Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lobsters dancing in a row shuffle off to Buffalo

First off, the answer to the quote of the week is Top Hat. Well done, Maggie for guessing right!!

13. Buddy Ebsen

Favorite dance: "The Codfish Ball" from Captain January
I love the part where he goes all the way down to dance with her. The moment only lasts a few seconds but it shows what an amazing dancer he is. I love his loose style. He was the model for one of Walt Disney's Audio-Animatronics (I believe it was his first), one of a dancing vaudeville performer. I've heard that Disney had some difficulty when Ebsen changed the dancing up every time. With his style, though, it's easy to imagine. He looks like he's just goofing off and having fun all the time!

He was slated to play the Tin Woodman in The Wizard of Oz and I kind of wish he'd stayed in the cast. The trouble was, the original mixture for the makeup consisted of aluminum powder. It's a pretty awful story so I'll save you the details but suffice it to say that he was rushed to the hospital and, while he was gone, they replaced him with Jack Haley - and replaced the aluminum powder with aluminum paste. It's rather sad because it seems like that could have really launched him into the public eye. I realize that terms like "overlooked" and "neglected" can be overused by us filmbloggers, but I really do think Buddy Ebsen deserves more credit than he gets. Most people know him today for his role in The Beverly Hillbillies tv show than his dancing talents. So, for your enjoyment, I'm going to post my favorite of his dances. This is another one with Shirley Temple (there are three on this list). I really admire the actors and actresses who worked with Shirley Temple. It just seems neat that they could gracefully costar with a little girl. I don't know. Anyway, the song is "The Codfish Ball." Enjoy!

P.S. Like Fred Astaire, Buddy Ebsen sometimes shared the spotlight with his sister. He appeared in Broadway Melody of 1936 with her (and Eleanor Powell). Below is a picture I stumbled upon when digging up pictures for this post. They were both pretty average-looking people and I love how elegant they look in this photo.


  1. I adore Buddy Ebsen! His dance style is so distinctive. Have you seen Born to Dance? He steals this show.

    By the way, I'm really enjoying this list, and I love that you've been posting every day. I'm always glad to see a new post on your blog. : )

    - Amanda

  2. Very nice photo of the Ebsens! I've never seen that one before. I really enjoyed Vilma in B'WAY MELODY OF 1936.

    Best wishes,

  3. He does look so elegant in that photo!

    But I adore Jack Haley so I'm a little glad he was the Tin Woodman!


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