Where is Max Baer Jr today? Is he dead or alive? Wiki Bio
Maximilian Adalbert Baer Jr. was born in Oakland, California USA on 4 December 1937 – his zodiac sign is Sagittarius and he holds American nationality. He is an actor, film producer and director, perhaps still best known for his portrayal of Jethro Bodine in over 270 episodes of the popular TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” from 1962 to ’71, also starring Buddy Ebsen, Donna Douglas and Irene Ryan. (He didn’t appear in the 1993 film, which starred Diedrich Bader, Erika Eleniak and Jim Varney.) The series was about a family who becomes rich after they find ‘black gold’ – oil – on their property, and then move to live in Beverly Hills. Max is the only surviving member of the regular cast of the series.
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There have been rumors of Max passing away, but these have been proven false as he is leading a peaceful life in Los Angeles, California.
Early life and education
Max was raised alongside his brother James Manny Baer who died in 2009, and his sister Maude Baer (born in 1943) in Oakland by their father Max Baer who was a boxing champion, and their mother Mary Ellen Sullivan who was a housewife. Max was motivated by his uncle Buddy Baer to become an actor, as Buddy is still remembered for his roles in the western film “Hell Canyon Outlaws” and the western comedy movie “Once Upon a Horse…” in the 1950s.
Max studied at Christian Brothers High School located in Sacramento, where he excelled in four sports, and competed twice in the Sacramento Open golf tournament, winning it both times.
Later at the age of 31 in 1968, he would win the pro-am tournament Andy Williams – San Diego Open. He became interested in acting while at school, as he was a member of the drama club and was appearing in nearly all the plays performed there. Upon matriculation, he enrolled at Santa Clara University, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration while minoring in philosophy.
Roles in TV series
Max made his debut TV series appearance in 1960, when he portrayed three characters in three episodes – “Bundle from Britain”, “A Bullet for the Teacher”, and “Kiz” – of the western drama series “Maverick” which starred James Garner, Jack Kelly and Roger Moore, about two gamblers moving from city to city searching for good games.
The series was a hit, winning a Primetime Emmy Award and being nominated for 10 other awards.
Max appeared in two episodes of the detective series “Surfside 6” in 1961, before he was invited to appear in four episodes of the western series “Cheyenne”, which starred Clint Walker, Clyde Howdy and Chuck Hicks, and which is about the adventurer Cheyenne Bodie who roams the land looking for women and fights – the series won a Golden Globe Award for Television Achievement in 1957. Max’s next notable appearance was in the detective series “Hawaiian Eye”, portraying Bill Gorham in two episodes, and he then went on to play three characters in the episodes “Double Trouble”, “The Corsican Caper”, and “The Chrome Coffin” of the private detective drama series “77 Sunset Strip”.
The following years saw him guest star in a single episode of many series, such as the western “Bronco”, another western “Sugarfoot”, and the adventure series “Follow the Sun” while he also portrayed 1st GI in the episode “Drive Over to Exeter” of the comedy drama series “It’s a Mans’ World” in 1962.
In 1966 and 1967, he co-hosted 10 episodes of the reality game show “Dream Girl of ’67”, and was then chosen as a panelist of the game show “Hollywood Squares” in 1968. He guest starred in the episode “Love and the Fullback” and “Love and the Games People Play” of the anthology comedy series “Love, American Style” in 1972 and 1973, then in a single episode of the fantasy drama series “Fantasy Island” in 1979.
He subsequently portrayed Andy MacKay in the episodes “Return to Nam: Part 1” and “Escape from Nam: Part 2” of the crime drama series “Matt Houston”, while some of his later appearances in TV series were in the crime drama “Murder, She Wrote” in 1989 and 1991, while he appeared as an interviewee in the documentary series “Biography” in 2005.
Roles in movies and producing and directing credits
Max made his debut film appearance in 1967 as the supporting character Sergeant Luther Liskell in the western movie “A Time for Killing”, which starred Inger Stevens, Glenn Ford and Paul Petersen, and was directed by Phil Karlson and Roger Corman.
The year 1971 saw him play another supporting character, Tanker in the movie “The Birdmen” which starred Doug McClure and Rene Auberjonois, about an American who is sent to Norway during World War II.
Max produced his first film “Two for the Money” in 1972 – it starred Robert Hooks, Stephen Brooks, and Walter Brennan and is about two police officers who quit their jobs to become private detectives. He produced, directed and wrote the independent film “Macon County Line” in 1974, in which he also starred as Deputy Reed Morgan who is a county sheriff in Georgia, and is seeking revenge after his wife is murdered. The following year saw him direct, produce and write the drama movie “The Wild McCullochs” in which he also starred alongside Forrest Tucker and Julie Adams.
In 1976, Max directed and produced the drama movie “Ode to Billy Joe”, before directing the comedy film “Hometown USA” in 1979, which starred Gary Springer, David Wilson, and Brian Kerwin, about three teenagers driving around and flirting with girls. Two of his final roles in movies were in the crime drama mystery “The Asphalt Cowboy” in 1980, and the drama comedy “The Circle Family” in 1982.
Love life and relationships
Max met his now ex-wife Joanne Kathleen Hill in 1965, after he saw her picture on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard, and on Valentine’s Day came to her doorstep stating he wanted to meet her. After less than a year of dating, they married in a small ceremony in 1966, attended by only their closest friends and family. They divorced in 1971, apparently because Max wanted to start a family while Joanne didn’t want children, but rather wanted to focus on her acting career.
Before Max, Joanne was married to a man who ‘looked just like Elvis from ‘Jailhouse Rock’, but they divorced after being married for two years.
It is believed that Max has been in several short-term relationships since his split from Joanne, but hasn’t married again and doesn’t have children. He appears to be single today.
Hobbies and other interests
After starring in several movies about gambling, and realizing that tourists paid money just to see the Ponderosa Ranch – although there was nothing special about it except for the fact that several episodes of the western series “Bonanza” were filmed there – he decided to do a similar thing with “The Beverly Hillbillies”, buying the rights from CBS for around $1 million, making 65 “The Beverly Hillbillies”-themed slot machines and putting them in 10 casinos.
He later tried to open his own casino, but its development was stopped in July 2012.
Max was physically active until his early 50s, as he played golf, tennis and soccer and enjoyed travelling; he has been all around the US while he’s also visited several countries in Africa, Europe and Asia. He is a lover of animals and has had several pet dogs, while his favorite animals are horses and bulls.
Appearance and net worth
Max is 82 years old. He has short brown hair and brown eyes, is 6ft 4ins (1.93m) tall, and weighs around 187lbs (85kgs). As of May 2020, his net worth is estimated at over $50 million.