When he wasn't acting, Edgar Buchanan practiced dentistry in California

It's safe to say that the Petticoat Junction star was a man of many talents.

It's common for actors to have side jobs while fulfilling their dreams. Sometimes the side gig relates to their current industry, and other times it's completely different. Edgar Buchanan, who portrayed Uncle Joe Carson on Petticoat Junction, was nothing like his character, who constantly thought of get-rich-quick schemes.

In an interview with The Boston Globe, the actor talked about how acting was just a hobby for him at first.

Buchanan's career journey started with wanting to be in the medical field. He grew up in the Oregon mountains and, after being convinced by his father, a dentist, decided to focus on dentistry instead. While in school, he became interested in theatre work, starring in a few plays here and there.

He eventually established a dental practice and was credited in 11 Pasadena Playhouse productions. His performances were so good that Buchanan received several offers from film scouts. The raving performance reviews and increased demand made the Petticoat Junction star choose acting as his primary profession.

Even with the decision, he always stayed updated on dentistry. The actor had a valid license to practice in California and Oregon and even met his wife in dental college.

The then 69-year-old, in 1972, said, "Believe it or not, I still go back to dental school occasionally to keep abreast of the latest developments."

The article also refers to a previous quote by Buchanan that explained how being himself while acting contributed to his success. "I'm not the kind of actor who portrays a different character in each film by changing his speech and manner," the quote reads. I've always played myself, whether doing a dramatic or comedy role."

His past performances and ability to be himself while in character are one of the reasons why the role of Uncle Joe Carson was made for him.

Yet no matter what, whether performing in a show or conducting a dental procedure, it's safe to say that Buchanan was a man of many talents.

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25 Comments

Moverfan 12 months ago
Now I'm wondering how many people tuned in for the very first episode of Petticoat Junction...and suddenly asked "What the hell is my dentist doing on TV?"...
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Mark 17 months ago
His dental practice was where he made a HUGE contact in the acting business...namely, Glenn Ford, who was a patient of his.

Ford would get Buchanan cast in a number of his films, and when the time came for Ford to do his first TV series, Cade's County, he got his old friend 'Buck' to co-star as his chief Deputy.
vinman63 17 months ago
With his monotone voice who needs Novocaine.
Snickers 17 months ago
Could you ever imagine seeing Uncle Joe coming at you with a dental drill?
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JHP 17 months ago
Three stooges - a quote

"an octopus"

"you stripped his gears!"

(from all the worlds a stooge)
MadMadMadWorld 17 months ago
"All The World's A Stooge" (rel. May 16, 1941), with Larry's memorable line you quoted, "You stripped his gears!" after Curly pulled out a whole bunch of teeth. One of my favorite shorts of the Three Stooges 190 they made. 97 with Curly (1934-46), 77 with Shemp (1946-55), and the final 16 with Joe Besser (1956-57). I'm glad MeTV runs the 2-hour group of their shorts on Saturday 5p-7p CT. Loved them since first seeing the shorts in 1960, and then in person in the early-'60s when they were highlight attractions in the Police Circus events nationwide; for all the laughter and happiness they gave their devoted fans for the past 88 years! They made those times immeasurably more fun and memorable for kids and adults who loved slapstick, wacky comedy!
JHP 17 months ago
AAAAAAAAAMen! :)

so many funny skits and lines from that ep.

"ohhhhhhhhh a JACK the Ripper eh? Hitting little girls!"
JHP 17 months ago
I admire him for doing that. That is another profession that is NOT in my DNA or really anything medical:)

Uncle Joe a dentist?
RobertK 17 months ago
So very interesting. It's typical to type cast an actor. My first re-action to him being a dentist was that "Uncle Joe" might fall asleep while filling a cavity! Not so, he appeared in so many shows and was a truly versatile actor!
MadMadMadWorld RobertK 17 months ago
He was in the second episode of "Leave It To Beaver" ("Captain Jack", Oct. 11, 1957) selling the Beav a tiny, baby alligator for a pet. This episode has the distinction of being the first time a toilet is shown on a network program!
RobertK MadMadMadWorld 17 months ago
I have to watch for that episode, I don't remember it. Things sure have changed with time!
AgingDisgracefully 17 months ago
It says he practiced dentistry.
Did he ever get it right?
blondandblue 17 months ago
in the tales of wells fargo, he played a old outlaw, that found a wagon loaded with dentist equipment, and decided to try being a dentist himself. lol
tootsieg 17 months ago
Good for him. He had another string in his bow. Very successful.
Andybandit 17 months ago
That is good that Edgar practiced dentistry. It is good to have a back up job if the acting didn't work out. Or if someone on the set had something wrong with their teeth. He can help fix their teeth.
MrsPhilHarris 17 months ago
Another character actor that was all over place in moves and tv including Perry Mason.
JeffPaul76 17 months ago
Edgar Buchanan also co-starred in one of my favorite John Wayne films, "McClintock!" Where he played a character named Bunny, or Bunnie, I don't which is the correct spelling.
Pacificsun 17 months ago
Thanks MeTV Staff for posting new stories during this after-Holiday week!! Good stories, too!!
Runeshaper 17 months ago
Edgar Buchanan was a super talented man!
cperrynaples Runeshaper 17 months ago
Well, I knew he was a dentist long before this article! Wonder if he worked on any of his castmates...LOL!
Pacificsun cperrynaples 17 months ago
It'd be nice to know where he practiced. Calif. is a big State.
Runeshaper cperrynaples 17 months ago
That would have been interesting!
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