Mathers in 2007
Gerald Patrick Mathers
June 2, 1948
Sioux City, Iowa, US
|Other names||Jerry Mather|
|Education||Notre Dame High School|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Known for||Portrayal of Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver|
|Home town||Los Angeles, California, US|
Diana Platt(m. 1974–1981)
Rhonda Gehring (m. 198?–1997)
Teresa Modnick(m. 2011)
|Relatives||Jim Mathers (brother)|
Gerald Patrick Mathers (born June 2, 1948) is an American actor. Mathers is best known for his role in the television sitcom Leave It to Beaver , originally broadcast from 1957 to 1963, in which he played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, the younger son of the suburban couple June and Ward Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont, respectively) and the brother of Wally Cleaver (Tony Dow).
A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.
Leave It to Beaver is a late 1950s black-and-white American television sitcom about an inquisitive and often naïve boy, Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver, and his adventures at home, in school, and around his suburban neighborhood. The show also starred Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as Beaver's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Beaver's brother Wally. The show has attained an iconic status in the United States, with the Cleavers exemplifying the idealized suburban family of the mid-20th century.
June Evelyn Bronson Cleaver is a principal character in the American television sitcom Leave It to Beaver. June and her husband, Ward, are often invoked as the archetypal suburban parents of the 1950s. The couple are the parents of two sons, Wally and "Beaver". Wally is twelve years old and in the seventh grade when the series opens; Beaver is seven years old and in the third grade. Episodes followed the escapades of Wally and Beaver and usually ended with a moral lesson delivered to the boys, but also often included reminders of childhood and minor lessons for the parents through the adventures of their boys. She was included in Yahoo!'s Top 10 TV Moms from Six Decades of Television for the time period 1957–1963.
Mathers was born in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1948, the son of a high school principal, and grew up in Rock Rapids,about 75 miles north, and in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California. Jerry has three siblings, one sister and two brothers, including Susie Mathers McSweeney and Jimmy Mathers.
Sioux City is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, which makes it the fourth largest city in Iowa. The bulk of the city is in Woodbury County, of which it is the county seat, though a small portion is in Plymouth County. Sioux City is located at the navigational head of the Missouri River. The city is home to several cultural points of interest including the Sioux City Public Museum, Sioux City Art Center and Sergeant Floyd Monument, which is a National Historic Landmark. The city is also home to Chris Larsen Park, commonly referred to as “the Riverfront,” includes the Anderson Dance Pavilion, Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Museum and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Sioux City is the primary city of the five-county Sioux City, IA–NE–SD Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 168,825 in 2010 and a slight increase to an estimated 168,921 in 2012. The Sioux City–Vermillion, IA–NE–SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 182,675 as of 2010 and has grown to an estimated population of 183,052 as of 2012.
Rock Rapids is a city in Lyon County, Iowa, United States. It is the county seat of Lyon County. The population was 2,549 in the 2010 census, a decline from 2,573 in the 2000 census.
The San Fernando Valley is an urbanized valley in Los Angeles County, California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, defined by the mountains of the Transverse Ranges circling it. Home to 1.77 million people, it is north of the larger, more populous Los Angeles Basin.
Mathers began his career at the age of 2 when he appeared as a child model for a department store ad.Soon after, he starred in a commercial for PET Milk opposite vaudeville comedian Ed Wynn.
A television advertisement is a span of television programming produced and paid for by an organization. It conveys a message, aimed to market a product or service. Advertisers and marketeers may refer to television commercials as TVCs.
Pet, Inc., was an American company that was the first to commercially produce evaporated milk as a shelf-stable consumer product and later became a multi-brand food products conglomerate. Its signature product, PET Evaporated Milk, is now a product of The J.M. Smucker Company. PET Dairy is a regional brand of fresh and processed dairy products in the Southeastern United States made by the Land-O-Sun division of Dean Foods. Many of the remaining brands once owned by Pet, Inc. are currently part of General Mills.
Vaudeville is a theatrical genre of variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 18th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: a kind of dramatic composition or light poetry, interspersed with songs or ballets. It became popular in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, but the idea of vaudeville's theatre changed radically from its French antecedent.
His early movies included This is My Love (1954), Men of the Fighting Lady (1954), The Seven Little Foys (1955) and The Trouble with Harry (1955).
The Seven Little Foys is a Technicolor in VistaVision 1955 comedy film directed by Melville Shavelson starring Bob Hope as Eddie Foy. One highlight of the film is an energetic tabletop dance showdown sequence with Bob Hope as Eddie Foy and James Cagney, who reprises his role as George M. Cohan. The story of Eddie Foy Sr. and the Seven Little Foys inspired a TV version in 1964 and a stage musical version, which premiered in 2007, in addition to this film in 1955.
