Edgar Buchanan

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Edgar Buchanan
Edgar Buchanan.jpg
Buchanan circa 1971
Born William Edgar Buchanan II
(1903-03-20)March 20, 1903
Humansville, Missouri, U.S.
Died April 4, 1979(1979-04-04) (aged 76)
Palm Desert, California, U.S.
Occupation Dentist, Actor, Singer
Years active 1939–74
Spouse(s) Mildred Marguerite Spence (1928–1979; his death)
Children 1
A "crossover" episode: Irene Ryan as "Granny" from The Beverly Hillbillies and Edgar Buchanan as "Uncle Joe" on Petticoat Junction (1968)

Edgar Buchanan (March 20, 1903 – April 4, 1979) was an American actor with a long career in both film and television, most familiar today as Uncle Joe Carson from the Petticoat Junction,[1]:828 Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies television sitcoms of the 1960s. On Petticoat Junction, he took over as proprietor of the Shady Rest Hotel following the 1968 death of show star Bea Benaderet, who had played Kate Bradley. In 1969, in the episode "Kathy Jo's First Birthday Party", he appeared with his real-life son, Buck (who had a cameo as an ice cream vendor).


Early life

The son of Dr. and Mrs. W.E. Buchanan,[2] he was born in Humansville, Missouri, and moved with his family to Oregon when he was seven.[3] In 1928, he earned a DDS degree from North Pacific College School of Dentistry, which later became Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry.[4] His wife Mildred (1907–1987) and he, classmates in dental school, were married in 1928, the year he graduated. They had one child, a son named Buck.[5] In 1939, they moved from Eugene, Oregon, to Altadena, California, where they moved their dental practice. He joined the Pasadena Playhouse as an actor.[6] He appeared in his first film in 1939, at the age of 36, after which he turned his dentistry practice over to his wife. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity[7] and a Freemason.[8]


Buchanan appeared in more than 100 films, including Texas (1941) where he played a dentist and starred with William Holden and Glenn Ford and later in Penny Serenade (1941) with Cary Grant, Tombstone, the Town Too Tough to Die (1942), The Talk of the Town (1942) with Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur, The Man from Colorado (1948), Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), She Couldn't Say No (1954), Ride the High Country (1962) with Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea, McLintock! (1963) with John Wayne, Move Over, Darling (1963) with Doris Day and James Garner, and Benji (1974).

Among the many television series in which he was cast as a guest star were Cimarron City, The Californians, The Rifleman Edgar appeared in six episodes of The Rifleman, playing Grandpa Fogerty in “The Long Goodbye” (Episode 119) and Doc Burrage in the other five: “The Pet” (episode 15), “The Second Witness” (episode 23), “The Trade” (episode 24), “The Deadly Wait” (episode 26), and “The Angry Man” (episode 31).,[9] the episode "Duel at Sundown" of Maverick with James Garner and Clint Eastwood, Leave It to Beaver (as both "Uncle Billy" and "Captain Jack"), The Twilight Zone, Riverboat (as Wingate Pardee in the 1960 episode, "Duel on the River"), Gunsmoke, Route 66, Bringing Up Buddy, Bus Stop, and The Lloyd Bridges Show.

Buchanan's roles as a regular cast member in television programs included Red Connors in the syndicated Western Hopalong Cassidy,[10] and J.J. Jackson in the CBS crime drama Cade's County.[1]

In 1956, Buchanan portrayed the lead in the 39-episode syndicated Western television series, Judge Roy Bean,[10] set in Langtry, Texas, and filmed in color in California. Only loosely based on the career of the legendary storekeeper, bartender, and justice of the peace, Roy Bean, the series had supporting roles for Jack Buetel, Jackie Loughery, and Russell Hayden as a Texas Ranger. The series popularized Bean's claim to having been "The Only Law West of the Pecos", a reference to the Pecos River in Val Verde County in southwestern Texas.[11] From 1960 to 1962, he appeared four times on the NBC Western series Laramie, Buchanan made two guest appearances on Perry Mason: in 1958 as a small-town coroner in "The Case of the Perjured Parrot" and in 1962 as a small-town judge in "The Case of the Lurid Letter".

Buchanan appeared as Uncle Joe Carson in all 222 episodes of Petticoat Junction, the only actor from the show to do so, as well as in 17 episodes of Green Acres,[1]:416 and three episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. Another star from Petticoat Junction and he appeared together in the 1974 movie Benji; the other "star" was Higgins the dog, which portrayed the title character.

In 1967, Dot Records released "Phantom 309" (Dot #17047), a narration by Buchanan. The 45 rpm single was backed with "Cotton Picker".[12]


Buchanan died from a stroke complicated by pneumonia in Palm Desert, California,[12] and was interred in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.


