Produced in Oakland, California, Max Baer, Jr. graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Business Administration. The American actor began acting in England in the late 40s, and then began working on various jobs for Warner Brothers, including, “Surfside 6, “Maverick”, “77 Sunset Strip”, and “Cheyenne”. In the early 60s, the American actor was cast in the role that will make him a household name, as Jethro Bodine on “The Beverly Hillbillies”. While the role brought him legions of enthusiasts, it also brought his acting career into a relative standstill, as he was later offered similar jobs for the remainder of his career.
Max Baer Jr. Net Worth $50 Million Dollars
Max shifted his focus to directing and producing, and went on to shoot a few of the most financially successful movies in Hollywood’s history. His 1974 movie, “Macon County Line”, held the record for the highest grossing film per dollar invested until the “Blair Witch Project” was launched in 1999. The American actor is now primarily focused on casino development, and is currently constructing a “Beverly Hillbillies”-themed resort and casino in Nevada.
December 4, 1937
Oakland, California, USA
6' 4" (1.93 m)
Actor, Producer, Director
Santa Clara University
Joanne Kathleen Hill
Max Baer, Mary Ellen Sullivan
Maudie Marian Baer, James Manny Baer
TV Land Favorite "Fish Out of Water" Award
Hometown U.S.A., Ode to Billy Joe, The Wild McCullochs, Macon County Line, The Birdmen, A Time for Killing, The Harder They Fall
His acting mentor and family friend Buddy Ebsen, passed away, on July 6, 2003, at age 95. (Buddy celebrated her 95th birthday on April 2, 2003, with friends and family, and a couple months later, Ebsen was admitted to the hospital, where he passed away, there.).
Won his role as Jethro without having to speak a word. Baer's audition consisted of chasing a bird around the set, and he made enough of gestures and facial expressions to impress the producers. He admitted later that he had never tried speaking in a hillbilly accent, and he used the time between his audition and the first day's filming to learn one thoroughly.
Has said that he "would have had to sell door-to-door" if Macon County Line (1974) flopped.
One of Elvis Presley's Hollywood buddies during the 1960s. The two were often involved in impromptu football games among Elvis' friends and entourage.
Writes with his left hand.
Took great issue with the unsympathetic portrayal of his father in the film Cinderella Man (2005), particularly his bragging over killing someone in the ring. Baer said his father was actually haunted by the incident and often cried about it.
Role of Jethro Bodine on "The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962)
[Of Buddy Ebsen]: Buddy was more of a surrogate father to me, because my dad had died in '59 and this was '62; and he (Buddy) kinda took over, the same age as my dad; both about the same time and he knew my dad pretty well. So, it was pretty easy for Buddy and I to become close. I would go down there and he would teach me to sail on his 36 ft. lapwards down in Balboa Island, where he had a house, and as a sailor, I was a very good anchor, because it was hard for me to ever had me on a boat. He said, 'When the boat comes about,' He said, 'You'll pull it on a lynch.' He said, 'You'll pull in quick, because if you don't, the sail will pull up with air and it'll be too hard to pull in.' And so, the first time we were out, he said, 'We're comin' about.' Stood up, 'What, bang, boom, hit me right in the ocean, and he was laughing, said, 'Well, you can forget about being a sailor, too.' But I used to go out and have dinner, like once a week to go out someplace he would take me like Paso Franks on Hollywood Blvd. to Cook's Pacific Dining Car. He had some little places he would take me to and sometimes in lunch, he would have a little dinner with George and George will cook for him in his dressing room and he would have lunch with him. We didn't have too much in the afternoon, because it was a 2 martini lunch; cause if he had to remember some lines, he'd have a 1 martini lunch and if he had to remember lines, it was 1, if he didn't have a lot of lines, in the afternoon, he may have 2, and that was pretty much it.
[Who compared his relationship with Buddy Ebsen, his surrogate uncle, to his real-life father, Max Baer]: Buddy told me a funny story one time, where he was at Madison Square Garden (this was back in the 1930s). My dad was supposed to fight. Buddy was sitting there, waiting and down near ringside. All of a sudden, this guy comes in, and he sits down next to him, he's got a robe on it and everything. But my dad was just real easy, just like nothing was going on, just sitting there in his robe and his shorts and Buddy was very excited because of the fact that (A) My dad sat down there and (B) Years later, the coincidence that he would star in the series with his son.
[on his on- and off-screen chemistry with Buddy Ebsen, who played Jed Clampett]: Buddy was much of a regular gang as you can get. Buddy tried to teach me how to sail, I didn't learn much about sailing, but I learn a lot about drowning. I got knocked off the boat more than once and he was saying, 'Well, you do this and you do that,' and he says, 'Coming about!,' and I stood up, I was up and I said, 'What did you say, Buddy?' The boat hit me and it knocked me out of the ocean, I made him laugh all the time because I was so crazy. I mean, I was always pulling pranks and doing stuff on the set and everything.
[on the death of co-star Donna Douglas] She was Elly May until the day she died. When I saw her for autograph signings or other gatherings, she always dressed the same with pink or blue and of course those signature pigtails.
[on being called Jethro now] It's like somebody calling you a son of a bitch. If he's your friend, it's okay. If he's your enemy, it's not.