Remember Jethro Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies? Let’s find out what became of this legendary character after the series!
Comedy program, The Beverly Hillbillies, captivated audiences with the hilarious adventures of the Clampett family, led by Jed Clampett, played by Buddy Ebsen, who suddenly became a millionaire. The twist? The family continued to live their hillbilly way of life in upscale Beverly Hills.
One character who stole the show was Max Baer Jr., portraying the lovable country bumpkin Jethro Bodine. With a silly grin and an infectious laugh, Max convinced everyone that Jethro was the real deal. He practiced his rural accent by listening to Andy Griffith and Jonathan Winters records, and his perpetually stupid expression brought endless laughter to fans.
Playing Jethro marked a major breakthrough for Max Baer Jr., cementing his position as an American comedy legend. However, life didn’t unfold as expected for him after the show. Let’s delve into the tale of the man behind the creation of Jethro Bodine, a Hollywood icon that no one wanted to let go of.
Max Baer Jr. was born on December 4, 1937, in Oakland, California, to renowned boxer Max Baer and Mary Ellen Sullivan. Despite his career not taking off immediately, he chose to persist. Eventually, fate smiled upon him, and he landed the role of a lifetime in a sitcom about an oil-rich country bumpkin family.
In The Beverly Hillbillies, Max portrayed the endearing Jethro Bodine, earning $1000 for the pilot episode and $500 for each subsequent show. Reflecting on his performance as Jethro, Baer Jr. humbly acknowledged that it was ultimately the audience who had the final say on his portrayal.
After The Beverly Hillbillies, Baer Jr. shared his dreams beyond the hillbilly character, saying, “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 ensure work for me in the future, too. And someday, I hope to prove I can play something besides a hillbilly.”
Today, at 85 years old, Max Baer Jr. has taken a step back from the entertainment industry. He leads a quiet life in Tahoe, and while not much is known about his current activities or health, it’s evident that he maintains good physical and mental well-being.
Recently, in an interview for Las Vegas Real Estate published on September 7, Baer Jr. was interviewed at his Tahoe home. Judging from the images, he is doing remarkably well for his age. We are glad to see him thriving!
No matter what came before or after The Beverly Hillbillies, Max Baer Jr. will always be remembered as a talented actor who brought laughter into our lives with each episode. He holds a special place in our hearts.
Let’s share this heartwarming story with friends and family, so they can also reminisce about the joy Max Baer Jr. brought to our screens!