The Trouble with Harry is a 1955 American Technicolor black comedy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes was based on the 1950 novel by Jack Trevor Story. It starred Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick, Jerry Mathers and Shirley MacLaine in her film debut. The Trouble with Harry was released in the United States on September 30, 1955, then re-released in 1984 once the distribution rights had been acquired by Universal Pictures.
Mathers states that he got the role of Beaver Cleaver after telling the show's producers he would rather be at his Cub Scout meeting than auditioning for the part. The producers found his candidness appealing and perfect for the role.Mathers played the Beaver for six years, appearing in all 234 episodes of the series. He was the first child actor ever to make a deal to get a percentage of the merchandising revenue from a television show. The Leave It to Beaver show still generates merchandise revenue today, many years after its original production run ended.
Cub Scouting is part of the Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), available to boys and girls from kindergarten through fifth grade, or 5 to 10 years of age and their families. Its membership is the largest of the five main BSA divisions. Cub Scouting is part of the worldwide Scouting movement and aims to promote character development, citizenship training, personal fitness, and leadership.
The original sitcom has been shown in over 80 countries in 40 languages. Mathers has noted that the Leave It to Beaver phenomenon is worldwide. "I can go anywhere in the world, and people know me," Mathers has said. "In Japan the show's called 'The Happy Boy and His Family.' So I'll be walking through the airport in Japan, and people will come up and say, 'Hi, Happy Boy!'"
When asked in a 2014 television interview whether he had known at the time of the filming of the Leave it to Beaver series that the show was special, and would be in perpetual syndication, Mathers responded: "No, not at all. I had worked since I was two years old. I did movies. I didn't do any other series, but I had done a lot of movies and things like that so, in fact, every year it was a question whether we would come back for the next year 'cause you had to be picked up. So you would do 39 shows and then we would go to New York and meet all the press, and then we'd go to Chicago to meet the ad people, then we'd come back and take about five to six weeks off, and if we got picked up, then we'd start again. So we did that for six years because that was the length of the contracts at those times. So that's why there are 39 [episodes] for six years, and then it was off the air. Not off the air, but we didn't film any new ones [after that.]"
Mathers remained friends with Barbara Billingsley, who played his TV mother, June Cleaver, and remembered her after her death as "a good friend and an even better mentor. For me she was like the favorite teacher that we all had in school."
In 1962, near the end of the run of Leave It to Beaver, Mathers recorded two songs for a single 45rpm: "Don't 'Cha Cry," and for the flip side, the twist ditty, "Wind-Up Toy."During his high school years, Mathers had a band called Beaver and the Trappers.
As he moved into his teenage years, Mathers retired from acting to concentrate on high school. He attended Notre Dame High School, in Sherman Oaks, California. During this time he led a musical band called Beaver and the Trappers.While he was still in high school, Mathers joined the United States Air Force Reserve, in 1966. Wearing his dress uniform, Mathers and child actress Angela Cartwright presented an Emmy award to Gene Kelly in 1967. After graduating from high school in 1967, Mathers continued to serve in the Reserve and made the rank of Sergeant. In December 1969, a rumor began that Mathers was killed in action in the Vietnam War. Although the origin of the rumor is unclear, Mathers never saw action and was never stationed outside of the United States. Years later, in 1980, Mathers and Dow appeared with Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update segment, making fun of the Vietnam War death rumor.
In 1973, Mathers attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy.He then worked as a commercial loan officer at a bank before using well-invested savings from his acting career, which began at $500 a week, to begin a career in real estate development. In 1978, he reentered the entertainment industry. That year, he and Tony Dow starred in a production of the comedy play Boeing, Boeing which ran for ten weeks in Kansas City. Mathers and Dow then toured the dinner theater circuit in a production of So Long, Stanley for 18 months. In 1981, he worked as a disc jockey at KEZY-AM radio in Anaheim, California.
In 1983, Mathers reprised his role in the television reunion film Still the Beaver , which also featured the majority of the original Leave It to Beaver cast.The success of the television film led to the development of a sequel series of the same title. The series began airing on the Disney Channel in 1984, then went on to be picked up by TBS and broadcast syndication, where it was retitled The New Leave It to Beaver and ran until 1989.
