Sunday, July 31, 2011

J.R. Ewing is returning to television - but is it a good idea to bring back Dallas?

Larry Hagman and Linda Gray

So Dallas is coming back after all these years.  It will return to the screen in the summer of 2012 on the TNT cable network.  Filming began in Texas in April and the pilot episode will be aired this autumn.  79-year-old Larry Hagman will reprise his role as the dastardly oilman J.R. Ewing.  Patrick Duffy, 62, will return as J.R.’s younger brother, Bobby Ewing, and Linda Gray will be back as Sue Ellen, J.R.’s alcoholic former wife. 

Linda Gray, now 70, credits her Dallas storyline for making it easier to discuss the issues associated with alcohol abuse.  Linda told the British Weekend magazine:  “Nowadays , if you have a problem with alcohol, it’s easier to get help, but  then it was like you had leprosy and people would say to me, ‘Because of Sue Ellen, I went to Alcoholics Anonymous.’  It felt good that we were helping in some way.”
Some members of the original cast can’t or won’t appear in the new series.  Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Miss Ellie, the matriarch of Ewing clan, passed away on August 8, 2005 at the age of 82.  Victoria Principal, who portrayed Pamela Barnes Ewing, left the show in 1987 and did not appear in either of the two Dallas reunion shows;  “J.R. Returns” (1996) and “The War of the Ewings” (1998).  She is not slated to appear in the new Dallas.  Neither is Priscilla Presley who portrayed Bobby’s old flame, Jenna Wade. 
Dallas debuted in 1978 on CBS and had 13-year run.  Two decades have passed since the series ended in 1991.  A whole generation has no memory of the wildly popular “Who Shot J.R?” plot line of 1980.  In November of that year, after a delay due to a writer’s strike, millions of viewers tuned in find the answer.  J.R.’s sister-in-law, Kristin Shepard (played by Mary Crosby, Bing’s daughter) was the one who did the deed.  It was really no surprise to anyone who had read that Mary Crosby was planning to leave the show.  Kristin, Sue Ellen's sister and J.R.'s jilted mistress, was found floating dead in the Ewing swimming pool.
Then, of course, there was the infamous 1985-1986 season of Dallas.  The whole lacklustre season was explained away as a dream.  During the previous season, Bobby Ewing had been “killed” in a hit-and-run accident.  Without Patrick Duffy, ratings sagged.  Larry Hagman urged Duffy to rejoin the cast and he eventually agreed to so.  The 1986-87 season opened with Bobby very much alive and soaping himself in the shower.  His death and all the events of the 1985-86 season had been a dream of ex-wife Pam.  Although pleased to see Bobby Ewing again, viewers scratched their heads and groaned.
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of reprising old shows, especially ones that have been off the air for two decades.  The new series will succeed only if it is deemed fresh and relevant.   The original Dallas reflected the “greed is good” mentally of the Reagan era.   The United States is now struggling to recover from a nightmarish recession and it is also in the midst of a debt crisis.  Will contemporary viewers be attracted to a show about a family of filthy rich Texas oil barons living on a luxurious ranch called Southfork? 
Older viewers who were fans of the original show will undoubtedly tune in, but the success of the show ultimately depends on two criteria.  The first is the quality of the writing.  The second measure of success hinges on attracting younger viewers – the 20 to 35 year old demographic.  That is why the performances of the newcomers are so important.  The new Dallas will feature the next generation of Ewing oilmen and women.  It will focus on John Ross Ewing, son of J.R. and Sue Ellen.  The stories will revolve around the conflict between John Ross and his cousin, Christopher Ewing, the adopted son of Bobby and his former wife, Pam.  Christopher is also the biological son of the late Kristin Shepard. 
John Ross and Christopher will be smitten with the same woman, Elena Ramos, played by Jordana Brewster.  The situation poses a real dilemma for Christopher since he is engaged to Rebecca Sutter (Julie Gunzalo).
Actor and singer Josh Henderson will portray John Ross.  Dallas-born Henderson, 29, is best known for his role as Austin McCann on Desperate Housewives.  Christopher will be played by 32-year-old Jesse Metcalfe.  Coincidentally, Metcalfe is also a former cast member of Desperate Housewives. He played John Rowland on the series. 
Brazilian-American actress Jordan Brewster, 31, has appeared as Mia Toretto in three instalments of the Fast and Furious film series.  Argentine-born Julie Guzalo has played Parker Lee in the television series  Veronica Mars and Maggie Dekker in the 2008-09 series Eli Stone

Brenda Strong has been cast as Ann Ewing, Bobby's new wife.  Brenda is yet another former member of the cast of Desperate Housewives.  She portrayed Mary Alice Young on the show. 

