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Tom Lester
Born (1938-09-23) September 23, 1938 (age 83)
Where Laurel, Mississippi, U.S.
Gender {{{gender}}}
Years Active
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Parents {{{parents}}}
Birth Name Thomas William Lester
Occupation Actor and Evangelist
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Last Appearance: {{{last}}}

Thomas William "Tom" Lester (born September 23, 1938) is an American actor and evangelist. He is best known for his role as farmhand, Eb Dawson on the television series Green Acres, and appeared in the movies Gordy and Benji.


Lester was born in Laurel, Mississippi. A young boy in 1948, he became a Born-again Christian and became involved in the Baptist[1] church. At that time, he said he thought the Lord's plan for his life would deliver him to Hollywood, California, to embark on an acting career. He discussed his plans and his dream of becoming an actor with his parents.

After he graduated from Laurel High School, he attended the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, where he received a B.S. degree in Chemistry and Biology. He also briefly attended graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, but acting became his main interest. After college, he taught school in Purcell, Oklahoma, but he left for Los Angeles, California. In his early 20s, he attended the First Baptist Church of Beverly Hills, California.

After Green Acres, Lester was typecast. He returned home to his parents in Laurel, Mississippi. On May 26, 2005, his Green Acres series' star and close friend Eddie Albert died. He was the only Green Acres star not to attend his funeral. Albert had once said that Lester was his best and closest friend on the show, and had kept in touch with him until Albert died.

In July 2007, Lester wed at the age of 68.

Lester and his wife live on the family farm in the neighboring town of Vossburg, Mississippi.


In the early 1960s, Thomas Lester did a play with CBS producer Paul Henning's daughter Linda Kaye (Betty Jo of Petticoat Junction) in the 1960s, and soon found himself auditioning for the "Eb" role that audiences will best remember on Green Acres. Lester beat out 400 other young actors to play the character after a screen test. His recurring role with Eddie Albert's character was eventually a regular character, thanks to his being so popular, in turn made him a household word. He appeared in many Green Acres episodes between 1965–71, with the exception of the first half in the 1967-68 season that he suffered mononucleosis. In 1990, he was reunited with Albert aad Gabor to reprise his Eb Dawson role in Return to Green Acres.


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