Leave it to Beaver 50th Anniversary – 2007 – Good Morning America
Happy anniversary Leave it to Beaver! Our very first episode aired on October 4, 1957 and we then shot 235 episodes. The last first-run was in June of 1963. The show then went into re-runs and is still airing today…the longest running scripted show in television history!
Leave it to Beaver has had a great run and it is still relevant and humorous. I am glad to have had the privilege of being a part of this iconic television phenomenon which has made me friends all over the world. I truly treasure all my memories of the cast, crew and fans, many of whom are lifelong friends. When I look back, all of this has contributed to a great life!
So sorry — The video has some technical difficulties. Not available anymore for screening.
Here is footage of me riding in a car with Barbara Billingsley for an Easter Parade in Beverly Hills in 1959. You can see me at :47 in to the clip. Unfortunately, there is no sound. Tony Dow and Rusty Stevens (Larry) are riding in the car after us.
This parade left from the Beverly Hilton hotel and went down Rodeo Drive. After the parade we would go back to the Hilton ballroom and I remember sitting at the table with the Hilton family. We had to get up really early and we went for several years. Do any of you remember being there???
What many people don’t know is that the character Gus (Burton Mustin) began his professional acting career at the age of 67 after director William Wyler cast him in the 1951 film Detective Story. And, did you know that he spent most of his early working years as an insurance salesman and he also had a degree in Engineering? Burt played Gus the Fireman on our show Leave it to Beaver and he was one of my favorite supporting characters.
In 1957, he made his first appearance as “Gus the Fireman” on Leave It to Beaver. He continued in the role until 1962 making a total of 15 appearances on our show. In 1960, he made his first guest appearance on The Andy Griffith Show as Jud Fletcher. Burt appeared in the role until 1966. He also portrayed “Old Uncle Joe” on two episodes of The Lucy Show in 1967. The following year, Mustin guest starred as “Grandpa Jenson” on Petticoat Junction in three episodes.
During the 1970s, Burt continued with guest roles on Love, American Style, Adam-12, and Emergency!. Known for his quick wit and song-and-dance abilities, Mustin was a frequent closing act on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson during the 1970s. From 1971 to 1976, he had a recurring role as “Justin Quigley” in five episodes of All in the Family
Burt was a very kind and gracious man and I enjoyed working with him very much. On January 28, 1977, he died in Glendale, California at the age of 94.