Buddy Ebsen was known for a lot of different acting roles. He appeared in a series of successful TV shows and movies before opting to portray Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. The famed actor emerged as the star of the show, and he is largely remembered for the part. Ebsen almost didn’t get around to playing Jed, though. He was seriously considering retirement before the script came across his desk. 

Buddy Ebsen, Bea Bernaderet, Donna Douglas, Irene Ryan and Max Baer aooear together in a scene from 'The Beverly Hillbillies'
The cast of ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ | Bettmann/Getty Images

Buddy Ebsen was prepping for retirement before The Beverly Hillbillies 

Paul Henning, the producer of The Beverly Hillbillies, once sat down for an interview with The Television Academy Foundation. The famed producer and screenwriter recalled how Ebsen came to be Jed and exactly how his casting impacted the series. 

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