This is Jethro Bodine from “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Max Baer Jr.

Max Baer Jr.: Life After “The Beverly Hillbillies”

Max Baer Jr. is best known for playing Jethro Bodine on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” The show, which premiered in 1962, became a massive hit, soaring to the top spot faster than any other show in television history within three weeks of its launch, according to IMDB. It ran for nine seasons and 274 episodes, ending in 1971.

Baer Jr. was born in Oakland, California, in 1937, the son of boxing champion Max Baer. He honed his southern drawl by listening to Andy Griffith and Jonathan Winters. After earning a business degree from Santa Clara University, Baer Jr. moved to Los Angeles, where he landed the role of Jethro after an open audition. Despite the character’s dimwitted persona, Baer Jr. made people laugh, saying, “They can laugh with or at me. It makes no difference as long as they laugh.”

After the show ended, Baer Jr. faced typecasting issues but found success in producing and directing films like “Macon County Line,” which became the most profitable indie film of 1974. In 1991, he bought the “Beverly Hillbillies” name from CBS, planning to use it for casinos and amusement parks. However, his plans faced numerous disputes, including a lawsuit against CBS in 2014.

Baer Jr.’s personal life has seen its ups and downs. He married Joanne Kathleen Hill in 1966, divorcing in 1971. He later dated model Chere Rhodes until her tragic death in 2008. Despite the challenges, Baer Jr. remains a beloved figure, remembered for his iconic role as Jethro Bodine. “My career has benefited greatly from the show,” he remarked, highlighting its impact on his life.

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