Buddy Ebsen estate auction this weekend

offBeat with PHILIP POTEMPA
2008-04-06T00:00:00Z Buddy Ebsen estate auction this weekendPHILIP POTEMPA ppotempa@nwitimes.com 219.852.4327 nwitimes.com

Memories for sale

Actor Buddy Ebsen, who younger generations remember from "Barnaby Jones" and "The Beverly Hillbillies," would have turned 100 on April 2.

But Ebsen, who died in 2003 at age 95, had an expansive career that included stage, radio and movies.

Beginning this weekend, Ebsen's third wife and widow, Dorothy Knott, is having an estate sale organized by Highlight Heritage Auctions, which is including an online bidding option using eBay.

Here's the sale description: " 'April 2008 Signature Auction Buddy Ebsen 1908-2003 An incredible life Remembered,' includes some of the late Hollywood actor's costumes from 'The Beverly Hillbillies' at this upcoming auction in Dallas and online. Items for sale include autographed, annotated scripts from Ebsen's shows, 'The Beverly Hillbillies' and 'Barnaby Jones,' as well as items dating back to his days as a vaudeville song-and-dance man. It is with great pride that Heritage Auction Galleries celebrates the epic career of Buddy Ebsen, one that began in the '20s 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 in Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries' upcoming Signature Auction, starting April 5, 2008."

"Indeed, few actors ever enjoyed so long, rich, and colorful a journeyman career, and Heritage is proud to offer this remarkable treasure-trove of Buddy Ebsen's memorabilia," said Doug Norwine, director of music and entertainment auctions for Heritage.

Some of the collection up for sale includes:

"The Beverly Hillbillies" lots: Buddy's signed and annotated scripts, one of his Jed Clampett hats and Jed's 'Sunday Best' costume, his original contract for the pilot, the oil-can bass musical instrument Buddy played (sometimes with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, who performed the famed 'The Ballad of Jed Clampett') -- even Uncle Jed's fake mustache.

"Disney's Davy Crockett" lots -- Interesting items, including Buddy's prop rifle from ABC's popular anthology series.

"The Hollywood Movie Wardrobe" lots: Costumes, including Buddy's 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.

"TV Series" lots: Buddy's signed and annotated "Barnaby Jones" scripts, as well as his suit from the series.

"Oz Collection" lots: 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" before he was replaced in the film by Jack Haley.

A final note from the auction house explains: "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 remarkable collection Heritage is genuinely proud to present."

In 1994, Ebsen was to have traveled to Chesterton, Ind. to serve as grand marshall for the community's annual Wizard of Oz Festival, but had to cancel just days before the event's kick-off, due to illness. He was scheduled to promote and autograph copies of his autobiography "The Other Side of Oz" (1994 Donovan Publishing $24.95).

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