Jethro Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies is his most well-known role, but what became of this legend after the series?
This is 84-year-old Max Baer Jr today.
Comedy program The Beverly Hillbillies told the story of the Clampett family, with Buddy Ebsen’s character Jed Clampett finding himself rapidly accumulating wealth.
Comedy program, The Beverly Hillbillies told the story of the Clampett family, with Buddy Ebsen’s character Jed Clampett finding himself rapidly accumulating wealth.
Jed decided to relocate to Beverly Hills, California, after becoming a millionaire over night. The main plot point? The family continued to live in a hillbilly manner.
When it came to Max’s persona, he had a silly grin from ear to ear, a laugh that made everyone else laugh, and above all else, he convinced everyone that Jethro Bodine was the real deal.
Max had been listening to Andy Griffith and Jonathan Winters records to practice his rural accent. He was able to do this while keeping a perpetually stupid expression on his face, which undoubtedly made fans laugh.
When he played the country bumpkin Jethro, Max Baer Jr. became a true American comedy legend. Additionally, Max’s major breakthrough was made possible by the show.
Sadly, his life didn’t go as many people might have anticipated after the show. This is the tale of the man who created Jethro Bodine, a Hollywood icon that no one ever wanted to let go of.
On December 4, 1937, Max Baer Jr. was born in Oakland, California. His parents are renowned boxer Max Baer and Mary Ellen Sullivan.
He made the decision to stay even though his career wasn’t taking off, and soon after, he got the best role of his career: a role in a sitcom about an oil-rich country bumpkin family.
Max Baer Jr – career
He was cast in The Beverly Hillbillies as Jethro Bodine after a public audition, earning $1000 for the pilot episode and $500 for the subsequent show.
“When you play a role like Jethro it’s for other people to judge because it’s pretty hard to be subjective or objective about yourself,” Baer Jr told Medium
“You just do the best you can with the material that you’re given, and then you try to add to it [with your performance] as much as you possibly can. But in the end, it’s the audience who has the final say. Well, we liked what you did’ or ‘We don’t like what you did.’ And you really don’t have any other way of evaluating it.”
This is Max Baer Jr today
“Dad had hoped to become an actor and, as everyone knows, he became a boxer. I wanted to be a lawyer and here I am acting. The show has done a lot for my career. The exposure will help insure work for me in the future, too. And someday I hope to prove I can play something besides a hillbilly.”
Max Baer Jr. has since left the entertainment industry. The 85-year-old has led a quiet life in Tahoe for the past few years, and not much is known about his activities or his state of health.
Numerous fans have likely wondered how he is doing and what he looks like right now. And as we have always known, he maintains good physical and mental health.
Max Baer Jr. appeared in an interview a few months ago on the YouTube page for Las Vegas Real Estate. He was interviewed in his Tahoe home for the article that was published on September 7, and judging from the images, Max is doing remarkably well for an 85-year-old!
No matter what happened before or after the show, we will remember Max Baer Jr as a great actor that made us laugh in pretty much every single episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.
It’s safe to say he will always have a special place in our hearts.
Please share this story with friends and family!