Year Title Role Notes
1974 Benji Bill
1970 The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again Jason Fitch
1969 Angel in My Pocket Axel Gresham
1969 The Over-the-Hill Gang Jason Fitch
1967 Welcome to Hard Times Brown
1966 Gunpoint Bull
1965 The Man from Button Willow Sorry Voice
The Rounders Vince Moore
1963 Move Over, Darling Judge Bryson
McLintock! Bunny Dull
A Ticklish Affair Captain Martin
Donovan's Reef Boston Attorney
1962 Ride the High Country Judge Tolliver
Devil's Partner Don Lucas
1961 The Comancheros Judge Thaddeus Jackson Breen
Tammy Tell Me True Judge Carver
1960 Cimarron Judge Neal Hefner
Chartroose Caboose Woody Watts
Four Fast Guns Dipper
1959 Hound-Dog Man Doc Cole
Edge of Eternity Sheriff Edwards
It Started with a Kiss Congressman Tappe
King of the Wild Stallions Idaho
Stump Run Buck Gaskin
1958 The Sheepman Milt Masters
Day of the Bad Man Sam Wyckoff
1957 Spoilers of the Forest Tom Duncan
1956 Come Next Spring Mr. Canary
1955 Wichita Doc Black
The Lonesome Trail Dan Wells
The Silver Star Will "Bill" Dowdy
Rage at Dawn Judge
1954 Destry The Honorable Hiram J. Sellers, Mayor
Dawn at Socorro Sheriff Cauthen
Human Desire Alec Simmons
Make Haste to Live Sheriff Lafe
She Couldn't Say No Ed Meeker
1953 Shane Fred Lewis
It Happens Every Thursday Jake
1952 Toughest Man in Arizona Jim Hadlock
Wild Stallion John Wintergreen
Flaming Feather Sgt. O'Rourke
The Big Trees Walter 'Yukon' Burns
1951 Silver City Dutch Surrency
Cave of Outlaws Dobbs
Rawhide Sam Todd
The Great Missouri Raid Dr. Samuels
1950 Devil's Doorway Zeke Carmody
The Big Hangover Uncle Fred Mahoney
Cargo to Capetown Sam Bennett
Cheaper by the Dozen Dr. Burton
1949 Any Number Can Play Ed
Lust for Gold Wiser
Red Canyon Jonah Johnson
The Walking Hills Old Willy
1948 The Untamed Breed John Rambeau
The Man from Colorado Doc Merriam
Coroner Creek Sheriff O'Hea
The Black Arrow Lawless
Best Man Wins Jim Smiley
Adventures in Silverado Dr. Hendersonn, aka The Monk
The Wreck of the Hesperus George Lockhart
The Swordsman Angus MacArden
1947 Framed Jeff Cunningham
The Sea of Grass Jeff
1946 If I'm Lucky Darius J. Magonnagle
Renegades Kirk Dembrow
The Walls Came Tumbling Down George Bradford
Perilous Holiday George Richards
The Bandit of Sherwood Forest Friar Tuck
Abilene Town Sheriff 'Bravo' Trimble
The Fighting Guardsman Pepe, bandit-valet
1944 Strange Affair Lt. Washburn
The Impatient Years Judge
Bride by Mistake Jonathan Connors
Buffalo Bill Sergeant Chips McGraw
1943 Destroyer Kansas Jackson
Good Luck, Mr. Yates Jonesey Jones
The Desperadoes Uncle Willie McLeod
City Without Men Michael T. Mallory
1942 The Talk of the Town Sam Yates
Tombstone, the Town Too Tough to Die Curly Bill Brocious
1941 You Belong to Me Billings, Groundskeeper
Texas Buford "Doc" Thorpe
The Richest Man in Town Pete Martin
Her First Beau Elmer Tuttle
Penny Serenade Applejack Carney
1940 Arizona Judge Bogardus
When the Daltons Rode Narrator/Old-timer Uncredited
The Seahawk Ben Rollins Uncredited
The Doctor Takes a Wife Doorman
Escape to Glory Charles Atterbee
Tear Gas Squad Cousin Andy, a Policeman
Three Cheers for the Irish Party Guest Uncredited
Too Many Husbands Det. Adolph McDermott
1939 My Son Is Guilty Dan, Bartender


