‘The Birds’ Star Veronica Cartwright Remembers Giving Beaver Cleaver Actor Jerry Mathers First Kiss

by Samantha Whidden
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The Birds star Veronica Cartwright recently shared details about her career, including when she gave Beaver Cleaver star Jerry Mathers his very first kiss and how she impressed film director, Alfred Hitchcock.

Born in 1949, Veronica Cartwright began her acting career at a young age by appearing in The Children’s Hour and Hitchcock’s natural horror thriller, The Birds. She also appeared in sci-fi films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alien, as well as The X-Files, The Right Stuff, and The Witches of Eastwick. 

While speaking to Fox News, Cartwright recalls when she kissed Mathers while playing Violet in Leave It to Beaver. “I think we were both just mortified! Looking back on it now, it’s just hysterical, but we were certainly embarrassed.”

Cartwright also admits she had a crush on Tony Dow, who played Wally Cleaver in the series. “What’s funny is that I actually had a crush on Tony Dow. A big crush on him. I remember thinking whenever we did our classwork just how cute he was.”

Veronica then discusses her first impression on Alfred Hitchcock, she revealed at the time she had already done The Children’s Hour alongside Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine. “Apparently he requested to meet me. When I had my first interview he already knew I was born in Bristol, England.”

Cartwright says that during the interview, Alfred would chat about his favorite wines and how to cook steak. Veronica then says, “I must say, I was never intimidated by him. He was always so incredibly nice to me. I could ask him any questions.”

Veronica Cartwright Recalls Her Favorite Memories From Filming With Hitchcock

Also during the interview, Veronica recalls some of her favorite memories from filming. “I remember [the production crew] threw me a huge birthday party,” Cartwright explains. “I had turned 13. Every cast and crew member was there. I remember [Hitchcock] got a piece of white cardboard and a black crayon. He wrote, “To the woman I love, Veronica.” He drew his face and signed it. I still have it hanging in my office.”

Veronica also says that Hitchcock would also do some odd things while on the set. She remembers in one scene, she was running on a treadmill while filming. “I remember he sped up the treadmill and there were just bodies flying everywhere. We ran like crazy.” 

She also describes Hitchcock as “a little sadistic.”

Veronica Cartwright Talks Working With Acting Icon Audrey Hepburn 

In regards to working alongside acting icon Audrey Hepburn in The Children’s Hour, Veronica describes Audrey as just so lovely. “I just remember how beautiful she was. The way you saw her in the movies is exactly as she appeared – she was that beautiful.”

Veronica then says Audrey was regal and focused on her work. When the cast wasn’t filming, Audrey would also be very sweet and kind. “I have a couple of pictures with her still. She really was the real deal.”

In regards to escaping the “child star curse,” Veronica adds, “I had a supportive family, which you need for a good foundation. I have always worked and when it stopped, I turned myself to acting classes.”

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