Remember Lumpy Rutherford from Leave it to Beaver? Frank Bank, who played a frenemy to Wally and the Beave, would be 79 today.
So let’s flip the calendar back five or six decades and take a look at who Frank Bank, aka, Lumpy, was on Leave it to Beaver.
Lumpy knew the Cleavers through his dad, Fred Rutherford. Ward Cleaver and Fred Rutherford worked together. Lumpy’s real name was Clarence. But only his dad called him that. Lumpy gained his nickname because he was a big kid. Other kids at school teased Lumpy because of his size. And Lumpy tended to be a bully, too, especially around Beaver.
Leave it to Beaver Writers Devoted Entire Episode to Lumpy
Leave it to Beaver first introduced Frank Bank’s character in a first-season episode called Lumpy Rutherford. The Rutherfords lived near the Cleavers and Lumpy teased Wally and Beaver as they walked to and from school. The boys told Ward about the problem, so Ward relays a prank he pulled when he was a kid. So the Cleaver boys decided to do some Lumpy revenge. They set a trap for Lumpy, then try to entice him outside.
Beaver shouted, “Lumpy, Dumpy, you big ape!” Then Wally, repeatedly, called Lumpy a “Meathead.” But Lumpy’s dad was caught in the trap so the plot failed on both sides. Ooops. The Rutherfords and Cleavers played bridge that night.
Lumpy eventually became friends with the Cleaver brothers. He was closer in age to Wally. Leave it to Beaver writers do acknowledge that Lumpy flunked a grade, so he was older than Wally.
Wait, So It Was Lumpy’s Sister Who Punched Beaver
In another episode called The Black Eye, Ward came home after a long day at work. He and Lumpy’s dad had argued over a business deal. Meanwhile, June discovered that some of her makeup was missing. Beaver and Wally used it to cover Beaver’s black eye. Ward was upset that Beaver didn’t tell him what happened. But he trained Beaver on self-defense after he found out Beaver ran away from the fight. Ward assumed a male classmate punched Beaver. Was it Lumpy being a bully again? Turned out it was Lumpy’s sister, Violet, who threw the punch.
Later in Leave it to Beaver world, Lumpy found out he received an athletic scholarship, while Wally was turned down. Ever gracious, Wally and the Cleavers throw Lumpy a party to celebrate.
Leave it to Beaver ended its show run in 1963.
Frank Bank didn’t act much after the show concluded. He did return to reprise Lumpy in the 1980s show sequel the New Leave it to Beaver. As adults, Beaver and Lumpy were business partners.
Frank Bank Became a Stockbroker, Post Beaver
In real life, Frank Bank got out of the acting business and became a stockbroker. He also was a competitive poker player and cheered on his alma mater, UCLA, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
”I was the capitalist of the crew,” Bank said in a 1992 interview with the Chicago Tribune. ”The others were reading Daily Variety; I was reading The Wall Street Journal.”
Bank’s clients included several of his former Leave it to Beaver castmates. They included Jerry Mathers (Beaver), Tony Dow (Wally), Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell) and Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver).
Sadly, Frank Bank died in 2013, a day after his 71st birthday. But he lives on as Lumpy because at any time of day or night, Leave it to Beaver is playing on TV.