The new cast of Dallas

To watch a video preview of the new Dallas, click on the link below.  

 - Joanne

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Valerie Harper: Mary's best friend, Rhoda

Recently I have been watching reruns of Rhoda on Comedy Gold.  As a result, I’ve found myself thinking about Valerie Harper and what she’s been up to lately.  Since I am not a regular viewer of Desperate Housewives, I did not realize that Valerie had been a guest star on an episode of the popular sitcom.  The episode is titled “Where Do I Belong” and it aired on January 9, 2011.  Valerie portrayed Susan Delfino’s (Teri Hatcher) Aunt Claire.  In the episode, Susan undergoes dialysis while awaiting a kidney transplant.  She receives a visit in the hospital from her mother, Sophie (Leslie Ann Warren), who is accompanied by Aunt Claire (Valerie Harper).

Valerie and Leslie Ann in Desperate Housewives

Valerie Harper is now 71 years old.  She was born in Suffern, Rockland County, New York on August 22, 1939.  Her Canadian-born mother, Iva, was a nurse and her father, Howard Donald Harper, was a lighting salesman. 

Valerie's career runs the gamut from stage to television and feature films.  She started out as a dancer/showgirl with the Corps de Ballet at Radio City Music Hall.  She gradually moved on to acting in regional theatre.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the aspiring actress danced on Broadway.  She appeared in the musical L'l Abner and in several shows for famed choreographer Michael Kidd.  Her Broadway performances included Wildcats with Lucille Ball and Take Me Along with Jackie Gleason.  Valerie also performed with the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago.  

Valerie Harper caught the eye of casting agent Ethel Winant while performing in a small theatre in Los Angeles.  Winant called her to audition for a role on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  She won the part and from 1970 until 1974, she portrayed wise-cracking Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary Richards`neighbour and closest friend.  Rhoda, a window dresser  for a Minneapolis department store, was a single Jewish woman in her 30s.  Unlike Mary, the Bronx-born Rhoda desperately sought a husband and eventually found one back home in New York City during a visit with her family. 

Rhoda's sister Brenda introduced her to curly-haired Joe Gerard, the divorced owner of the New York Wrecking Company.  A romance blossomed and Rhoda, decided to leave Minneapolis and return to the Big Apple permanently.  Her character became the focus of a new spin-off sitcom called Rhoda.

Rhoda made its debut on CBS on September 9, 1974 with Valerie Harper in the lead.role.  Three weeks later, on October 28, 1974, viewers were treated to a full-hour special episode of the series in which Rhoda and Joe were married.  The newlyweds moved into Brenda's apartment building and Rhoda became stepmother to Joe's 10 year-old son, Donny.

After two year of stories about a happily married couple, the producers of Rhoda determined that that Joe and Rhoda should break up.  They decided they would have more flexibility and more storylines open to them if they concentrated on Rhoda and her sister Brenda as two single women trying to cope.  Soon after the 1976-1977 season, Rhoda and Joe separated.  The Gerards eventually divorced and Joe was gradually phased out of the show.  CBS cancelled Rhoda in December of 1978. 

In 1986, Valerie Harper returned to television comedy in a series called Valerie.  She starred as Valerie Hogan, the harried matriarch of a family living in the Chiago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois.  The Hogan household also consisted of husband Michael (Josh Taylor), an airline pilot who was frequently away on flights, teenage son David (Jason Bateman) and fraternal twins Willie and Mark (Danny Ponce and Jeremy Licht). 

In the autumn of 1987, Valerie suddenly walked off the show during a much-publicized salary  dispute.  She was immediately fired.  The producers decided to continue the show without her and renamed it Valerie's Family.  Harper successfully sued Lorimar Productions for breach of contract.  In June of 1988, the name of the sitcom was changed yet again, this time to The Hogan Family.  Valerie's character was written off the show as having died and Sandy Duncan joined the cast as Michael's divorced sister. The Hogan Family aired until 1991. 

