Max Baer Jr. may be best known as Jethro Bodine, the big, goofy nephew to Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies. However, the Hillbillies star notes in a 2017 interview, his connection to his father the former heavyweight boxer Max Baer, is also a defining piece for him.
In fact, the longtime actor respects his late father’s legacy so much, that he regularly carries a priceless keepsake with him, in honor of his late father.
Since Max Baer Sr. passed away in 1959, Max Baer Jr. wears a special treasure around his neck in memory of his father. In the interview with Fore magazine, the former Beverly Hillbillies star describes a unique piece of remembrance he designed in memory of his dad.
Baer had his father’s watch and the former boxer’s St. Christopher medal made into a special memorial piece for his father. A piece, the star says, he regularly wears on his neck to carry his father with him. And, the actor notes, this is an important piece to who he is. His only regret in life, Baer Jr. says is his father not having the opportunity to live longer.
‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Feels He Has Been Boxed Into Two Categories
To Max Baer Jr., there are two phases in his life. The time before his acting career kicked off when he was known as the son of a world-renowned boxing champ; and the years after his acting career took off when he was essentially typecast as the handsome and endlessly goofy, Jethro Bodine of The Beverly Hillbillies.
“I was born Max Baer Jr.,” Max Baer Jr. says in a 2017 interview.
“The son of a great boxer,” The Beverly Hillbillies star continues.
“And I’ll die Jethro Bodine. Period. ” the actor adds. “I never really got the chance to be me.’’
These generalizations are a regular frustration for Max Baer Jr., no doubt. However, the actor’s lasting connection to his father, Max Baer Sr., is something he will always cherish.
Baer Sees His Father As His ‘Buddy’
To this day, Max Baer Jr. describes his father as being his idol, his “buddy.” Not because of Sr’s boxing talents, or his role “as a fighter,” but for who he is “as a person,” the star says.
He doesn’t love the two boxes in which he feels he’s been placed as either Max Baer Sr.’s son or Jethro from the Hillbillies. However, Max Baer Jr. does admit he has some very fond memories of filming the popular sitcom.
“I enjoyed it if I had some good scenes to do in it,” the actor quips.
“It was fun,” Baer adds of his time on The Beverly Hillbillies. “If I was doing them girls, it was fun because I was a young guy then.”