This is what it looks like today

If you remember hearing the lines “five gozinta five once, five gozinta ten twice,” you’re definitely one of the millions of Jethro Bodine and the Clampett family fans who moved to Beverly Hills, California, but never abandoned their style of peasant life behind.The Beverly Hillbillies is one of those television shows that never loses its popularity no matter how much time passes. The first episode aired in 1962 and the show ran for nine years during which many enjoyed the adventures of the family who caused “a shock in their privileged society with their simple and unsophisticated way of life.”

Jethro Bodine was one of the characters that marked the show. He was the son of Jed’s cousin, Pearl, and displayed great mathematical abilities. The man behind the character, Max Baer Jr., became one of the most popular comedy icons in America and got into acting by accident, or call it luck if he wants.After graduating from Santa Clara University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1959, he went on an adventure with his motorcycle and found himself standing in a parking lot in Los Angeles.His charm and impressive appearance attracted the attention of an executive who thought he looked a lot like James Garner and offered him to sign a contract and try himself in acting. Max tried it and the rest is history.

Initially, Max only landed small roles in films like 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, and Hawaiian Eye, but he didn’t give up. Shortly after, he found himself auditioning for the role of Jethro Bodine, which changed his life forever.“When you play a role like Jethro, other people have to judge you because it’s quite difficult to be subjective or objective with yourself,” Max told Medium.“You just do the best you can with the material you’re given and then try to add to it [with your performance] as much as you can. But in the end it is the public who has the last word. Well, we liked what you did’ or ‘We don’t like what you did.’ And you really have no other way to evaluate it.”

For this serious man, it was never about the money, whose only goal was to make people laugh. He only made $800 per episode.
“You have to perform well. And, in my case, if I’ve made people laugh and even if they can laugh at my expense, that’s fine. “I don’t care,” added the actor. “They can laugh with me or at me. It doesn’t matter, as long as they laugh. Because if I can make them laugh, then I think my performance was successful. I cannot assess the degree of success it had. But I can say that he did what he was supposed to do.”

Not only the fans, but also the cast members loved Max Baer Jr. He got along well with each of the actors and they all praised both his performance and his personality. Among those who spoke about the importance of his character to the show was Donna Douglas, who played the role of mountain beauty Elly May Clampett.“You thought Uncle Jed, Grandma, and Cousin Elly May were his family because they played so well,” television historian Jeffrey D. Dalrymple, a good friend of Baer Jr., told Medium. “And Max had the ability to blend in.” with the other cast members, without exaggerating or underestimating Jethro. He was a good actor and a good guy, and he still is.”

Although he is mainly famous for his work on screen, Max told The Times in 1971: “However, acting for me is just a hobby. Golf is my occupation.” The actor played most sports, including football, baseball and basketball, but it seemed like golf was his calling. In 1968, Max Baer Jr. and professional golfer Charlie Sifford won the pro-am division of the Andy Williams Golf Classic in San Diego

.After The Beverly Hillbillies ended, Max had a hard time getting a role because everyone saw him as Jethro.
But as we already know, Max has never been a man who gives up easily, so he dedicated himself to producing and directing. His 1974 film Macon County Line was a huge hit and made him millions.

Max, now 85, had plans to use the show’s theme and characters for casinos, theme parks, restaurants and cosmetics, but he and CBS went through several lawsuits and his plans fell through.As far as his love life is concerned, Max married Joanne Kathleen in 1996 and their marriage lasted for five years. In 2008, his girlfriend, Chere Rhodes, a 30-year-old Californian model, reportedly shot herself in the chest. She also had other relationships.The 85-year-old has led a quiet life in Tahoe for the past few years and not much is known about his activities or health.We wish Max all the best and thank him for all the laughs he has given us over the years.

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