In 1995 Valerie Harper appeared in six episodes of The Office.  She played the role of Rita Stone.  In 2000 Valerie reunited with Mary Tyler Moore in a made-for-television movie titled Mary and Rhoda.  The two old friends find themselves single with daughters in college.  Mary Richards  returns to New York after months in Europe following the sudden death of her Congressman husband in a rock-climbing accident.  Rhoda also returns to New York from Paris after divorcing her second husband, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Rousseau.  She is trying to establish herself in a new career as a photographer.

Valerie Harper in 2007

Valerie Harper has been married twice.  She met her first husband, actor Richard Schaal at Second City.  They wed on January 29, 1964.  The couple did not have any children and divorced in 1978.  On April 8, 1987, the Valerie married producer Tony Cacciotti.  They adopted a daughter, Cristina Cacciotti, born in 1983.  Cristina is an actress.

Valerie Harper is an activist and a strong advocate of women's rights.  She supported the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The actress is a devoted member of the Screen Actors Guild.  She ran for its presidency in the 2001 election, but lost to Melissa Gilbert. 

In 2010, Valerie starred on Broadway as Tallulah Bankhead in Matthew Lombardo's stage production of Loop.  She performed at the Lyceum Theatre on West 45th Street.

I took a look at Valerie Harper's official website and discovered that she recently filmed two television movies and that there will be an update on Facebook as to when they will be aired.  I also learned that Valerie filmed an episode of Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime.  She believes it will be aired on September. 11.


David Groh

Actor, producer and director David Groh, who played Rhoda's husband Joe Gerard on the series died of kidney cancer on February 12, 2008.  He was 68 years old at the time of his death.  Groh left the show in 1977 after the break-up of his character and Rhoda.

Nancy Walker

Nancy Walker, who portrayed Rhoda`s meddling mother, Ida Morgenstern, died of lung cancer in Studio City, California on March 25, 1992.  She was 69 years old and had been co-starring in the situation comedy True Colors.  From 1971 until 1976, the hard-working Walker also played a regular role on the Rock Hudson detective series, McMillan & Wife.  She portrayed Mildred, the Mcmillan's housekeeper.

The talented Walker earned an Emmy nominaton for her performance in "The Separation," the 1976-1977 season premiere episode of Rhoda.  In the episode, Ida learned about Joe and Rhoda's separation as she was about to leave on a year-long vacation.

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner played the role of Rhoda`s younger sister, bank teller Brenda Morgenstern.  Julie later became famous for providing the raspy voice of blue-haired Marge Simpson on the animated television show The Simpsons.  Kavner, born September 7, 1950, is now 60 years old.  Rhoda marked her first professional acting role. 

She orignianlly auditioned for a guest-spot on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but producer David Davis cast another actress instead.  Davis, who co-wrote the pilot to Rhoda, remembered Kavner's audition and called her back to play the part of Brenda. 
As it turned out, Davis became Kavner's boyfriend and the two have been together since the 1970s. 

Of Rhoda, Julie is quoted by Tim Lammers in an April 21, 2009 posting on the website LifeWhile as saying, "The writing was phenomenal - the show still holds up, except for the '70s wardrobe."  She described the series as "the true definition of a situation comedy."  She said, "The comedy arose from the situations.  The funniness came from the characters.  It was real.  The writing came from a real sense of these people." 

For her portrayal of the insecure Brenda Morgenstern, Kavner received four Primetime Emmy Award norminations for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.  She won the Emmy in 1978.

In the 1980s and '90s, Julie appeared in a string of Woody Allen movies.  After watching her on Rhoda in the 1970s, Woody was impressed and later offered her a part in his 1986 film, Hannah and Her Sisters.  She agreed to take the part and it gave her career a much-need boost at the time.

In 1987 Julie was cast as Tracey Ullman's sidekick on Fox TV's Tracey Ullman Show.  It was a comedy/variety series in which Kavner had the opportunity to play a host of different characters. 
The show also led to Julie's voicing of the Marge Simspon character.

