pretty lightly."

From what Ebsen had seen of the hour-long series, he wasn't a huge fan. He had appeared in guest spots in shows like Gunsmoke and Hawaii Five-O and found the work to simply be too strenuous.

In fact, he might not have even agreed to star in Barnaby Jones in the first place, had he known what he was getting himself into.

Ebsen said, "I signed on for Barnaby because I thought it was a half-hour series. When I found out it was going to be an hour, I wanted out. I only decided to stick around because I figured I'd already embarrassed my agent enough. As it turned out, I love it."

Lucky for Ebsen, his agent, and us, the actor stayed on the series, marking the tenure of one of his most well-known roles. Still, Ebsen valued his voice, and more importantly, his ability to use it. He said, "The only thing you have to remember is that when you get too unhappy, nobody forces you to stay around. The door's always there — and you're free to use it."

Watch Barnaby Jones on MeTV!

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6 Comments

Runeshaper 4 months ago
I like Ebsen as Barnaby Jones (-:
MrsPhilHarris Runeshaper 4 months ago
I’ve never watched Barnaby Jones.
You are missing out. It is a great show.
Doesn’t METV air it at an ungodly hour?
Rick MrsPhilHarris 4 months ago
That's why I still have DVR.
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