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Whatever Happened to Max Baer, Jr. of the Beverly Hillbillies?

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Jethro Bodine

Max Baer, Jr. is most commonly known as Jethro Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies, but whatever happened to Max Baer, Jr. after the show? The Beverly Hilbillies is a comedy series following the tale of a family quickly becoming wealthy and moving to Beverly Hills maintaining their hillbilly ways.

Once the show ended in 1971, Max Baer, Jr. could not escape his association with character of Jethro which impeded him from landing further acting jobs. This resulted in the abrupt end of Baer’s acting career in terms of major roles.

After appearing as a guest star in a few productions, Baer, Jr. moved from acting and onto filmmaking in 1974 with his low budget film Macon County line. While filmmaking and writing screen plays, Max Baer, Jr. also pursued the real estate market investing in properties such as malls, condos, and other properties. All of Baer, Jr.’s commercial ventures were successful in rendering profit while simultaneously allowing him to pursue acting in his own screenplays.

Even through his own screenplays, Baer, Jr. was still unable to escape his prominent character on the Beverly Hillbillies. Thus leading him to purchase the rights to the Beverly Hillbillies in an effort to commodify his association. With these rights, Baer, Jr. began his hillbilly related commercial business ventures. Baer used these rights to create Beverly Hillbillies inspired casino games and slot machines, hoping to make the most out of his unescapable association with Jethro Bodine. This venture proved successful when the TV show inspired slot machines were implemented within various casinos in America.

In terms of his love life since The Beverly Hillbillies, Max Baer, Jr. most famously dated two women: Dallas star Victoria Principal, and Chere Rhodes. Max Baer, Jr. and Victoria Principal dated prior to the end of the show when she was reportedly assaulted by Baer, Jr. during their relationship. This incident resurfaced years after the show in 2005 when Principal spoke out about the incident during her activism, provoking Baer, Jr. to make statements in retaliation.

Baer resurfaced on the news in 2005 in protest of the film Cinderella Man’s portrayal of his father, legendary heavyweight boxer Max Baer, Sr. as an aggressive and heartless fighter. This depiction upset Baer, Jr. as he felt this portrayal to be inaccurate and offensive to the resting memory of his father, Max Baer, Sr. who died in 1959 as a result of cardiac arrest.

After his relationship with Victoria Principal, Max Baer, Jr. dated Chere Rhodes, a thirty-year-old model from California. Their relationship continued until she was shot in the chest in 2008. Following a police investigation, no foul play was suspected and the death was labelled a suicide.

Today, Max Baer, Jr. is a successful 79-year-old businessman today seeking to build a Beverly Hillbillies empire including Jethro’s Beverly Hills Mansion and Casinos with various amenities inspired by the show. This however, has caused problems as a restaurant chain had already profited on the novelty of the show previously after settling a lawsuit with CBS. In 2015 Baer, Jr. was in the news for seeking a lawsuit against CBS for settling this matter without consulting him, claiming it has hindered his ability to render profits from his purchased rights.

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