LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Buddy Ebsen, the gangly, folksy actor best known for TV roles as backwoods millionaire Jed Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies" and as the canny sleuth "Barnaby Jones," has died at a Los Angeles-area hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said on Monday. He was 95.
Ebsen, who was placed in intensive care last month suffering from an undisclosed illness, died on Sunday morning, the spokeswoman at Torrance Memorial Medical Center said. A statement from Ebsen's family said his wife, Dorothy, his children and grandchildren were by his side.
Beginning his career on the vaudeville circuit in the 1920s as a dancer paired with his sister, Vilma, the tall, lanky Ebsen appeared in one of the last editions of the "Ziegfeld Follies," performed on Broadway and starred in a number of MGM musicals.
He danced in "Captain January" with Shirley Temple, received his first on-screen kiss from Barbara Stanwyck, played Audrey Hepburn's husband in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and co-starred with Gregory Peck.
Ebsen's film career was just as notable for one of the most famous roles a Hollywood actor ever lost - the part of the Tin Man in the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz." Ebsen filmed several sequences before an allergy to metallic dust in the character's body paint landed him in the hospital for two weeks, and the role was given over to Jack Haley.
But Ebsen became forever linked to a generation of television viewers for his role as patriarch of the Clampett clan on the hit fish-out-of-water sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," which debuted on CBS in 1962.
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