LEAVE IT TO BEAVER Star Jerry Mathers Says Show ‘Ended At The Right Time’

Poster courtesy of MPA

LEAVE IT TO BEAVER Star Jerry Mathers Says Show ‘Ended At The Right Time’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Jerry Mathers was the star of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, but he says when the sitcom came to an end, he was ready to move on. 

Mathers played Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver from 1957 to 1963.

“It ended at the right time for me,” the actor told Fox News. “I wanted to play sports and of course, working at the studio, that wasn’t something I was able to do. I was [now] able to be on the track team and football team. That was something I really wanted to do. And it was nice being in [a normal school]. I had a private tutor for the whole time that I was on the show. Now I was at a regular school, and it was a lot of fun. And I made a lot of good friends.”

Mathers wasn’t the only one who was ready to move on. He shared that co-star Tony Dow “was getting ready to go to college. That was something [he] really couldn’t do if we were still on the show.”

After LEAVE IT TO BEAVER ended, Mathers left Hollywood. He spent six years in the National Guard, and even worked as a real estate agent for a time. 

He credited his mother for helping him avoid the typical pitfalls of child stardom. 

“She took really good care of me,” Mathers explained. “I know some other child stars had very tough lives, but I had a very good time. I never had any problems with it. I loved going to the studio. It was a fun place with a lot of fun people.”

Mathers continued, “I’d been working since I was 2 years old. I started on live TV. I did a lot of different shows, but only for like a minute or five minutes, six minutes. And then when I got the part on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, of course it was a series, so we worked a long time on it. But it was just a lot of fun.”

While Mathers is thankful for the time he had on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, he said he “liked being able to have my own life” outside of the show. 

“I’m a grandfather now – I have five grandchildren. It’s wonderful,” he shared. “I also have a wonderful wife, and we have a great time with the grandchildren. We get to babysit them every once in a while… I still do autograph shows because those are fun. I get to go all over the country. People still come up to me with questions about the show and what I’m doing… I’m just so grateful… I have just a wonderful life because LEAVE IT TO BEAVER has made me so many friends.”

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