Max Baer Jr.: ''Television is a great medium to die in.''

Jethro wasn't afraid to speak his mind.

No matter how successful an actor is on the television series that made them famous, it doesn't guarantee that they'll continue to make it in the business. Television is a fickle thing, and success once does not mean success forever. 

Such was the case for Max Baer Jr., who initially struggled to find new roles after he finished his run as Jethro Bodine in The Beverly Hillbillies. However, according to an article in the Republican and Herald, Baer was able to take the difficulties in stride, and actually find a way to become even more successful than he was during his time on Hillbillies through his work in film.

After all of this, Baer certainly wasn't upset at what he'd lost through the medium of television; quite the opposite, really. He emphasized, "There isn't enough money in that entire black tower to get me back to television." The black tower he specifically mentioned was actually the executive building on the Universal Studio lot. 

The film provided a new opportunity for Baer to sit in the driver's seat of his own destiny for once, a shift that he found very agreeable. He said, "I'm not bitter way. Not now. I can call the shots. I'm making films I love and I'm making them my way." Baer found success with films like Macon County Line and The Wild McCullochs.

But just because Baer wasn't crying over any missed television opportunities, it didn't mean he had zero issues with television as a whole. He commented, "Most of it [television] is so false. It doesn't build ideas or careers." Baer's own series The Beverly Hillbillies wasn't exempt from his criticism, as Baer called his time on the show "nine years of pap." 

He continued, "The stories reflected the American nightmare, not the American Dream." He continued, "Television is a great medium to die in."

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3 Comments

Fred_Clampett 6 months ago
Baer played Jethro too well I think, so he was typecast. Had he been on any other TV show, everyone would have referred to the character he played as Jethro. I'm sure I would have.
cperrynaples 6 months ago
Technically, Baer is suffering Pernell Roberts syndrome in that he is the last surviving Hillbilly!
Runeshaper 6 months ago
Interesting insight. I'm glad Max Baer Jr. found what made him happy (-:
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