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Did you know Buddy Ebsen of the Beverly Hillbillies could dance? Well, he could. He and his sister Vera had a most excellent vaudeville act together. He’d be the clumsy kid and she’d be the dance teacher. They appear together in Broadway Melody of 1936. He’s the one wearing a Mickey Mouse jumper (sweater)
I really love his goofy dance stylings. Halfway between dancing and falling over. Fills my heart with joy. Here’s the only good example I could find online. It’s from A Banjo on My Knee (1936). Buddy doesn’t start dancing until about 1:40. Enjoy. And keep your eyes peeled for his surprise dance partner who I have never ever seen dance before:
Very happy making!
Posted by Justine at 13:56, 6 May 2009 under 1930s NYC novel, Research | 5 Comments »
Buddy Ebsen was cast as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz movie and put in weeks of work on it, but an allergic reaction to the silver makeup nearly killed him, and he had to be replaced. Would have loved to see him in it. His dancing style reminds me of Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow — and in fact, originally Ebsen was going to be the Scarecrow and Bolger was to be the Tin Man! I love Bolger’s Scarecrow, but all of this makes for some intriguing alternate-reality versions of the film.
May 6th, 2009 at 7:28 PM
Funny that Karen made that comment – it’s just what I was going to mention (not that I had any doubts that you know all things Wizard of Oz, natch). Somewhere on the bonus features there’s an interview – it’s sad, really. But he went on to be Jed, after all. And someone had to be!
May 6th, 2009 at 9:25 PM
3. Justine Says:
Karen: Yeah, that was sad. Not that I think making a film while painted silver would be fun.
Apparently Louis B. Mayer threatened to put the kybosh on his Hollywood movie career cause he wouldn’t sign a really restrictive contract and that’s the main reason he didn’t make that many movies.
He is a comic genius of a dancer. I love him in the two Broadway Melody movies of the 1930s.
Becca: Isn’t he still meant to be in one of the Wizard of Oz numbers?
May 6th, 2009 at 9:38 PM
Dave H Says:
“His dancing style reminds me of Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow”
I’m glad I’m not the only one who instantly thought that.
May 7th, 2009 at 1:31 AM
I have always loved him since seeing him dance down the street with tiny Shirley Temple in “Captain January”; he has to lift her up onto a barrel so that they can dance together without him being all crouched over. I saw her give a interview about working with him: she just loved him and remembered sitting and watching him working out “their” dance with another child dancer before he taught it to her.
I was lucky enough to get to meet him once and he was awesomely nice.
May 11th, 2009 at 10:45 PM
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