‘Beverly Hillbillies’: Jethro Actor Max Baer Jr. Explained Why He Became a ‘Bully’

by John Jamison

Max Baer Jr. takes after his world heavyweight champion father in more ways than one. The “Beverly Hillbillies” star apparently used to solve his problems with a punch.

He played Jethro Bodine on the fan-favorite show that ran from 1962-1971. And he is the last surviving member of the “Beverly Hillbillies” cast.

In 2017, Baer Jr. sat down for an interview with Fore Magazine and talked about how he became a bully in his childhood.

“I was Max Baer’s kid, so everyone wanted to see how tough I was. I was scared of my own shadow and always got beat up,” he said. “I remember running into my house crying, telling my dad a kid had just beaten me up. My dad wanted to know if I had hit the kid back. I told him, no, so he told me to go knock on the kid’s door and tell him it ain’t over. I did, we got into it and I got the best of him.”

Like father, like son.

The “Beverly Hillbillies” star learned a valuable lesson from his father. He wasn’t going to let anyone push him around anymore. Unfortunately for those who crossed his path following this incident, though, he took the lesson a little further than maybe was intended.

“That’s when I became a bully. Now when anyone started to say to me, ‘So, your Max Baer’s kid,’ I’d haul off and hit him. He might have wanted to tell me how much he admired my dad, but I knew the first guy to throw a punch was the winner. So, I never let anyone finish the sentence.’’

So maybe just avoid bringing up Max Baer Sr. if you ever find yourself face to face with his son.

‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Star Max Baer Jr. Struggled with his Identity

Growing up the child of a celebrity can be easy in some ways and difficult in others.

For the “Beverly Hillbillies” star, some of the difficulties stemmed from issues with his identity. In his daily life, people often refer to him as Jethro, and he has embraced that. Though, his father’s success and his own choice of career have taken their toll.

“I was born Max Baer Jr., the son of a great boxer, and I’ll die Jethro Bodine. Period. I never really got the chance to be me,” he told Fore Magazine in 2017.