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Actor Buddy Ebsen Dies at Age 95 - 2003-07-07

Actor Buddy Ebsen has died at the age of 95. He began his career as a Broadway dancer, but is best remembered for his television roles.

He played opposite Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's and costarred with America's favorite child star, Shirley Temple, in Captain January in 1936.

Buddy Ebsen had been given the role the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, but quit after he had a serious allergic reaction to the aluminum-based makeup he had to wear.

The role then went to Jack Haley.

In the 1950s, Ebsen co-starred in Walt Disney's version of the story of American frontier hero Davy Crockett on television and in several movies.

He was best known, however, for his later role as Jed Clampett, the Ozark Mountains patriarch who struck it rich and took his clan to the big city, in The Beverly Hillbillies.

The show became a hit in dozens of countries.

Buddy Ebsen went on to star on television as private detective Barnaby Jones from 1973 to 1980.

In later life, he took up painting and two years ago, at 93, published a novel called Kelly's Quest, which became a bestseller.

Buddy Ebsen died Sunday at a hospital in suburban Los Angeles, after being admitted last month for an undisclosed illness.