Fast Facts

  • Nicknamed "Buddy" by an aunt.
  • Learned ballet in father's dance studio.
  • Initially wanted to be a doctor.
  • Was originally cast as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (1939) but switched roles with Ray Bolger who was initially cast as the Tin Man. Ultimately, Ebsen developed an allergic reaction to the metallic dust in the makeup and was replaced by Jack Haley.
  • Turned down a seven-year contract with MGM because he didn't want to be "owned" by Louis B. Mayer. The mogul went on to blackball Ebsen from working at other studios.
  • Served in the Pacific with the Coast Guard during World War II.
  • Enjoyed racing catamarans and founded a company that manufactured them.
  • Despite his long-running success in The Beverly Hillbillies and Barnaby Jones, he was never nominated for an Emmy.


  • Ruth Cambridge — Ex-wife
  • Cathy Ebsen — Daughter
  • Bonnie Ebsen — Daughter
  • Dustin Ebsen — Son
  • Helga Ebsen — Sister
  • Kirsten Ebsen — Daughter
  • Elizabeth Ebsen — Daughter
  • Nancy Wolcott — Ex-wife
  • Dorothy Knott Ebsen — Wife
  • Frances Ebsen — Mother
  • Leslie Ebsen — Sister
  • Vilma Ebsen — Sister
  • Alix Ebsen — Daughter
  • Christian Rudolph Ebsen Sr. — Father
  • Norma Ebsen — Sister
  • Susannah Ebsen — Daughter


  • Attended University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; attended Rollins College, Winter Park, FL

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  • Birth Name: Christian Rudolph Ebsen Jr.
  • Birth Place: Belleville, IL
  • Died: July 6, 2003
  • Profession: Actor, Dancer, Playwright, Author, Songwriter, Businessman

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