Sumeet Bal
July 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Buddy Ebsen, best known as Jed Clampett on TV’s Beverly Hillbillies, died on July 6 at age 95 of undisclosed causes in Torrance, Calif. Born in Belleville, Ill., Ebsen was a song-and-dance man before making his film debut in 1935. He subsequently shared the screen with such stars as Shirley Temple, Gregory Peck, and Audrey Hepburn. (One role, however, eluded him: the Tin Man in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. Ebsen had to bow out due to a reaction to the makeup.) But it was in the intimate medium of TV that Ebsen’s genial manner shone brightest, whether as the best friend in Disney’s Davy Crockett or the geriatric sleuth in CBS’ Barnaby Jones. ”He certainly left a great legacyhis films, his TV shows,” says Lee Meriwether, who played Jones’ daughter-in-law, ”are a testament to his talent.”

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