The Simpsons was originally a series of animated shorts on the Ullman program.  The producers decided to ask Kavner and castmate Dan Castellaneta to provide the voices for Marge and Homer Simpson instead of hiring new actors.

Julie Kavner became very wealthy as the voice of Marge Simpson.  She leads a very private life and makes few public appearances.

Harold Gould

Harold Gould portrayed Rhoda`s father, Martin Morgenstern, on both The Mary Tyler Moore Sho and Rhoda. Gould, whose real name was Harold Goldstein lived in Los Angeles with his wife, Lea.  He died of prostate cancer on September 11, 2010 at the age  of 86.

Lorenzo Music

We can't forget Carlton, the doorman at Brenda's apartment building.  Carlton was never seen on screen but was voiced by Lorenzo Music.  Brenda and Rhoda were constantly speaking on the intercom to the drunken, annoying doorman.  He would always preface his announcements with, "Hello, this is Carlton your doorman." 

Lorenzo Music was an actor, producer and writer.  He passed away on August 4, 2,001 due to complications from lung and bone cancer.  He was 64.  Lorenzo also provided the voice for Garfield the Cat.

To watch a promo for the 35th anniversary DVD edition of the first season of Rhoda, click on the link below.

Kavner (left) and Mary Tyler Moore in Rhoda

EDITOR'S UPDATE: January 18, 2013 - Valerie Harper, a lifelong non-smoker, has opened up about her battle with lung cancer.  At the end of her new memoir, I, Rhoda, Harper reveals that in March of 2009, she was admitted to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles under the name Valerie McConnell (her mother's maiden name was McConnell).  She was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in her lung and underwent surgery to remove part of the lung.  She now wants to promote early detection of cancer.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: March 6, 2013 - Valerie Harper, 73, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  She was given the terrible news in January.  Of her diagnosis, she told People magazine, "I don't think of dying.  I think of being here now."  

EDITOR'S UPDATE: August 31. 2013 - Valerie Harper has received some really good news.  On August 29th, the Today show broadcast a segment from "Valerie Harper's Story - A Meredith Vieira Special" in which her physician, neuro-oncologist Dr. Jeremy Rudnick, stated that the actress is "getting pretty close to a remission."  He added, "It defies the odds."  NBC will broadcast the full hour-long documentary on Valerie's battle with brain cancer on September 19th.

EDITOR'S UPDATE:  September 7, 2013 - On September 4, 2013, it was announced on Good Morning America that Valerie Harper, 74, and actress Leah Remini, 43, will take part in the 17th season of Dancing With the Stars, the popular TV dance competition.  Valerie told Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts that the brain scans she has every two months "are looking better and better."  She stated that her doctors "are just delighted that I am moving in the right direction."

EDITOR'S UPDATE:  Valerie Harper passed away on August 30, 2019 in Los Angeles.  She was 80 years old.

-  Joanne

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Update on Kristy and Jimmy McNichol

On March 31, 2011, I wrote about Kristy McNichol and why she gave up her acting career .  There continues to be a great deal of reaction to what I wrote over three months ago.  It seems that many people have a keen interest in Kristy and her brother Jimmy.   Several readers commented about how much they enjoyed Kristy's acting and how they hoped she would return to the screen.  Some wished her happiness in whatever she was doing.  Apparently, Kristy evokes fond memories of younger days in the 1970s and and 1980s.  Some readers lamented their lost youth and expressed a desire to turn back the clock. 

As Kristy herself stated, she had to leave acting for her health and well-being.  She has bipolar disorder.  As anyone suffering with this affliction or any mental illness can attest, it is an extremely difficult struggle.  The stress of an acting career was just too overwhelming for her.  Perhaps, she  will return to acting some day.  It's her choice, though,  depending on the state of her mental health.  She'll be 49 years old in September, so she won't be playing any teen roles anymore.

It was pointed out to me that in 2008 Kristy attempted to get on Dancing With the Stars.  She was slated to appear in a segment with Florence Henderson of The Brady Bunch.  The network decided not to go through with it.  I was aware of that, but did not mention it in my posting.

Many are curious as to whether Kristy is married.  The answer to that is NO.  She has never taken the vows of matrimony. 


