12 July, 2008
Edgar Buchanan was an American actor with a long career in both film and television, most familiar today as Uncle Joe Carson from the Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and Beverly Hillbillies television sitcoms of the 1960s.
Born William Edgar Buchanan in Humansville, Missouri, he moved with his family to Oregon when he was young. Like his father before him, he was a successful dentist. He and his his wife Mildred were married in 1927. In 1939, they moved from Eugene, Oregon, to Altadena, California. He joined the Pasadena Playhouse as an actor. He appeared in his first film in 1939, at the age of thirty-six, after which he turned his dentistry practice over to his wife. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and a Freemason.
Buchanan appeared in more than 100 movies, including Penny Serenade (1941) with Cary Grant, Tombstone, the Town Too Tough to Die (1942), The Man from Colorado (1948), Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), She Couldn't Say No (1954), McLintock!(1963) with John Wayne, Move Over, Darling (1963) with Doris Day and James Garner, and Benji (1974). Television series in which he appeared included Hopalong Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean, the "Duel at Sundown" episode of Maverick with James Garner and Clint Eastwood, Leave It To Beaver (as both "Uncle Billy" and "Captain Jack"), The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, Bringing Up Buddy, and The Rifleman. He appeared in all 222 episodes of Petticoat Junction, 17 episodes of Green Acres, and 3 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, always as the character Uncle Joe Carson.
Buchanan died on April 4, 1979 at the age of 76 from a stroke complicated by pneumonia in Palm Desert, California.