‘Leave It To Beaver’: Where Are They Now?

by | July 14, 2010 at 7:57 PM | Where Are They Now

'Leave It To Beaver's Jerry Mathers circa 1957 (CBS)

'Leave It To Beaver's Jerry Mathers circa 1957 (CBS)

At age 94, Cleaver family matriarch Barbara Billingsley was unable to attend a reunion of ‘Leave It to Beaver‘ cast members held in Los Angeles.

But she is apparently still close to her TV sons and their pals from the classic family sitcom in which they all starred more than 50 years ago.

“My favorite person in the world is Barbara,” said Ken Osmond, 67, who played unctuous Eddie Haskell on “Beaver.” Osmond was one stage at the Paley Center for Media in L.A. last month, along with Jerry Mathers (Beaver), 62, Tony Dow (the Beav’s big bro, Wally), 65, and Frank Bank (pal Lumpy Rutherford), 67.

“She always says she has four boys, and they are always Jerry, Tony, Kenny and I,” Bank said at the reunion, according to an account in the L.A. Times.

The four actors, who are still close friends, were brought together to reminisce about the show and mark the release of a new DVD set – the first complete set of all 234 ‘Beaver’ episodes, ‘Leave It to Beaver: The Complete Series.’

Here They Are Now: Frank Bank (Lumpy), Jerry Mathers (Beaver), Tony Dow (Wally) and Ken Osmond (Eddie) (Photo: Kevin Parry/The Paley Center for Media)

Here’s what the ‘Beaver’ boys are up to now:

Jerry Mathers: He still acts occasionally, having been seen as recently as 2006 playing a high school principal in the Fox comedy ‘The War at Home.’ Mathers is also a spokesman and lecturer on the subject of diabetes, with which he was diagnosed in 1996. Fun fact: In 2007, he turned up on Broadway, taking over the role of Tracy Turnblad’s father in ‘Hairspray.’

Tony Dow: The man who will be forever known as Wally Cleaver last appeared on TV in 1999, in a guest-starring role on ‘Diagnosis: Murder.’ He’s been much busier as a director, helming episodes of the short-lived comedy ‘Manhattan, AZ,’ the sitcom version of ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,’ ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Babylon 5.’ In his spare time, he works as a sculptor. Fun fact: Dow was a championship diver as a California teen when he began his acting career.

Ken Osmond: TV’s Eddie Haskell quit acting when he was a young man and joined the Los Angeles Police Department. He served 18 years, starting in 1970, until he was shot in the line of duty. OsmondĀ  took three bullets in a chase with a suspected car thief but his bullet-proof vest saved his life. Today, he manages rental properties around L.A. and appears at pop culture conventions and ‘Beaver’ reunions. Fun fact: Osmond is the subject of an intriguing, but wholly untrue, urban legend that he grew up to become John Holmes, the notorious porn star.

Frank Bank: Except for returning to play grown-up Lumpy in 1985′s ‘The New Leave It to Beaver,’ Bank has largely stayed away from acting. He eventually went into the financial field, becoming a trader of municipal bonds and other equities in Los Angeles. He is however proud of his history as one of the stars of one of TV’s most legendary shows, and in 2002, he published his memoirs, titled ‘Call Me Lumpy: My Leave It To Beaver Days and Other Wild Hollywood Life.’ Fun fact: “Lumpy Rutherford” is a competitive tournament poker player.

Ward Cleaver, the wise and knowing father of the Beav and Wally, is no longer with us. Actor Hugh Beaumont, whose career in movies began in 1940, died in 1982 at the age of 73.

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