Mathers has since continued his career in films and television roles. In the 1990s, he guest starred on episodes of Parker Lewis Can't Lose , Vengeance Unlimited , Diagnosis Murder , and as himself on Married... with Children . In 1998, Mathers released his memoirs, And Jerry Mathers as The Beaver.
In 2001, he appeared on a special episode of The Weakest Link titled "Child TV stars edition" where he got voted off in the first round.
On June 5, 2007, he made his Broadway debut with a starring role as Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony winning best musical Hairspray at the Neil Simon Theater.
In 2018 and 2019, Mathers was seen promoting the Leave It To Beaver television series and other classic television series on the MeTV television network.
In 2009, Mathers became the national spokesman for PhRMA and their Partnership for Prescription Assistance program.
Mathers has been married three times. He met his first wife, Diana Platt, in college. She attended Vallejo Senior High in California; class of 1969. They married in 1974 and later divorced.Mathers met his second wife, Rhonda Gehring, while touring in the production of So Long, Stanley. They have three children, a son (Noah) and two daughters (Mercedes and Gretchen). Mathers and Gehring later divorced. Mathers married his third wife, Teresa Modnick, in Huntington Beach on January 30, 2011.
Mathers was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1996. 40 lb (18 kg). He later became the first male spokesman for Jenny Craig. He has also represented a Type 2 diabetes reversal program's publications in a television ad.On the advice of his doctor, Mathers enrolled in a weight loss program with Jenny Craig in May 1997 and lost over
|1952||Son of Paleface||Child at Finale||Uncredited|
|1954||Men of the Fighting Lady||Richard Dodson||Uncredited|
|1954||This Is My Love||David Myer|
|1955||The Seven Little Foys||Bryan Lincoln Foy - Age 5||Uncredited|
|1955||The Trouble with Harry||Arnie Rogers|
|1956||That Certain Feeling||Norman Taylor|
|1956||Bigger Than Life||Freddie||Uncredited|
|1957||The Shadow on the Window||Petey Atlas|
|1958||The Deep Six||Steve Innes||Uncredited|
|1966||The Dating Game||Himself|
|1987||Back to the Beach||Judge #2|
|1990||Down the Drain||Policeman (desk)|
|1994||The Other Man||Sergeant Dun||Alternative title: Sexual Malice|
|2002||Better Luck Tomorrow||Biology Teacher|
|2005||Angels with Angles||Mr. Cohiba|
|2008||Will to Power||Mr. Simpson|
|1952||The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet||Trick Or Treating Child||Episode: "Halloween Party"|
|1955||Lux Video Theatre||Little Boy||Episode: "The Great McGinty"|
|1955||General Electric Theater||Tommy||Episode: "Into the Night"|
|1955||Matinee Theater||Episode: "Santa is no Saint"|
|1956||Screen Directors Playhouse||Peter at 5||Episode: "It's a Most Unusual Day"|
|1957–1963||Leave It to Beaver||Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver||234 episodes|
|1963||Insight||Episode: "The Boy and the Bomb"|
|1968||Batman||Pop, the Stage Doorman||Episode: "The Great Escape"|
|1968||Lassie||Ken Hines||Episode: "Lassie and the 4-H Boys"|
|1970||My Three Sons||Joe Lawrie||Episode: "Love Thy Neighbor"|
|1978||Flying High||Chuck Wallace||Episode: "Fear of Cheesecake"|
|1981||The Girl, the Gold Watch and Dynamite||Deputy Henry Thomas Watts||Television film|
|1983||Still the Beaver||Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver||Television film|
|1983–1989||The New Leave It to Beaver||Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver||101 episodes|
|1984||Hardcastle and McCormick||Cameo Appearance||Season 1; Episode 19 " The Homecoming: Part 2"|
|1987||The Love Boat||"Beaver" Cleaver||Episode: "Who Killed Maxwell Thorn?"|
|1991||Married... with Children||Himself||Episode: "You Better Shop Around (Part 2)"|
|1991||Parker Lewis Can't Lose||Theodore Musso||Episode: "Jerry: Portrait of a Video Junkie"|
|1999||Vengeance Unlimited||Lucas Zimmerman||Episode: "Friends"|
|1999||Diagnosis: Murder||Mr. Lustig||Episode: "Trash TV - Part One"|
|2001||The Weakest Link||Himself||Special Child TV stars edition|
|2006||The War at Home||Principal||Episode: "Back to School"|
|2008||Mother Goose Parade||Television film|
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work|
|1984||Young Artist Award||Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award||Leave It to Beaver|
Barbara Billingsley was an American film, television, voice, and stage actress. She began her career with uncredited roles in Three Guys Named Mike (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Invaders from Mars (1953) and was featured in the 1950s movie The Careless Years, opposite Natalie Trundy before appearing in recurring TV roles such as The Brothers.
