Many people have wondered if Parley Baer, the actor who played Mayor Stoner on The Andy Griffith Show, was related to Max Baer, the former heavyweight boxing champion and actor. The rumors were fueled by their similar last names, physical resemblance, and involvement in show business. However, the truth is that Parley Baer and Max Baer were not related by blood or marriage. They were just two talented men who shared a common surname and profession.
Who Was Parley Baer?
Parley Baer was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 5, 1914. He studied drama at the University of Utah and began his radio career at a local station. He served as an officer in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, earning several medals and honors. After the war, he moved to Hollywood and became a prolific voice actor on radio shows such as Gunsmoke, Dragnet, Suspense, and The CBS Radio Workshop. He also appeared on stage and screen, most notably as Mayor Roy Stoner on The Andy Griffith Show from 1962 to 1965. He also had roles in films such as Gypsy, The Young Lions, Dave, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. He died on November 22, 2002, at the age of 88.
Who Was Max Baer?
Max Baer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 11, 1909. He was the son of a Jewish father and a Scots-Irish mother. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade and worked as a ranch hand and a butcher before becoming a professional boxer in 1929. He had a powerful right hand that earned him the nickname “The Livermore Larruper”. He became the heavyweight champion of the world in 1934 when he knocked out Primo Carnera. He lost his title the following year to James J. Braddock in a stunning upset that inspired the film Cinderella Man. He retired from boxing in 1941 with a record of 72 wins (53 by knockout), 13 losses, and one draw. He then pursued an acting career, appearing in films such as The Prizefighter and the Lady, Africa Screams, Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops, and The Harder They Fall. He also fathered Max Baer Jr., who became famous as Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies. He died on November 21, 1959, at the age of 50.
How Did the Rumors Start?
There is no clear evidence of how or when the rumors of Parley Baer and Max Baer being related started. However, some possible factors are:
- Their last name is not very common in the United States. According to sitename Ancestry.com, there are only about 6,000 people with the surname Baer in the country.
- They both had prominent careers in entertainment and were active around the same time period.
- They both had distinctive facial features such as prominent noses and ears.
- They both had connections to The Andy Griffith Show and The Beverly Hillbillies. Parley Baer played Mayor Stoner on the former show, while Max Baer Jr. played Jethro Bodine on the latter show.
- They both had brothers who were also involved in boxing or acting. Parley Baer’s brother was Waldo E. Baer, a boxing promoter and manager. Max Baer’s brother was Buddy Baer, a boxer and actor who appeared in films such as Quo Vadis and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Parley Baer and Max Baer were not related by blood or marriage. They were just two talented men who shared a common surname and profession. They never met each other or worked together in their lifetimes. However, they both left behind a legacy of memorable performances that entertained millions of people around the world.