Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "Leave It To Beaver”

Leave It To Beaver was a 1950's sitcom about the ‘All-American’ Cleaver family.  Mom June (Barbara Billingsley) and Dad Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont) had two sons Wally (Tony Dow), the eldest, and Theodore (Jerry Mathers) - better known as 'the Beaver'  who would came home daily with new troubles that their middle-class parents would help them solve.

The series ran for six seasons and 234 episodes first on CBS on October 4, 1957, then the next season it moved to ABC, where it stayed until completing its run on June 20, 1963. Beaver Cleaver was 7 when the series began, and his brother Wally, 12.

Beaver was a typically rambunctious youth, more interested in pet frogs than in girls, but Wally, just entering his teens, was beginning to discover other things in life. The counterpoint between the two, plus some good writing and acting, lent the series its charm.

The boys' parents, June and Ward Cleaver, were one of those nice, middle-class couples so often seen in this kind of program.

Larry, Whitey, and Gilbert (among others) were Beaver's pals, Lumpy was Wally's buddy as was Eddie Haskell who was one of the most memorable characters on the series because he was a kiss ass to the adults (“Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver”), yet a bully to little kids.

The locale was the suburban town of Mayfield where Ward worked for Mr. Rutherford (Lumpy's father) as an accountant.

The show was shot on Stage 17 at Universal between 1959 and 1963 while it’s first 2 years from 1957 were at Republic Studios.

As the years passed and Beaver got older, the stories naturally moved away from the little-boy premise until, in the final season, Beaver was about to enter his teens and Wally was ready for college.

By the start of the 1962–63 season, the show was reaching an impasse. The series was still popular with audiences, but Jerry Mathers wanted to retire from acting at the end of the sixth year to attend regular high school. As a result, Leave It To Beaver ended its network run on June 20, 1963. The series finale, "Family Scrapbook", was directed by Hugh Beaumont, written by Connelly and Mosher, and is regarded as being one of the first sitcom episodes written expressly as a series finale.

Twenty years after Leave It to Beaver ended its original run, viewers got a glimpse of what had become of the Cleavers in the March 1983 TV movie Still the Beaver. Unlike most TV reunions, this one was bittersweet. Beaver's eternal innocence had not served him well in adult life. At 33, he was out of work, had two young sons he couldn't communicate with (Corey Feldman played one of the kids) and was being divorced by his wife.

Wally was a successful attorney—in fact he handled Beaver's divorce—but he had problems at home as well. Wally's sleazy friend Eddie Haskell had become a crooked contractor. Dad was no longer around to make things right with a few words of sage advice (actor Hugh Beaumont had passed away) and he was sorely missed, by his sons and by his wife, June, who sat by his grave and said “Ward, what would you do?

Viewers ate it up, and they wanted more of the Cleaver clan.  So the movie led to a series Still the Beaver on the pay-cable Disney Channel in 1985-1986, and then The New Leave It to Beaver on cable superstation WTBS in 1986.

So what happened to the original cast?

I am surprised that they have not brought this show back AGAIN (besides that awful 1996 feature film). The Beaver could be the grandfather and talk about when he was a kid, and use flashbacks from the old series. Think a sitcom version of This Is Us.  It could work.

Fun fact, the Cleaver house that is now part of the Universal Studios Hollywood tour was not the home from the original series.  Built for the 1996 Leave it to Beaver movie, this house replaces an almost identical, older property which was known as the Paramount House (it was originally built for Desperate Hours 1955). On Desperate Housewives, it was 4352 Wisteria Lane; the home of the Young family (1990–2006), Shepherd family (2006) and Bolen family (2009).

The orignial home from the tv series was still standing in 2008, but was moved off the studio tour.

They don't make em like this anymore, and it's a fun show to look back on and see how far we have come in such a short time. Leave It To Beaver...we ❤️ ya.  📺
Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "Leave It To Beaver” Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "Leave It To Beaver” Reviewed by #IheartHollywood on January 19, 2019 Rating: 5


  1. I'm 69 and still enjoy watching the show not like the trash that is out now

    1. I agree with ANONYMOUS (July 27, 2022 at 6:56 AM)
      I wasn't born yet when "BEAVER" was on but I would rather watch these type of shows then the crap that's on tv these days.

  2. Good and informative article, with a few errors. Ward didn't work for Fred Rutherford, they were co-workers. I don't recall when they ever said exactly what Ward did at the office. He worked on "accounts" but that doesn't mean he was an accountant. It sounded more like he was an accounts manager. The writers were deliberately vague on some things. The city of Mayfield had California weather, usually very good, but they never said it was California. They also had an episode where Eddie goes to interview with the ship's captain for a job on a Alaskan fishing boat.
    That would put Mayfield in California, Oregon, or Washington state. Not enough rain for Oregon or Washington, so that leaves California.

  3. I am watching Leave it to Beaver daily. When this show was running, we were posted in Europe with the Army. Now I am an old(er) gal I can watch it. How nice the time was then. I miss the old time. Now is Hell on Earth. Maybe we will get back to a bit of Normal?