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Love, American Style Segment: Love and the Family Hour
1972 The Partridge Family Episode: "M is for Many Things"
1971–1972 Cade's County J.J. Jackson
1971 Yuma Mules McNeil
The Virginian Teddy Birdwell Episode: "The Legacy of Spencer Flats"
1963–1970 Petticoat Junction Joseph P. "Uncle Joe" Carson
1970 The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again Jason Fitch
The Mod Squad Hargis Episode: "Welcome to the Human Race, Levi Frazee!"
The Name of the Game Felson Episode: "Little Bear Died Running"
1965–1969 Green Acres Uncle Joe Carson There were many crossovers from Petticoat Junction castmembers in the series
1969 The Over-the-Hill Gang Jason Fitch
1968 The Beverly Hillbillies Uncle Joe Carson 3 episodes
Something for a Lonely Man Old Man Wolenski
1965 Luke and the Tenderfoot Luke Herkimer
1957–1963 Leave It to Beaver Captain Jack / William 'Uncle Billy' Cleaver 3 episodes
1962, 1963 Dr. Kildare Steve Devitt / Judge Manning 2 episodes
Gunsmoke Dan Witter / Dan York 2 episodes
The Lloyd Bridges Show Doc / Tyree 2 episodes
1960–1962 Laramie Tully Casper
Cletus McBain
4 episodes
1958, 1962 Perry Mason Andy Templet / Judge Edward Daley 2 episodes
1962 Dennis the Menace Mr. Meekin Episode: "Dennis and the Hermit"
The Wide Country Uncle Walt Guthrie Episode: "Good Old Uncle Walt"
Have Gun – Will Travel Cardiff Episode: "Man in an Hourglass"
Stoney Burke Dawes Episode: "Fight Night"
Alcoa Premiere Crab Holman Episode: "Flashing Spikes"
Thriller Doc O'Connor Episode: 'Til Death Do Us Part
The Twilight Zone Doc Bolton Episode: "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank"
1958–1961 The Rifleman Doc Burrage / Grandpa Fogarty
Maverick Daddy Forge / Jed / Colonel Hamilton / Red Daniels 5 episodes
1957–1961 Tales of Wells Fargo Bob Dawson / Doc Dawson 6 episodes
1960, 1961 Bonanza Hallelujah Hicks / John Henry Hill 2 episodes
1961 The Andy Griffith Show Henry Wheeler Episode: "Aunt Bee's Brief Encounter"
Bus Stop Judge Neal Episode: "The Man from Bootstrap"
The New Bob Cummings Show Episode: "The Oxtail Incident"
The Tall Man Archie Keogh Episode: "The Judas Palm"
The Barbara Stanwyck Show Judge Franklin Episode: "A Man's Game"
National Velvet Grandpa Harwell 2 episodes
Klondike Sam Perkins Episode: "The Golden Burro"
1957, 1960 Wagon Train The Tramp / Ben Mattox 2 episodes
1960 Riverboat Wingate Pardee Episode: "Duel on the River"
Route 66 Jack McConkle Episode: "The Beryllium Eater"
Outlaws Nulty 2 episodes
Stagecoach West Lum Jensen Episode: "Red Sand"
Assignment: Underwater Charlie Noble Episode: "Charlie Noble's Pearl"
Bat Masterson Cactus Charlie Episode: "Debt of Honor"
Bronco Pop Owens Episode: "Winter Kill"
1958, 1959 The Californians Dutch / Major 2 episodes
1955–1959 General Electric Theater
1959 The Deputy Isbel Episode: "Man of Peace"
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Pops Episode: "Coyote Moon"
Wanted Dead or Alive Pop Michaels / Chester Blake 2 episodes
Trackdown Tully Saxon Episode: "The Trick"
Lawman Jess Miller Episode: "The Captives"
1958 Cimarron City Shanty Episode: "Kid on a Calico Horse"
26 Men Episode: "Cross and Doublecross"
The Gale Storm Show Jasper Stokes Episode: "Hayride Ahoy"
Studio One Dan Ferris Episode: "Birthday Present"
The Restless Gun Ethan Greenfield / Sheriff Gabe Starns 2 episodes
The Adventures of Jim Bowie Ringtail Episode: "Deaf Smith"
1957 Climax! Spencer 2 episodes
The Christophers John Augustus Episode: "Sentence Deferred"
Whirlybirds Burton Episode: "The Perfect Crime"
1956 Crossroads Bart Alden Episode: "The Lamp of Father Cataldo"
Strange Stories Episode: "Con Game"
Judge Roy Bean Judge Roy Bean
1953, 1955 Cavalcade of America Horace Greeley / Doc Mathew 4 episodes
1955 Screen Directors Playhouse Sub Royal Episode: "The Bush Roper"
Ford Theatre Papa Mumby Episode: "The Mumbysa"
1952–1954 Hopalong Cassidy Red Connors
1954 Crown Theatre with Gloria Swanson Uncle Harry Episode: "Uncle Harry"
1953 Make Room for Daddy Captain Chris Episode: "The Sea Captain"


  1. ^ a b c Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. 
  2. ^ "Buck Comes Home". The Eugene Guard. Oregon, Eugene. May 18, 1959. p. 11. Retrieved July 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Edgar Buchanan, Actor, Matineeclassics.com; retrieved March 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "Edgar Buchanan: the frontier dentist who played one on TV". July 12, 2010. Oregon Health & Science University. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Actor Edgar Buchanan, TV's 'Uncle Joe', is dead" April 5, 1979 Pittsburgh Post Gazette retrieved October 28, 2015
  6. ^ Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 96. ISBN 9781557835512. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  7. ^ The Rattle of Theta Chi. Theta Chi Fraternity Inc. 1942. p. 13. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  8. ^ Edgar Buchanan's gravestone, with Freemasonic Square and Compasses, findagrave.com; retrieved November 27, 2007.
  9. ^ "Secrets Of TV's The Rifleman: More Than Just Guns And Good Times - Page 66 of 81". Trend-chaser.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  10. ^ a b Erickson, Hal (1989). Syndicated Television: The First Forty Years, 1947-1987. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-1198-8. P. 97.
  11. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 102-118
  12. ^ a b Leszczak, Bob (2015). From Small Screen to Vinyl: A Guide to Television Stars Who Made Records, 1950-2000. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 35–36. ISBN 9781442242746. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 

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