The Beverly Hillbillies star Max Baer Jr. once dated Hollywood legend, Sharon Tate. And it was all thanks to her unsuccessful run at another classic TV series called Petticoat Junction.
While sitting down in 1993 for a cast reunion on Springer in San Francisco, a curious fan asked if any of the actors shared a secret love affair. And while none of the series regulars coupled up during filming, Baer Jr. did have a short fling with his beautiful recurring co-worker.
Outside of The Beverly Hillbillies, Sharon Tate was known for movies such as The Wrecking Crew and The Valley of the Dolls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination in 1967. But earlier in her career, Tate played three different characters alongside Baer Jr. in 15 episodes from 1963 to 1965, including Janet Trego, Mary, and Young Lady – Party Guest.
And during one of those Beverly Hillbillies episodes, Sharon Tate caught the eye of Max Baer Jr.
Max Baer Jr. Shares The Story of Meeting his ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ Co-Star, Sharon Tat
As his former castmate shared, Baer Jr. noticed the young starlet while she was filming an installment “wearing a black wig” early on in the series.
“Yeah, I took Sharon out a couple of times,” he said.
As the story goes, Tate was filming a pilot for Petticoat Junction as Jane Hathaway’s secretary named Janet Trego. Tate didn’t end up appearing on that show. But Both Hathaway and Trego moved over to The Beverly Hillbillies universe, which is how Sharon Tate and Max Baer Jr. met.
“I took her out a couple of times,” he remembered. “She was really a terrific girl though.”
After working on The Beverly Hillbillies, Sharon Tate went on to become a breakout star. She even earned the Golden Globe nod for Most Promising Newcomer when she was 25. And after that, she landed two movies alongside fellow Hollywood greats like Dean Martin, Tina Louise, and Orson Welles.
But in 1969, Tate was found dead inside the home she shared with her husband Roman Polanski. At the time, she was nearly nine months pregnant with her first child.
Police later learned that the actress was a victim of the Charles Manson cult. She was one of eight people that Manson and his followers named Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, and Patricia Krenwinkel killed in the 1960s and 1970s.
The cult had no reason to target the 26-year-old actress other than to earn media attention during its crime spree, which is something that Atkins admitted later in her life.
“Because we wanted to do a crime that would shock the world, that the world would have to stand up and take notice,” she said when asked about her reasons for killing Tate.