My Mother’s Memories … The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Halloween show
It was in the early 1950’s. Such a different world than our fast paced, hi tech world of today. The horrific years of WW II were finally behind us but the loss of six of my friends – on the battlefield, to the sea or in the sky will always remain in my memory.
Everyone was determined to put the war years behind them and build a better more productive life than our country had ever know. My husband Norman, a pilot in the European theatre, and I were doing just that. We lived in a little rented white bungalow in Hollywood. Norm was a teacher and coach at Notre Dame High School and I stayed home raising our two children Jerry and Susie.
Jerry had just begun modeling and doing some live TV. I think he was about four years old. One day his agent called that he was to report for work at a location fairly close to our home the next morning. It was early October. I dressed him in his everyday clothes and trekked the short distance to catch the big red streetcar that ran along Santa Monica Blvd. (remember this was the early 50’s, most families owned one car that the father took to work, the wife – me – walked or took buses or street cars). We got to the stage where Jerry was to work. It was a single building and I think was what we referred to as the old Charlie Chaplin studio (circa 1920’s). There was a little girl a few years older than Jerry who was also working, and the makeup man took them to his makeup table to get ready for the scene. I started talking to the teacher, a very nice man. (By law whenever anyone under 18 years old works on a set there must be a teacher/social worker there). He told me it was the “Ozzie and Harriet Nelson show” and what exceptionally nice boys David and Rickey were. He said they were coming later and hoped we would get to meet them.
An assistant director called the kids to the set. There was no script. Ozzie Nelson, the director, just told them to knock on the door, and when the door opened say trick or treat. I have never been on a set with such a casual, relaxed environment. It seemed they finished in no more than fifteen minutes with each clutching a bag of candy. They were told they could go home. As we were leaving, David and Ricky were just entering so we said little hi’s and goodbyes but never got to formally meet them. We boarded the streetcar for home, Jerry, a very happy little chappie, with his early start on Halloween trick or treat candy.
Here is a clip of the actual segment of Jerry in the Halloween episode called “Halloween Party.”
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rolMNY4-bKo Marilyn Mathers
Leave it to Beaver 60th Anniversary Memories
It’s hard to believe that our television show Leave it to Beaver has now been continuously airing since its premier on October 4th, 1957. For me, it has always been a great adventure. At the young age of 8 years old, I was starting on a life’s journey that has not only enriched me, but has brought me countless fans and friends all over the world. Who would have thought that such a simple tv show titled Leave it to Beaver about a boy and his brother growing up in a small town in mid- America in the 50’s and 60’s would ultimately become the longest continuously running show in television history.
As I look back over these last 60 years, the greatest gift that this wonderful program has always given me is all of the friends, fans and acquaintances that I have made who were a direct outcome of such a simple show. The Leave it to Beaver story lines were taken from real life and the situations that occurred then are still relevant and happening to children and families today. Lifestyles and fashions may have changed but the perspective of a child’s view of the adult world while growing up, is still relevant, relate-able and fun to watch. I wish to thank all of my many fans over these 60 years for enjoying the show along with me and hope that the family values of Leave it to Beaver will continue to be relevant and timeless.
I will be doing a 2-hour radio tour and talk with hosts in 12 cities from 9am to 11am EST on February 16, 2017! You can look at the chart below to see if I will be interviewed by a DJ in your city and at what time. Hope you will tune in to hear me on this special radio tour event!!!
|9:00 AM ET||KQRS-FM
|Hosts: Tom Barnard and John Lassman
|9:10 AM ET||WLUP-FM
|Hosts: Mancow and Al Roker Jr.
|9:20 AM ET||KSKS-FM
|Hosts: Gnarley Charley and Jody Jo
|9:30 AM ET||WACV-FM
|Host: Greg Budell
|9:40 AM ET||WQMZ-FM
|Host: Sherry Taylor
|9:50 AM ET||WCSX-FM
|Hosts: Jim O’Brien and Trudi
|10:00 AM ET||WEIO-FM
|Hosts: Kelly and Ken
|10:10 AM ET||WNNX-FM
|Hosts: Baily and Southside
|10:20 AM ET||WBYR-FM
Ft. Wayne, IN
|Hosts: John Arroyo and Heather Rooney
|10:30 AM ET||WGIR-FM
|Host: Greg Kretschmar
|10:40 AM ET||WPYO-FM
|Hosts: Obie and Lil’ Shawn
|10:50 AM ET||WZTC-FM
Traverse City, MI
Here I am in a Halloween episode titled “Halloween Party” on the television program “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” I filmed this before I was in Leave it to Beaver!