Thank you TV Banter readers for all your feedback.  I really enjoy reading your comments.  Now I'm wondering if you can assist me in setting the record straight.  In my entry of March 31, I also wrote about Kristy's brother, Jimmy McNichol.  I mentioned that he married Renee in 1997 and that he is the father of two children, a son named Nash and a daughter named Ellis.  A reader informed me that Jimmy and his wife are divorced.  I am trying to find out if the reader is correct.  According to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMdb), Jimmy is still married.  So far, I cannot find anything online that says he is divorced.  I don't want to pay for access to the California divorce records.  Unless it was a secret divorce, it should be mentioned on the web.  If any readers can enlighten me, please do so.  I'd be happy to hear from you.  So far, I have not found any evidence that Jimmy McNIchol is divorced.  By the way, Jimmy was born on July 2, 1961.  He recently celebrated his 50th birthday.

Jimmy McNichol


* A reader mentioned that Sada Thompson, the actress who played Kristy's mother on Family, had passed away.  Sada died of lung disease on May 4, 2,011.  She was 83.  My blog entry on  Kristy appeared in March, prior to Sada's death.   

* There is some interest as to why Elayne Heilveil was replaced by Meredith Baxter in the role of Nancy Lawrence Maitland on Family.  Elayne initiated the role in 1976.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a specific reason why Elayne left the role or why she was replaced.  I did discover that Cheryl Ladd auditioned for the role of Nancy but lost out to Meredith Baxter-Birney, probably because Meredith had more experience.  The producers of Family, Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, asked Cheryl if she would take the part of Farrah Fawcett's replacement on another of their shows, Charlie's Angels.  Cheryl accepted and ended up portraying Kris Monroe, the younger sister of Farrah's character, Jill Monroe.  She joined the cast of Charlie's Angels in 1977.

To view a video of a scene with Sada Thompson and Elayne Heilveil, the original Nancy on Family, click on the link below.

Thanks again, readers.  It's great to hear from you.  Keep the banter going strong!

Editor's Update (February 2, 2013):

* Kristy McNichol "came out" as a lesbian on January 6, 2011.  She stated that she had been living with her partner, Martie Allen, for 20 years.

- Joanne

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Whatever happened to Max Baer, Jr. - Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies?

It looked so promising for Max Baer, Jr.  After all, he starred on one of the most popular shows on American television.  Yes, Max played Jethro Bodine, Jed Clampett’s dimwitted "nephew" on The Beverly Hillbillies for nine seasons (Although Jethro always referred to Jed as his "Uncle Jed," he was really the son of Jed's widowed cousin, Pearl Bodine).  At more than 6 feet, 4 inches tall, Jethro Bodine was really an overgrown child filled with wonderment.  Whenever he was happy, he would excitedly proclaim, "Hootttt dawgg!"

When the series ended in 1971, Baer was typecast and his acting career never again flourished.  In a TV interview on Fox Business, when asked about the impact playing Jethro had had on his life and career, he replied, "I couldn't lose the image even if I tried.  I tried for 10 or 15 years just to get away from the character so I could get other jobs.  But it was impossible."

Born Maximilian Adallbert Baer, Jr. on December 4, 1937 in Oakland, California, he is the son of 1930s heavyweight boxing champion Max Baer and his wife Mary Ellen Sullivan.  He has two younger siblings; a brother, James Baer (born 1941) and a sister, Maude Baer (born 1943).  Unlike his character Jethro who had a Grade 6 education, Max earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Santa Clara University in 1959. 

A 1999 article in People magazine relates how Baer rode his motorcyle to Los Angeles in 1960 and entered the Warner Brothers lot.  He was signed to a one-year contract even though, as he admitted to People, he didn't know anything about acting.  He just thought he could do it.

Max Baer spent his early years on televison playing bit parts and guest roles.  He appeared on such shows such as 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick and Hawaiian Eye.  HIs big break came in 1962 when he auditioned for a sitcom about a family of oil rich country bumpkins living in Beverly Hills.  Max had devised a backwoods accent by listing to Andy Griffith records and he was able to maintain a perpetually stupid look on his face.  It worked and he won the role of Jethro Bodine. 

