Monday, June 13, 2005

Who Doesn't Love A Baer? Or His Cub?

I've been wondering for a while why the name Max Baer, the real-life boxer who is the badass that Russell "Assault With a Deadly Phone" Crowe's character in "Cinderella Man" has to fight for the championship, was so familiar to me. I mean, I knew it from a life-long adoration of all things sports-related, but it seemed to ring another dim, faint bell in my aging memory...and yeah, sure, I could've Googled the name, but that would be cheating.

So imagine my excitement when I saw the following headline and the bells went DING DING DING. The headline says it all, really:

"Jethro-Opie, Round 2"

Yes, Max Baer was the father of Jethro from the "Beverly Hillbillies," AKA Max Baer, Jr!

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Apparently he's mad as hell at "Cinderella Man"'s director, lil' Opie Cunningham, for portraying his dad as "a sadistic lout":
Howard has said he wanted the audience to view Max Baer Sr. through the eyes of hero Jimmy Braddock's terrified family.

"That's dishonest," says Baer. "As bright as Ronny is, it shows his lack of ability."

Baer is more tolerant of "Cinderella" star Russell Crowe.

Asked about Crowe's arrest last week, Baer tells us: "He's a great actor. So he was arrested."

Now here's where my like of Jethro turned into deep, everlasting love. I suppose he is trying to defend Rusty Crowe's violent tendencies with this little anectdote:
"I slapped ['Dallas' star] Victoria Principal on Sunset Blvd. back in 1970. She deserved it. She was acting like a b--. They arrested me. But the DA didn't press charges because the whole thing was bulls-."

Still, he wouldn't mind mixing it up a little with Crowe.

"He's got 30 years on me, but I'd box him three three-minute rounds," crows the man who played Jethro Bodine. "I'm 6-4 and do 300 to 400 crunches a day!"

How can you not love a man who slapped Victoria Principal on the street for being a beyotch? Or who challenges Rusty Crowe to a few rounds of boxing? Or who looks like this these days?
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So what's Jethro been up to lately? Well, he bought the sub-licensing rights to the show and is using the name to start a line of "Beverly Hillbilly" slot machines in Vegas! There's a pretty good artricle about the man, the myth, and the legend here.

Huzzahs to Max Baer, Jr.!


Greg said...

He was supposed to open a Beverly Hillbillies-themed casino a few years ago, but I guess slots were all he could get financing for.

jennifer said...

I love that you're so up on Jethro's career moves, Greg. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Another one who stays current on his Max Baer info is Boo Bear.... (perhaps I should call him Boo Baer).

He was very excited about proposed Hillbillies casino...

Spare E