‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Buddy Ebsen Starred in a Forgotten Animated Christmas Movie

by Joe Rutland

Buddy Ebsen of The Beverly Hillbillies had quite a track record of picking solid projects in his career. But a Christmas one is forgettable.

Ebsen played Jed Clampett on the popular CBS sitcom.

Yet let’s take a look at this not-so-ho-ho-ho special.

According to an article from MeTV, he starred in a 1975 animated special called The Tiny Tree. Ebsen was the voice of the narrator along with adding his voice to a Scrooge-like character.

‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Told Story About Little Girl Who Makes Friends at Tree

The Tiny Tree was intended to grow as big as Frosty the Snowman when it comes to holiday TV specials. Besides Ebsen, the producers had songwriter Johnny Marks on board. That name might not ring a bell but he wrote Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

His two songs, sung by superstar Roberta Flack no less, could not keep The Tiny Tree from being out of the picture.

This story featured The Beverly Hillbillies star. It is about a little girl in a wheelchair who moves with her parents to a farm where she hopes to learn to walk again.

But she finds a lot of animal friends gathering under one tree. They soon become friends with her.

A snowstorm threatens to ruin Christmas and not allow for a real Christmas tree. Never fear, The Tiny Tree is here to save the day.

Ebsen Finds Himself Lending Voice Along With Notable Vocal Talents

Besides Ebsen, other voice talents like Janet Waldo and Paul Winchell were part of it.

It’s also worth noting that Ebsen was in the middle of his run on CBS in Barnaby Jones. He played a private investigator, quite different from his country-bumpkin role.

His entertainment career, though, was put on hold for a bit as Ebsen served in the United States Coast Guard in World War II.

By the time he enlisted as part of the war, he had become quite a stellar sailor. Ebsen taught naval candidates how to sail. Yet he was repeatedly denied by the Navy once the U.S. joined the fight.

But the Coast Guard accepted his application. He was made a lieutenant and given the role of damage control officer on the USS Pocatello. Its primary duty as far as the crew was concerned came about monitoring the weather.

How does a damage control officer assist? In many ways. The Coast Guard’s website points out that current duties include firefighting to welding.

Ebsen did not talk much about his service later in life, so the specific details of what he did from day-to-day on the Pocatello remain unknown. But considering what’s expected in the job, it’s at least clear that The Beverly Hillbillies star was handy.