Saturday, November 21, 2009


A few of you out there might remember the boxer Max Baer, who won the world heavyweight championship in 1934 and, if you’re a particularly avid movie buff, you may have seen him in a couple of films: eg. The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) and the Harder They Fall (1956), although a personal favourite was Africa Screams (1949) with Abott and Costello.
And even if you have a life, or weren’t abducted by aliens any time over the past 40 years, you’ll definitely remember his son Max Baer Jnr who played Jethro in the Beverly Hillbillies.
Max Baer got a terrible plug in the 2005 movie Cinderella Man (starring Russell Crowe) although the unflattering portrayal appears to be at odds with a bloke remembered for his terrific sense of humour, who was deeply troubled by two of his opponents dying following their bouts.
Sadly, Max was only 50 when he checked into the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in November 1959 and began experiencing chest pains.
Calling the front desk, he asked for a doctor to which the desk clerk replied: “A house doctor will be right up”.
Even at the end, Max was quick with the jab:

“A house doctor? No dummy, I need a people doctor!”

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