He shot to fame as ‘Jethro Bodine’ in The Beverly Hillbillies. Today, he’s the only surviving cast member of that great show. Take a deep breath before you see him aged 85

“Max Baer did well as Jethro because he didn’t come across as so stupid that you didn’t like him,” she remarked in the book Dashing, Daring, and Debonair: TV’s Greatest Male Legends from the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies. “He was and still is difficult to deal with. Yet we were all like a family. Max could complain about any of us (for whatever cause), but he must not allow anyone else to say anything about us. Max would never let that person take it. He’d defend us as though we were a real family.” Donna Douglas died in 2015 at 82, leaving Baer Jr as the show’s only surviving cast member.

Baer Jr.’s buddy and TV historian Jeffrey D. Dalrymple agrees. “You thought Uncle Jed, Granny, and cousin Elly May were his family because they were so good at it,” he adds. “And Max could mix in with the other cast members without overplaying or underplaying Jethro. He was and still is a good performer and a decent guy.” Baer Jr., in addition to being a recognized star on The Beverly Hillbillies, had a keen interest in sports, much like his father, who was a professional boxer. Max Bear used to make a living by wandering across town and collecting garbage from restaurants. He earned 35 cents every night and worked seven nights per week.