Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$50 Million
Dec 4, 1937 (86 years old)
6 ft 3 in (1.93 m)
Screenwriter, Actor, Film Producer, Film director
United States of America
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What is Max Baer Jr.'s Net Worth?

Max Baer, Jr. is an American actor, producer, director, and screenwriter who has a net worth of $50 million. Max Baer Jr. is best known for playing the dimwitted Jethro Bodine on the television sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies." While the role brought him legions of fans, it also brought his acting career to a relative standstill, as he was subsequently offered similar roles for the rest of his career. He shifted his focus to directing and producing, and went on to shoot some of the most financially successful films in Hollywood's history. His 1974 film, "Macon County Line", held the record for the highest grossing film per dollar invested until the "Blair Witch Project" was released in 1999. He also produced, directed, and acted in the films "The Wild McCullochs" and "Ode to Billy Joe." Among his other ventures, Baer has been involved in the gambling industry, and unsuccessfully attempted to develop a "Beverly Hillbillies"-themed hotel and casino in the 00s.

Early Life and Education

Max Baer Jr. was born on December 4, 1937 in Oakland, California to Mary Sullivan and former world heavyweight champion boxer Max Baer. He is of German Jewish and Irish descent, and has two siblings named James and Maude. As an adolescent, Baer attended Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, where he excelled in multiple sports. Twice, he won the junior title at the Sacramento Open golf tournament. For his higher education, Baer attended Santa Clara University.

Television Beginnings

Baer began acting on television in the early 1960s with guest roles on various shows. He appeared in episodes of "Maverick," "Surfside 6," "Cheyenne," "Hawaiian Eye," "77 Sunset Strip," "Bronco," and "Sugarfoot," among other shows.

The Beverly Hillbillies

Baer rose to national fame in 1962 when he was cast as the dimwitted Jethro Bodine on the CBS sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies." He played a relative of Buddy Ebsen's Jed Clampett, the patriarch of a poor backwoods family that relocates to Beverly Hills, California. Other main actors on the show included Donna Douglas, as Elly May; Irene Ryan, as Granny; Raymond Bailey, as Mr. Drysdale; and Nancy Kulp, as Jane Hathaway.

A major hit with audiences, "The Beverly Hillbillies" ran for nine seasons until its cancellation in 1971. It ranked in the top 20 of the most-watched television shows for eight of its seasons, and ranked number one during its first two seasons. The show amassed a total of seven Emmy Award nominations during its run.


Further Television Career

After the end of "The Beverly Hillbillies," Baer appeared in the television film "The Birdmen," starring Doug McClure and René Auberjonois, and produced the television film "Two for the Money." Subsequently, he appeared in two episodes of the ABC anthology series "Love, American Style." Having mostly focused on big-screen work during the decade, Baer returned to television in 1979 with a guest role on ABC's "Fantasy Island." In the early 80s, he was in the television films "The Asphalt Cowboy" and "The Circle Family." Later that decade, Baer appeared in episodes of the crime drama series "Matt Houston" and "Murder, She Wrote."

Film Career

Baer had his first big-screen role in the 1967 Western "A Time for Killing," starring Glenn Ford and Inger Stevens. He went on to branch out into producing, screenwriting, and directing in the 70s. With director Richard Compton, he co-wrote the screenplay to the 1974 film "Macon County Line"; Baer also produced the film and played the role of Deputy Reed Morgan. "Macon County Line" was hugely profitable, grossing $30 million on a budget of just $225,000. Next, Baer wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the 1975 film "The Wild McCullochs." He subsequently produced, directed, and appeared in 1976's "Ode to Billy Joe," named after Bobbie Gentry's hit song. The film, which stars Glynnis O'Connor and Robby Benson, was another commercial success for Baer. He went on to direct the 1979 comedy "Hometown U.S.A.," his final work as a director.

Gambling Industry

Baer first became involved in the gambling industry in the early 1990s. Having noticed that tourists were paying to take a tour of the Ponderosa Ranch, which had been used in the television show "Bonanza," he realized he could be making money off of "Beverly Hillbillies"-themed attractions. In response, he bought the sublicensing rights to the show from CBS. By the end of the 1990s, Baer had 65 "Beverly Hillbillies" slot machines installed across multiple casinos.

In 2003, Baer attempted to expand the casino presence of "The Beverly Hillbillies" brand by redeveloping a former Walmart in Carson City, Nevada into a "Beverly Hillbillies" hotel and casino. However, he was unsuccessful due to building code conflicts. Baer later tried to resurrect his plan on another parcel of land in Nevada, where he sought to create a 40,000-square-foot gambling area with slot machines and various eateries. There was also to be a 200-foot-tall mock oil derrick spouting a flame. This plan, too, was suspended, mired in litigation with the developer and Douglas County.

Personal Life

Baer married Joanne Hill in 1966; they divorced in 1971. Later in his life, Baer was in a relationship with model Chere Rhodes, with whom he lived in Lake Tahoe. Rhodes, 40 years his junior, killed herself in early 2008.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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