‘Leave It to Beaver’: Actor Jerry Mathers Started His Career Acting on Live TV

by Anna Dunn

Jerry Mathers is an actor and director known for roles on Leave it To Beaver and The Trouble With Harry. Mathers got his start, however, on live TV. Mathers went on The Bobby Katzen Baby Boomer and Gen X Show.

“I started on Live TV at 2 years old. When I started doing Leave it to Beaver, it was so much better because it was on film. So if you made a mistake, they would just say, ‘okay, cut, we can do it over again?’. If you made a mistake [on live], everybody panicked.” Mathers also went on to do theatre. He was even on Broadway for a bit, so he had to get back to trying to be flawless on the first take.

Jerry Mathers Today

Jerry Mathers seems to live a more quiet life today in comparison to the stardom of his youth. His most recent acting gig was six years ago in the comedic short Lucky Day, about the president of a bank who gets kidnapped by his wife’s lover.

He also speaks in local communities. Last year, Mathers spoke of his love for local theatre at a local theatre luncheon in the Coachella valley.

He told the crowd of Leave it to Beaver fans, “Local theater gives people the chance to see children or adults in their own neighborhood, and you’ll find someone maybe your grocer, your cleaner, or the guy at the car wash and suddenly you see them in a whole different light.”

Using Fame for A Cause

While young viewers learned valuable life lessons from Mathers through his role on Leave it To Beaver, older and younger fans of the actor alike can now learn important life lessons from him as well. He’s used his celebrity status for good.

Jerry Mathers has diabetes and has been a fierce advocate and public speaker for diabetes awareness. In 1997, the actor was given 3-7 years to live by his doctor if he didn’t make changes. He’s gone on to be a spokesman, even speaking in front of congress to promote awareness.

He once spoke on his current life’s mission. “Since I was blessed with a second chance, I vowed to help knock out this disease quicker and easier than ever before. My personal commitment to my own health has inspired me to help others. I use my celebrity to promote positive, wholesome values because that’s just who I am.