Buddy Baer

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Buddy Baer
Real nameJacob Henry Baer
Height6 ft 6.5 in (1.99 m)
Reach84 in (213 cm)
NationalityUnited States American
Born(1915-06-11)June 11, 1915
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
DiedJuly 18, 1986(1986-07-18) (aged 71)
Martinez, California, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights58
Wins by KO47

Jacob Henry "Buddy" Baer (June 11, 1915 – July 18, 1986[1]) was an American boxer and later an actor in films and on television.

In 2003, Baer was chosen for the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. He was the younger brother of boxing heavyweight champion Max Baer, and the uncle of actor Max Baer, Jr. Buddy Baer, like his brother and nephew, also pursued acting.

Boxing career[edit]

Standing at 6' 6½" (1.99 m), Baer fought from 1934 to 1942 and was one of the best punchers of his time. He knocked out colorful contender Tony Galento. The highlight of his boxing career occurred in his unsuccessful attempts to win the heavyweight boxing championship from Joe Louis. In their first fight, Baer caught Louis with a big left hook in the first round and knocked the champion out of the ring. Louis, however, climbed back in before the count of ten and eventually won the fight on a disqualification. Baer had claimed later in the bout that he had been hit and knocked down after the bell rang to end the seventh round. After he had refused to come out for the next round, the referee disqualified Buddy. In their rematch, Louis knocked Baer out in the first. Baer subsequently remarked, "The only way I could have beaten Louis that night was with a baseball bat."

Professional boxing record[edit]

Buddy Baer fought 62 fights with only 7 losses.[2]

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
62 Loss 55–7–0 United States Joe Louis KO 1 (15), 2:56 Jan 9, 1942 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. For The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles. Retired after bout.
? Loss ?–6–0 United States Joe Louis DQ 7 (15), 3:00 May 23, 1941 United States Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C., U.S. For The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles;

Baer disqualified after his manager refused to leave the ring. Referee: Arthur Donovan

? Win ?–5–0 United States Tony Galento TKO 7 (?) ? United States Uline Arena, Washington, D.C., U.S. Opponent unable to continue due to broken hand

After boxing[edit]

Buddy retired after the second Louis bout and joined the United States Army during World War II, as did his brother Max. After the war Buddy appeared in films and TV, owned a bar in Sacramento, California, with Fred Cullincini and worked as a marshal at the California State Legislature.

Buddy appeared in several films. In 1949, Baer had a bit role in the Abbott and Costello romp Africa Screams. He also appeared in Flame of Araby, Quo Vadis, Jack and the Beanstalk (another Abbott & Costello film), The Big Sky, Slightly Scarlet, Giant from the Unknown, Snow White and the Three Stooges, and in Jubilee Trail.

Baer's television credits include guest roles on the Adventures of Superman, Captain Midnight, Cheyenne, Circus Boy, Climax!, Have Gun – Will Travel, Peter Gunn, Rawhide, Sky King, Wagon Train, Tales of the Vikings, Toast of the Town, and in the adventure series Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Baer also had a memorable character role on a 1957 episode of the series Gunsmoke. In that episode, titled "Never Pester Chester", he portrays a bully who almost kills Marshal Matt Dillon's trusty jailhouse assistant Chester Goode, an assault that unleashes the Dodge City marshal's fury for revenge.[3]

Buddy Baer died on July 18, 1986, in Martinez, California. His body is buried in East Lawn Sierra Hills Memorial Park in Sacramento. Both Buddy and his brother Max were known as the "professional good guys" or "the genial giants". After their deaths, Sacramento sports reporter Billy Conlin wrote, "When they died, the 'sweet science' lost two of the sweetest!"[4]

Partial filmography[edit]


In 1958 Baer appeared in an episode of the syndicated Adventures of Superman TV series, playing the role of Atlas, a circus strongman, who is duped by his fellow circus performers into stealing for them. They tell him that Superman is a crook and that he can help right the Man of Steel's wrongs by doing so.


  1. ^ "Buddy Baer, Ex-Boxer, Dies; Lost Two Fights to Joe Louis". The New York Times (National ed.). July 20, 1986. p. 1001022.
  2. ^ "Jacob 'Buddy' Baer, the 'Gentle Giant' of professional boxing..." UPI. July 19, 1986. Baer's overall record was 55-7 with 43 knockouts.
  3. ^ "Never Pester Chester", episode of Gunsmoke originally broadcast November 16, 1957. Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Seattle, Washington. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. ^ Shock (1998). "Jacob Henry 'Buddy' Baer", Find a Grave online memorial 3189 with photographs and biographical profile established July 17, 1998. Find a Grave is a subsidiary of Ancestry.com, Lehi, Utah. Last retrieved August 7, 2017.

External links[edit]