Jerry Mathers

Leave it to Beaver 60th Anniversary!

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.

Jerry Mathers Radio Tour

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!!!

Time

Call Letters

Market

Hosts

Producer

9:00 AM ET KQRS-FM

Minneapolis, MN

Hosts:  Tom Barnard and John Lassman

 

9:10 AM ET WLUP-FM

Chicago, IL

Hosts:  Mancow and Al Roker Jr.

 

9:20 AM ET KSKS-FM

Fresno, CA

Hosts:  Gnarley Charley and Jody Jo

 

9:30 AM ET WACV-FM

Montgomery, AL

Host:  Greg Budell

 

9:40 AM ET WQMZ-FM

Charlottesville, VA.

Host:  Sherry Taylor

 

9:50 AM ET WCSX-FM

Detroit, MI

Hosts:  Jim O’Brien and Trudi

 

10:00 AM ET WEIO-FM

Jackson, TN

Hosts:  Kelly and Ken

 

10:10 AM ET WNNX-FM

Atlanta, GA

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

Boston, MA

Host:  Greg Kretschmar

 

10:40 AM ET WPYO-FM

Orlando, FL

Hosts:  Obie and Lil’ Shawn

 

10:50 AM ET WZTC-FM

Traverse City, MI

Host:  Finster

 

My Halloween episode on Ozzie and Harriet!

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,

Leave it to Beaver “Beaver Fever” t-shirts and sweatshirts!

Leave it to Beaver – “Beaver Fever” t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies for my LITB fans!

Leave it to Beaver "Beaver Fever" t-shirts and sweatshirts are available!

I’m very excited that my first ever limited edition t-shirts and sweatshirts are available for all of my Leave it to Beaver fans!  The items can be selected click in the Style box which will help you choose the items and sizes.  You can find the them here:  www.represent.com/jerry

 

My wonderful friend and mentor, Hugh Beaumont

Hugh Beaumont

Jerry Mathers and Hugh Beaumont

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!

http://www.jerrymathers.com/my-mothers-memories-of-hugh-beaumont/

 

 

The audition process for Beaver Cleaver

Here is my interview about my audition for Leave it to Beaver.  This was produced for the Archive of American Television by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Shambala photos with Tippi Hedren

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I was so happy to visit with Tippi Hedren at her beautiful Shambala preserve.  She and her staff are dedicated to allow the magnificent animals at Shambala to live out their lives with love and dignity. Each “Wild One” has the best human, nutritional, medical, emotional, and mental care possible. The great photos here were taken by Bill Dow.

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Shirley Temple photos – Santa Monica History Museum

Here are photos from the Love, Shirley Temple event I attended on June 3, 2015 at the Santa Monica History Museum. There were so many beautiful costumes from Shirley’s films.  Her mother actually had it written into her contracts that she was allowed to keep the clothes that she wore.  The red carpet photo includes from left to right Kate Linder, me, Margaret O’Brien, Steve Railsback, Gigi Perrault and Kevin Dobson.  There is also a photo of Shirley’s children, Susan Black-Falaschi and Charles Black Jr.  and a photo of actress Jane Withers holding a picture of her and Shirley together.

The event is scheduled through June 10th.

Happy Birthday Tony Dow!

Tony and Jerry
Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow

As most people know, Tony Dow was my big brother on Leave it to Beaver.  Ironically, he was really “the Beaver” in his real life family because he only had an older brother and he was the youngest.  I on the other hand was the eldest of my 4 siblings so I actually was the “Wally” in my real family.

How Tony Dow got the part on Leave it to Beaver

Tony was a phenomenal athlete and had trained to be a swimmer and diver from a very early age.  He received many accolades and awards through the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) including Junior Olympics diving champion.  Before Leave it to Beaver, he had hopes of someday competing in the Olympics.  Although I had been an actor since the age of 2 years old, Tony’s only acting job prior to Leave it to Beaver was in a pilot for a television series similar to Tarzan where he played the “Boy” character.  The show did not sell and Tony’s second foray into acting on television was in Leave it to Beaver.  He wasn’t in our original pilot which was called “It’s a Small World.”  The boy who played Wally grew about 5 inches between the time the pilot was filmed and we went into production of the series.  He was almost as tall as Hugh Beaumont so the producers decided to put out another casting call for a boy who was more height appropriate for that age.  Tony’s true life ability as an athlete was a perfect fit for Wally, he was cast for the part, and the rest is television history!

– Leave it to Beaver DVD’s, Jerry Mathers movies, and other favorite tv shows!  www.jerrymathers.com/dvds-and-more/

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