Edward Clark "Eddie" Haskell is a fictional character on the Leave It to Beaver television situation comedy, which ran on CBS from October 4, 1957, to 1958 and on ABC from 1958 to 1963. The character was also featured in the later series Still the Beaver, and in the film remake of the original series.
Tony Lee Dow is an American film producer, director, sculptor, and television actor. He is best known for his role in the television sitcom Leave It to Beaver, which ran in primetime from 1957 to 1963. Dow played Wally Cleaver, the elder son of June and Ward Cleaver and the brother of Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver.
Wallace "Wally" Cleaver is a fictional character in the iconic American television sitcom Leave It to Beaver. Wally is the thirteen-year-old son of archetypal 1950s suburban parents, Ward and June Cleaver and the older brother of the seven-year-old title character, Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver. The characters grew older along with the actors.
The New Leave It to Beaver is an American sitcom sequel to the original 1957–1963 sitcom Leave It to Beaver. The series began with the 1983 reunion television movie Still the Beaver that aired on CBS in March 1983. The success of the television movie prompted the creation of a revival series, also titled Still the Beaver, that aired on the Disney Channel from 1984 to 1985. In 1986, the series was picked up by TBS where it aired until June 1989.
Theodore "the Beaver" Cleaver is the fictional title character in the American television series Leave It to Beaver. Originally played by Jerry Mathers, seven-year-old Beaver is the son of June and Ward Cleaver and the brother of 13-year-old Wally Cleaver.
Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford is a fictional character in the television sitcom Leave It to Beaver. The show aired from October 4, 1957 to June 20, 1963. Lumpy is a bit of a bully and, with Eddie Haskell, is one of Wally Cleaver's friends.
Frederick "Fred" Rutherford is a fictional character in the television sitcom Leave It to Beaver. The show aired October 4, 1957 to June 20, 1963. Fred is portrayed by Richard Deacon. Alan Rachins played the character in the 1997 film adaptation of the series, Leave It to Beaver.
Robert "Rusty" Stevens is an American former child actor best remembered for his role as Larry Mondello, Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver's young friend, in the original Leave It to Beaver television series. Stevens appeared in 68 of the show's 235 episodes, between 1957 and 1960.
Larry Mondello is a fictional character from the iconic American television series Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963). He is portrayed by child actor Robert "Rusty" Stevens. Larry Mondello appears in 68 of the show's 234 episodes over the first few seasons. Although Larry is mentioned in the premiere episode, "Beaver Gets 'Spelled", it isn't until the eighth episode, "Beaver's Crush", that he actually makes an appearance.
"Family Scrapbook" is the final episode of the American television series Leave It to Beaver. It last aired on ABC on June 20, 1963. It was the 39th episode in the show's sixth and final season, and the 234th episode in the complete series.
"Beaver Gets 'Spelled" is the premiere episode of the iconic American television series Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963). The episode aired on CBS on October 4, 1957. The episode is the first episode in the first season, and the first episode in the complete series. "Beaver Gets 'Spelled" is available on DVD.
"It's a Small World" is the pilot episode from the iconic American television series Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963). The pilot was first televised April 23, 1957, on the syndicated anthology series, Studio 57, without a laugh track nor the series' well known theme song, "The Toy Parade". It never aired as an episode within the series. It was televised again in October 2007 as part of TV Land's 50th anniversary celebration of Leave It to Beaver. It was released to DVD in 2005. The series made its CBS debut several months later on October 4, 1957, with the episode, "Beaver Gets 'Spelled".
Martha Bronson is a fictional recurring character in the American television sitcom Leave It to Beaver. "Aunt Martha," as she is known in the series, appears in five of the show's 234 episodes and is mentioned occasionally but not seen. The character is portrayed by Madge Kennedy.
The first season of the American television situation comedy Leave It to Beaver premiered on October 4, 1957 and concluded on July 16, 1958. It consisted of 39 episodes shot in black-and-white, each running approximately 25 minutes in length. This was the only season that the show originally aired on CBS.
This is a list of characters featured in the American television series Leave It to Beaver, which was broadcast from 1957 through 1963.
The sixth and final season of the television series Leave It to Beaver aired from September 27, 1962 to June 20, 1963 on ABC. It consisted of 39 black-and-white episodes, each running approximately 25 minutes.
I'm Jerry Mathers, and if I can do it, you can do it.
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