It’s always heartbreaking to learn one of your favorite characters on a show has passed away. It’s even sadder when it’s someone who you remember as a father, brother, mother, or your favorite innocent, yet accidentally trouble-making son on Leave It To Beaver.
The show focuses on the Cleaver family, who live in the close to perfect town of Mayfield. Leave It To Beaver ran from 1957 to 1963, which is quite impressive. Therefore, many current adults vividly remember watching the show for years as children. impressive 1957 to 1963.
You gathered around your television screen anticipating what the silly, but harmless little boy would do next. It’s as though you became a part of that family and had an understanding and care for the actors and their roles.
The Good Ole’ Days & “Leave It To Beaver” Memories
Sitting on the edge of your seat enthralled to see what would happen next with the excitement continuing to build. It’s a memorable childhood experience.
However, as years come and go, and you grow older, so do the actors. Although you may picture them as always staying the same age due to their portrayal of the role, the actual people behind your favorite characters, also age and some pass away.
We’re going to explore and pay tribute to those who’ve passed away from one of your favorite TV family’s in the popular series Leave It To Beaver.
Wally Cleaver – Tony Dow is 75
Tony Dow played the role of Wally Cleaver, who is the oldest son of the Cleaver clan. He actually had no acting experience, but the producers and director saw him as the perfect older sibling of Beaver.
“I was working out at the Hollywood athletic club and there was a lifeguard there who was an actor,” Dow told Fox News in 2019. “He told my mom, ‘I’m going to this interview for a show where they’re looking for a father and son. Can Tony go with me because we kind of look alike?’ He figured maybe that was the only way to get it.”
After Leave It To Beaver, Dow continued actor, including returning as Wally in the 80s. The 78-year-old is now a director and producer, as well as a sculptor.
Theodore “Beaver” Clever – Jerry Mathers is 72
Everyone is waiting on the news about the main character, the young Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver. The actor who played the young, rambunctious child is alive! Don’t fret!
Jerry Mathers played the role of Beaver to perfection. The young boy is now an older man with 72 years under his belt. Little Beaver was quite talented at being mischievous, accidentally (or not so accidentally) getting into heaps of trouble and having to find his way out on Leave It to Beaver.
Following the show, he wanted an authentic high school experience, which is more than commendable. He attended school in California before joining United States Air Force Reserve in 1966. Wow! Beaver should turned out to be a champ!
He got his diploma from high school the next year. He decided to return to do small parts in acting. However, his passion was philosophy, which he got a college degree in from the University of California. He joined his previous on-screen brother, Dow, and appeared on the TV show entitled the same name as the original show. The new series was successful enough to create another series based on the 1983 Leave It to Beaver television movie.
Ken Osmond Passed Away Last Year – Eddie Haskell
Ken Osmond played the semi-protagonist character named Eddie Haskell. He died at the age of 76 on May 18, 2020. The character of Eddie was smooth around the Cleavers, but poor Beaver got bullied and put into some sticky situation do it Osmond’s character.
Sadly, Osmond suffered some tough times when it comes to the vicious world of Hollywood and show business. Since he was seen as Eddie Haskell, and that was how casting agents viewed him, he became typecast He continued trying to get back into his acting career until he made the decision that it wasn’t for him anymore.
He later joined the Los Angeles Police Department, and the man who once played the bully lost his life by being shot in the line of duty. He passed away while protecting others and caring about others, which is the opposite of his character. His death confirmed the goodness of the actor and that he was not at all like his character. Previous to his passing he was able to make appearances in the 1980s reboot of Leave It to Beaver.
Barbara Billingsley’s Death in 2010 – June Cleaver
The actress who played the warm, welcoming and loving mother of Wally and Beaver died in 2010 at the age of 94. Billingsley, who played June Cleaver, lived a long life. What you. might now know is that Billingsley had already established herself in the field of acting when she took on the role in 1957.
She continued acting on several TV shows. However, it was then hard to see her as any other character than Mrs. Cleaver. Billingsley did appear as an actress in Mork & Mindy and Airplane! Like all of the original cast members besides one, Mrs. Cleaver put on her signature pearl necklace to return to the set in 1983.
She became the beloved Mrs. Cleaver once again as she appeared in the remake’s TV movie and series.
Hugh Beaumont Death in 1982- Ward Cleaver
One sad loss is that of the Cleaver matriarch Ward Cleaver. He passed before he could appear with his on-screen family as the remake of Leave It to Beaver returned. The character was played by Hugh Beaumont, and he took on the role perfectly. Beaumont died a year before the show was picked up again.
Nearly 20 years after Leave It to Beaver went off the air, he continued to successfully act in smaller roles for 20 more years.
At the age of 72, he suffered from a heart attack. According to the New York Times, Beaumont died while visiting his son in Germany. His death is honestly the most Ward Beaver thing due to his passing as he was spending memorable moments and spreading love to his son before he left this world.
Although some beloved actors have passed, I’m sure it would make them happy to know you view them as how they appeared on TV, as well as that you loved the show so much due to their talents. The beauty is that they live on in your mind appearing youthful, happy, and healthy. It’s a good thought to remember them by.