‘Leave It to Beaver’ Star Jerry Mathers Expresses Pride in Classic Series: ‘It’s a Great Show’

by Alex Falls

Fans of classic TV are still recovering from the loss of Tony Dow, best known as the actor behind Beaver’s older brother Wally on Leave it to Beaver. Dow’s passing gave tons of fans a chance to go back and revisit the iconic TV show as they remember the late Tony Dow.

The former Beaver Cleaver himself Jerry Mathers appeared at the Movieguide Awards and took a chance to reflect on what the show means to him so many years later.

“It was real. A lot of sitcoms, they just write jokes. A lot of things that happen on Leave it to Beaver.” Mathers said. “They may be expanded or things that happened to four or five kids, but they were all real. So, things that were really happening to kids in the Fifties can still happen to them today, and they do!”

With the passing of Tony Dow last week, Mathers is now the only surviving member of the main cast from Leave it to Beaver. Mathers might have only been a child when he made the iconic show. But as an adult he can look back and know the episodes still ring true for people and children today.

“Even some of the [episodes] that I’ve seen, I know that I’ve done those things too,” Mathers said. “Everybody can relate to them. Even though it’s [about] two brothers, even girls look at those things and say, ‘You know what? I’ve done that too!'”

He continued, “Everyone does the things that the Beaver does. The things that the Beaver does, everybody wishes they had a big brother like Wally to guide them through. It’s a great show, and I’m very proud to be associated with it.”

‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Jerry Mathers Remembers Tony Dow

Mathers looked up to Dow in real life just as his character would on the show. In the wake of his passing, Mathers spoke to Fox News to describe how he felt about the man who spent many years as his brother.

“He was always the kindest, most generous, gentle, loving, sincere and humble man that it was my honor and privilege to be able to share memories together with for 65 years,” Mathers said. 

The former Beaver Cleaver also said he always stayed in touch with his family members from the show. Even well into their adult lives, they always stayed in touch.

“We’ve had reunions,” Mathers said. “It’s probably more like how you are with people you went to school with. If anything important happens in their lives or with their grandchildren — because we all have grandchildren now — we reach out. And when someone marries. And sadly, when someone passes. Whoever finds out first calls the rest of us.”