Edgar Buchanan appeared in more than one hundred films, including 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 Hopalong Cassidy, Cimarron City, The Californians, The Rifleman, 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, The Lloyd Bridges Show, and Cade’s County. In 1956, Edgar Buchanan portrayed the lead in the 39-episode syndicated western television series, Judge Roy Bean, 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, he 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.
Edgar 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, and three episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. From 1960 to 1962, he appeared four times on the NBC western series Laramie, with John Smith and Robert Fuller. 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 and another star from Petticoat Junction appeared together in the movie Benji; the other “star” was Higgins, the unnamed “dog” from the sitcom, who portrayed the title role in the film. Higgins had been found in an animal shelter and trained by Frank Inn, who also trained Arnold Ziffel (the pig) and the other animals used on The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres. Edgar Buchanan died from a stroke complicated by pneumonia in Palm Desert, California, and was interred in the Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
- March, 20, 1903
- Humansville, Missouri
- April, 04, 1979
- Palm Desert, California
Cause of Death
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
- Los Angeles, California