Edgar Buchanan was one of the most recognized character actors of the 20th Century. From his first role in 1939 until he retired he was in 100 movies and countless TV shows.
He practiced dentistry for about 10 years before moving to California. There he started out as an amateur actor in plays. In 1939 he had a small role in a movie and decided to become a full time actor. He turned his practice over to his wife, who was also a dentist.
To fans of movies during the Golden Age of Hollywood he was a frequent site in all sorts of movies.
Before television was invented he was a staple in movies. Mostly known for playing slightly or outright disreputable characters in westerns he also played judges, lawyers, and other secondary or minor characters in all sorts of films.
He even played a dentist in at least one movie filmed not too long after he gave that up to become an actor full time.
To Baby Boomers he’s best known as “Uncle Joe Carson” in the 1960’s TV comedy Petticoat Junction. He appeared in every one of the 222 episodes of that show.
He was rarely out of work during his film career and made an easy transition to TV where he was frequently cast as a guest star on popular shows.
Movie producers and directors often had favorite character actors that they would use over and over. Buchanan with is distinctive gravelly voice, easy going manner onscreen was very popular for small to medium roles in many movies.