As the goofy and lovable Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies, Max Baer Jr. was part of one of television’s all-time favorite families.
However, his work beyond Jethro isn’t exactly lengthy. In fact, the last role that Baer Jr. took was in Murder, She Wrote, per IMDB. So for the past thirty years, Baer Jr. hasn’t been in acting. However, he hasn’t been out of work.
As we’ll get to here a few paragraphs down, Baer Jr. had his hands in a variety of money-making endeavors. Rather than continue chasing the success of The Beverly Hillbillies, Baer Jr. elected to work in the world around the stage.
This transition paid off handsomely. According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Baer Jr. is now worth $50 million as he celebrates his 83rd year. Not bad for someone that was going to be forever typecasted after the days of The Beverly Hillbillies.
The Beverly Hillbillies Star Max Baer Jr. Made Millions in Production
What was the secret? It’s actually not that complicated. But, as Outsider’s own Suzanne Halliburton wrote, it did require owning up to the fact that Baer Jr. was never going to be a longtime success in acting. But the son of a world championship boxer didn’t let the fight come to him.
Instead, he stormed out the gate with Macon County Line, a 1974 film that reached major commercial success off of a cheap budget. With just $120,000 in costs, the film made $25 million in theaters. So that’s a start.
He also made Ode to Billy Joe as well as Hometown U.S.A., which were successes in their own right. Having his hands in entertainment production was a shrewd move, but it wasn’t the former The Beverly Hillbillies actor’s only play.
He also used his capital to buy the rights to certain things. For example, in 1984, Baer Jr. purchased attempted to buy the rights to Like a Virgin by Madonna, but when ABC attempted to stop him, he won a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
Most notably, he bought various rights to The Beverly Hillbillies. From slot machines in casinos to food and beverages, he made tons of products based on the hit show.
Acting wasn’t always in the cards for Max Baer Jr., but making money was.