‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Stephen Talbot Discussed How He Got Into Acting

by Samantha Whidden

He made his acting debut as Gilbert on the hit classic TV sitcom “Leave It to Beaver” in 1959, and now Stephen Talbot reveals how he got into acting, to begin with.  

While speaking to Best Classic Bands, Talbot stated that he got into acting because of his father. His dad was also an actor. “My dad would load us all into a station wagon every summer and go do summer stock. TV knocked of production in Hollywood in the Sumer in those days so a lot of actors, wanting to make a little extra on the side, would do summer stock.”

Stephen Talbot also explains that his mother had an acting career as well. That is how she met his father. “He did a lot of plays and what they used to call industrials,” Talbot explains. “Which were basically extended commercials.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Talbot says that a company in Chicago that his father had worked for was looking for a kid. “I said, ‘Oh please, let me be in it.’ My dad continued on the road touring with [my siblings] and my grandmother, my mom and I stayed in Chicago. I did this industrial, which was to sell outboard motorboats.”

When discussing how he got into the “Leave It to Beaver” role, Stephen Talbot recalls auditioning for the show. But his parents were not fans of the situation. “My parents were going, ‘We don’t want you to do this’. But again, they relented because I probably was obnoxious and haranguing them. They said, ‘OK, we’ll get you a good agent and you can act, but you’ll always have to stay in a regular school’. So I started going out on interviews and got roles right away.”

Stephen Talbot Also Shares Why He Gave Up Acting at 14-Years-Old

Along with sharing details about the beginning of his acting career, Stephen Talbot also shares why he gave it all up when he was 14-years-old. “I liked sports, and I started to play JV football in high school. The last professional show I ever did was an episode of ‘The Lucy Show,’ with Lucille Ball. But because of that show, which taped in front of a live audience, I missed a game or, more likely a practice of some kind.”

Stephen Talbot says his football coach confronted him about skipping practices. “[He] said, not in a harsh way, ‘Look, man, if you want to play football, you’ve got to show up. You’ve got to be here.’ So I said, OK that’s it, and I went home and told my parents [I was quitting acting].”

Although his parents were pretty supportive, Stephen Talbot says his agent was pretty surprised. “As I got into school, I got serious. I got interested in politics, and interested in filmmaking.”

Stephen Talbot went on to add that the went off to college at Wesleyan University in Connecticut where he majored in English. “Long story short, in college, I got very involved in anti-Vietnam War protests, helping to organize them and making documentaries. I got really hooked and that ended up becoming my career.”