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Christian Rudolph “Buddy” Ebsen, Jr. was born on April 2, 1908 in Belleville, Illinois.
His father owned a dance studio, and when Ebsen was a young boy, insisted that he take dance lessons.
In the late 1920s, Buddy began his career as a dancer in a Broadway chorus.
His height, 6’3”, made him quite a sight on the stage.
Soon after, he formed a Broadway vaudeville act with his sister,
Vilma. They were known for a time as "The Baby Astaires".
Buddy was initiated into DeMolay at the John M. Cheney Chapter in Orlando Florida, in 1926.
DeMolay is a Masonic youth organization for young men between 12 and 21.
Here are Buddy and his sister, Vilma, in 1933’s “Monte Carlo”
Buddy married Ruth Cambridge in 1933, and the two remained married
until their divorce in 1945. Buddy and Ruth had two daughters, Elizabeth and Alix.
Before they wed, Ruth was Walter Winchell's secretary/Girl Friday.
Buddy attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, taking pre-med courses.
He wanted to be a doctor, but his mother persuaded him into show business.
In the 1930s, Disney animators filmed him dancing in front of a grid to "choreograph"
Wayne Allwine's dance steps for the Silly Symphony cartoons.
1935 was a banner year for Buddy. He and Vilma traveled
to Hollywood and were featured in an MGM production of "Born To Dance."
Vilma retired from stage and screen, but Buddy’s career continued.
Here he is with Shirley Temple in 1936's "Captain January."
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