DALLAS — On Wednesday night, September 26, 1962, CBS gave TV audiences their first look at a new sitcom titled The Beverly Hillbillies. Irene Ryan’s shotgun-aiming Granny, Donna Douglas’s bounteously blonde Elly May, and Max Baer Jr.’s Jethro provided most of the high-spirited slapstick, but the show’s true star and anchor personality was Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett. Ebsen’s "Uncle Jed" had decency, kindness and a wonderfully winning down-home way, and he became the true heart and soul of the soon-to-be number one rated show in America.
In their upcoming Music & Entertainment Auction, to be held April 5, 2008, Heritage Auction Galleries celebrates the epic career of Buddy Ebsen, one that began in the 1920s on vaudeville and Broadway, and grew to include roles in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Barnaby Jones, and, of course, The Beverly Hillbillies. Fans and entertainment collectors worldwide will have a chance to bid on this important archive of documents, props, personal memorabilia, and more.
"Few performers enjoyed so long, rich, and colorful a career as Buddy Ebsen, and Heritage is proud to offer a remarkable treasure-trove of this wonderful actor’s memorabilia," said Doug Norwine, Director of Music and Entertainment Auctions for Heritage.
The collection includes:
• The Beverly Hillbillies: Buddy’s signed and annotated scripts, one of his Jed Clampett hats as well as Jed’s "Sunday Best" costume and hat, his original contract for the pilot, the oil can bass musical instrument Buddy played (sometimes with Flatt and Scruggs, who performed the famed "The Ballad of Jed Clampett") – even Uncle Jed’s mustache!
• Buddy’s prop rifle from ABC’s anthology series Davy Crockett.
• Hollywood costumes, including Buddy’s screen-worn hat from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the tuxedo Buddy wore while dancing with Judy Garland in the "Yours and Mine" number in Broadway Melody of 1938.
• Buddy’s signed and annotated Barnaby Jones scripts, as well as his screen-worn suit from the series.
• Books, letters, awards, musical instruments, photographs — even a pair of "Tin Man" boots Buddy kept in his garage — and the respirator he used after his near-fatal lung infection on The Wizard of Oz.
"The Buddy Ebsen Estate represents over 75 years of show business history, with something for fans of virtually every venue in the world of entertainment," Norwine said. "It all resonates with the personality of a genial, dedicated, wondrously versatile professional, whose contribution to the world of show business cannot be overstated."
More information about this auction, along with enlargeable, full-color images of each lot and complete catalog descriptions, can be found at www.HA.com.