‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Stephen Talbot Described How Child Stars Were Typecast After the Show

by Samantha Whidden
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Nearly 60 years after “Leave It to Beaver” offically came to an end, cast member Stephen Talbot describes how child stars dealt with typecasting following the popular classic TV series. 

While speaking to Best Classic Bands, Stephen Talbot revealed the younger stars of the TV sitcom struggled to get roles as they age. “Kids acting get typecast. Or, you may look one way as a kid and then you’re different as a teenager and adult. I had conversations with Tony Dow about this, never really with Jerry.”

Stephen Talbot further spoke about Dow’s struggle with depression. “I never knew about it at the time when we were making the series, but part of his depression was that, until much later in life when he ended up becoming a sculptor, he had never really found an acting career.”

The “Leave It To Beaver” co-star shared that Dow worked a little more than Mathers as he got older. “He was in soap operas and a bunch of TV shows. “And then, at a certain point, the two of them, for better or worse, realized, ‘This is our meal ticket,’ and they did dinner theater shows together and they did the reunion show in the ’80s.”

Although Mathers’ acting career was stalling, Talbot said that the child actor went on to do various things. “I know Jerry tried a lot of things. He was a smart guy; he went to UC Berkeley after Notre Dame.

However, Talbot went on to add that he felt bad for Dow and Mathers for acting career stalls. “I sort of feel bad for those two guys in the sense that they’re kind of stuck in this time warp. On the other hand, they’ve achieved TV immortality, no small feat.”

Stephen Talbot Talks About His Time on ‘Leave It To Beaver’

Meanwhile, Stephen Talbot revealed details about being on “Leave It To Beaver” as Gilbert. He revealed that classic TV series was the only show he played the same character. “I did almost 60 episodes of that. And of course, that’s endlessly repeated. Who knew at the time that was going to last forever? But, at this same time, I was a really busy kid actor.”

Stephen Talbot also said he really looked forward to acting when he was younger. “I was in a bunch of ‘Lassie’ shows. The most fun shows, frankly, were the ones where I played different or strange characters, or we were on location someplace.”

Along with discussing his acting career, Stephen Talbot spoke about meeting the late “Twilight Zone” host Rod Sterling. “He was as impressive as he was on TV. He had that gravity in his voice, and he looked like a character out of ‘Mad Men,’ with a thin tie. Very serious, very smart, very nice man.”

Outsider.com