Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mae West: Maxie Baer

MAE WEST always used to say, "You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough."
• • Pro boxer Maxie Baer was one of those handsome ring kings who enjoyed an intimate relationship with the Empress of Sex, and crammed a lifetime of thrills and trophies into his fifty years on earth.
• • Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Maxie Baer was born in the month of February [11 February 1909
21 November 1959] and was a boxer whose career peaked during the 1930s as well as the one-time heavyweight champ, an actor, and an entertainer.
• • For exactly one year, Baer was Heavyweight Champion of the World
from 14 June 1934, when he knocked out the massive, 125-kg (275-pound) Primo Carnera until his reign ended when he fought James J. Braddock in a Long Island bout on 13 June 1935.
• • Maxie Baer's motion picture debut was in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) opposite Myrna Loy and Walter Huston. In this MGM movie he played Steven "Steve" Morgan, a bartender that the Professor, played by Walter Huston, begins training for the ring. Steve wins a fight, then marries Belle Mercer, played by Loy. He starts seriously training, but it turns out he has a huge ego and an eye for a women. Featured were Baer's upcoming opponent, Primo Carnera, as himself, whom Steve challenges for the championship, and Jack Dempsey, as himself, former heavyweight champion, acting as the referee. The former title-holder made over a dozen motion pictures.
• • Maxie Baer married twice; his first wife was the actress Dorothy Dunbar [married July 8, 1931-divorced October 6, 1933]. Two years later, he tied the knot with Mary Ellen Sullivan [married on 29 June 1935 until his death in 1959]. With Sullivan, he had three children: actor Max Adelbert Baer Jr. (born 1937), James Manny Baer (born 1942), and Maudie Marian Baer (born 1944).
• • During a separation from his first wife, Max had hot affairs with movie queens Mae West, Jean Harlow, and Greta Garbo.
• • Maxie Baer never enjoyed the TV and movie success of his son, Max Baer Jr. (who played Jethro Bodine in the television series The Beverly Hillbillies). At the time of his death on November 21, 1959, Baer was scheduled to appear in some TV commercials
— — which he had planned to do in Los Angeles before returning to his home in Sacramento.
• • Since Max Baer, Sr. was unable to defend himself regarding Ron Howard's unflattering portrayal in Cinderella Man [2005], the task of rehabilitating his father's reputation has fallen to his son.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
Mae West.

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