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is an American sitcom, airing on ABC from October 3, 1952, through April 23, 1966, starring the real-life Nelson family. After a long run on radio, the show was brought to television, where it continued its success, initially running simultaneously on radio and television. The series stars Ozzie Nelson and his wife, singer Harriet Nelson, and their young sons, David and Eric “Ricky” Nelson,
The Twist (1960) by the great Chubby Checker. Video includes dance clips from the early 60’s along with movie and television scenes.
Is this twisted or what? Take a look at the dude with the moves at time code 1:10!
“Leave It To Beaver” icon will speak at Indiana Tech University
Indiana Tech University news – February 9, 2016
American television icon, Jerry Mathers, better known as The Beaver from the late-50s/early-60s television series “Leave It To Beaver,” will be the speaker for Indiana Tech’s commencement at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, May 14, at 10:30 a.m.
Mathers entered the hearts and homes of America in 1957 as Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver. An immediate success, the show gained national attention and ran for six seasons, totaling 234 episodes. In addition to his noted works as a television actor, Mr. Mathers achieved great success on the big screen and on stage. In fact, he made his Broadway debut in 2007 as Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony-winning musical “Hairspray” at the Neil Simon Theater.
In the mid-1990s, Mr. Mathers was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He took preventive action, lost 55 pounds and is currently one of the leading lecturers on living with and dealing with diabetes. He has been invited to share his experience with diabetes on “Larry King Live” numerous times and has spoken to the congressional caucus on diabetes at the Capitol. Jerry also speaks with the media to alert individuals about the importance of early diagnosis, diet and exercise and the proper treatment of diabetes.
In 2009 and 2010, Jerry was the national spokesperson for PhRMA and their Partnership for Prescription Assistance program. This organization helps uninsured and financially struggling patients obtain prescription medicines for free or at a lower cost. The program is a nationwide effort, sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical research and manufacturing companies to raise awareness of patient assistance programs and address the rising rates of chronic disease.
“Indiana Tech is pleased to have television icon and worldwide champion for those with diabetes, Jerry Mathers, join us as this year’s commencement speaker,” said Indiana Tech President Arthur E. Snyder. “We look forward to having him join us on our university’s biggest day of the year to share his inspirational message with our students.”
How I got the name “Beaver” on “Leave it to Beaver”
Leave it to Beaver – “Beaver Fever” t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies for my LITB fans!
I actually worked with Hugh Beaumont even before we started shooting Leave it to Beaver. I was cast with him in a promotional film for Rose Hills Memorial Park. One thing I remember is that during a scene, I was supposed to cry on cue. Hugh asked me if I had ever done that before and I told him, no. He said, “Put your face into your hands and laugh really hard. It’s an old actor’s trick because the sound of laughter and crying are very closely related. Sure enough, I tried it and it worked! Here is the Rose Hills film: http://www.jerrymathers.com/hugh-beaumont-and-jerry-mathers-rose-hills-memorial-park-commercial/
When we shot the pilot of Leave it to Beaver, Hugh was not the original father. But, when they re-cast the role for the series, Hugh was one of several people brought in for an audition. My mother actually suggested for him to go in for the interview! When I saw him, I was so happy because he was the nice man that I worked with on the Rose Hills shoot. So, when we read a short scene together, we had a good chemistry and Hugh got the part of Ward Cleaver. I was very glad that he was picked for the role and we had a wonderful friendship for his entire life until he passed away in 1982 from a heart attack. Hugh and my dad had become friends and he occasionally came to our house to play cards with my father and some of his friends.
What most people don’t know is that Hugh was an ordained minister before Leave it to Beaver. He graduated with a Master of Theology degree in 1946 from the University of Southern California (USC). Hugh had a long and illustrious career and did many films and television series in addition to Leave it to Beaver. One of his most famous characters was Michael Shayne who he played in 5 films. He was a hard drinking, heavy cigarette smoking detective in this part, in the style of Mickey Spillane. I think he was much more comfortable as Ward Cleaver because it fit his ‘real life” personality so much better!
As I mentioned above, here are some of my mother’s cherished memories of Hugh and how she was so instrumental in having him cast as Ward Cleaver!