Although The Beverly Hillbillies was critically panned, television audiences loved the show and Max Baer, Jr. became a celebrity.  After the series went off the air, the acting roles did not come Baer's way because producers only saw him only as Jethro.  In 1972 and 1973, he managed to appear in a few segments of Love American Style, but that was about the extent of the acting work that came his way.

A frustrated Max turned to producing his own cheaply made movies and made a great deal of money creating high-grossing, low budget films such as Macon County Line (1974) and Ode to Billy Joe (1976).  Max wrote the screenplay for Macon County Line, a film, in which  he played a Southern sheriff seeking revenge on two drifters in Georgia.  He later directed Ode to Billy Joe, starring Robby Benson, which was based on the 1967 Bobbie Gentry song of the same title.

In addition to filmmaking, Baer, Jr. set his sights on the real estate market, investing in condominiums, shopping centres and homes.  Unfortunately, his relationships with women, including his marriage, did not turn out as well as his financial investments.  In 1966, he wed Beverly Hillbillies extra Joanne Kathleen Hill (also known as Joanna Hill).  They did not have any children and were divorced in 1971.  
Two of Baer's other relationships ended disastrously.  In 1970, Max assaulted his then-girlfriend, Victoria Principal of Dallas fame.  35 years later, he told the New York Daily News that he had no regrets about hitting her because "she deserved it."  He admitted to the Daily News that he slapped the Dallas star on Sunset Blvd.  Displaying no remorse, Baer said that he was arrested but that charges were not pressed.
On January 24, 2008, Baer's girlfriend, Chere Rhodes, committed suicide at his Lake Tahoe home.  The 30 year-old Penthouse model shot herself in the chest and died three days later.  Police said no foul play was suspected and a handwritten suicide was found.

Max Baer, Jr.

In 1991, Baer purchased the rights to the "Beverly Hillbillies" name from CBS.  This means he has permission use the show's theme and its characters for casinos, theme parks, restaurants, cosmetics and consumables.  As a result, he is involved in International Game Technology's licensing of Beverly Hillbillies-themed slot machines.  In 2003, "Clampett's Cash,"  "The Bubblin' Crude" and "Moonshine Money" began appearing in Native American casinos.

For many years, Max has been trying to build Jethro's Beverly Hills Mansion and Casino in various Nevada locations.  His plans for the grandiose venture include such amenities as Granny's Vittles and Hog Jowls Coffee Shop, a bakery called Elly Mae's Buns, Jethro's "All You Kin Et" Buffet and Granny's Shot Gun Wedding Chapel.  The ambitious project, however, just can't seem to get off the ground. 
Max Baer, Jr. made news in 2005 when he objected to the portrayal of his father in the Ron Howard movie, Cinderalla Man.  Max Baer, Sr. was a controversial figure because he had a reputation of being extremely vicious in the ring.  Although Baer, Sr. had been raised a Catholic, his father, Jacob Baer, was Jewish and Max was regarded as a hero by many Jews.  In June of 1933, he defeated Hitler's favourite boxer, German heavyweight, Max Schmeling, at Yankee Stadium. He infuriated Hitler by wearing a Star of David on his boxing trunk. 

Baer, Sr. who died of a heart attack at age 50 on November 21, 1959, was depicted as a villain in Cinderella Man, a film about Depression-era boxer James J. Braddock.  Braddock, played by Russell Crowe, was the hero of the film.  His adversary, Max Baer, Sr., was presented as an ogre who laughed about killing two opponents in the ring. 

Max, Jr. felt that the film was disrespectful to the memory of his late father and he vehemently protested.  He maintained that the elder Baer was deeply affected by those ring deaths and used his winnings to provide financial support to the families of both victims.  For a while, it was Jethro versus Richie Cunningham as Baer chastised Howard in television and radio interviews.

Max Baer, Sr.

To watch a video of an interview with Max Baer, Jr. on Fox Business, click on the link below.  

To watch a video of a Las Vegas video with Max, click on the link below.    

EDITOR'S UPDATE (January 3, 2015): Max Baer, Jr. celebrated his 77th birthday on December 4, 2014.  His castmate, Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, passed away on New Year's Day, January 1, 2015.  The actress was born on September 26, 1932 (some sources say 1933) in Pride, Louisiana.  She died of pancreatic cancer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  

- Joanne