‘Leave It to Beaver’ Star Jerry Mathers Said He Still Got Recognized in Real Life

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Even years after Leave It to Beaver left its network run; the sitcom was shown in reruns. Jerry Mathers kept being recognized, too.

OK, so Mathers had left the world of show business and was just living a normal life.

But when you are The Beave, well, sorry pal, you will be noticed.

Mathers talks about it in an interview where he and co-star Tony Dow discussed Leave It to Beaver.

“Oh very definitely,” Mathers says. “People I think, you know, we both do things all the time, so they see us on TV and, I hate to say it, but we look pretty much like we did then. We’re a lot older but your facial features don’t change.”

Take a look at these two guys in this interview. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, Mathers was Beaver Cleaver, and Dow was his older brother, Wally.

This sitcom ran on CBS and ABC for six seasons.

Besides Mathers and Dow, Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont starred as their parents.

‘Leave It to Beaver’ Star Almost Skipped Audition for Life-Changing Part

While this might be hard to believe, Jerry Mathers almost skipped out on the audition for Leave It to Beaver.

So, Leave it to Beaver is a show combining all the elements needed for success. Also, the show takes two young boys and lets them do their thing. As a result, the show quickly became a massive success in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

In an interview in 2010, Mathers sat down with Emmy TV Legends. He talked about the audition process.

“Well, actually,” he says. “The audition process, of course, was how I got the job. But, how I got it is probably the most interesting part because Leave it to Beaver was a cattle call.”

Mathers was no fan of the cattle call audition.

He was only nine years old. But, he had already worked on a lot of projects.

Because he was so confident in himself, the Leave It to Beaver star did not want to do a cattle call audition. Agent Glen Shaw was impressed with the pilot. What happened? Well, Shaw went on to convince Mathers’ mother that the TV series would be a good thing to try.

They went to the cattle call.

“Basically, there were about 5,000 people on the interview,” Mathers says. “What they did was they would line you up and say, ‘OK, these boys have brown eyes; these boys have blue eyes; these boys have blonde hair, red hair.’ They were looking for two brothers and their friend.”

And lo and behold, they fond them in Mathers and Dow.