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Leave It to Beaver: Frank Bank Dies; So Long Lumpy Rutherford

Leave It to Beaver Frank Bank, second from the leftActor Frank Bank died this morning, one day after he turned 71. Today is his friend and former co-star Tony Dow’s 68th birthday. (The photo above, from Jerry Mathers’ Facebook page, was taken in June 2012 and shows co-stars Ken Osmond, Bank, Dow, and Mathers.)

Bank was primarily know for his role as Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford on the Leave It to Beaver sitcom in the 1950s and 60s. He reprised his role as Wally Cleaver’s friend in the Still the Beaver TV movie and the 1980s sequel series, The New Leave It to Beaver, joining most of the original sitcom’s surviving cast.

Bank made a brief cameo in the 1997 film Leave It to Beaver as “Frank.”

In addition to Beaver, Bank appeared on several 1950s and 60s TV shows and also played comic book character Archie Andrews in the Life with Archie TV movie in 1962.

His autobiography, Call Me Lumpy: My Leave It To Beaver Days and Other Wild Hollywood Life, was published in 2002 and was currently a bond broker in Los Angeles.

UPDATE: On his Facebook page, Beaver star Jerry Mathers wrote, “I was so sad to hear today of the passing of my dear friend and business associate Frank Bank, who played Lumpy on Leave it to Beaver. He was a character and always kept us laughing. My deepest condolences to Frank’s family.”

What do you think? What will you remember about Frank Bank’s work?

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

AHW April 16, 2013 at 7:11 am

So sorry to hear of Frank Bank’s death. We still watch Beaver reruns, and Lumpy remains an essential part of the laughs. His scenes with Richard Deacon are so classically funny. Condolences to his real and reel families.

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BUD DAVIS April 15, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I NEVER PAID THE FIFTY DOLLARS I OWED FRANK FOR HIS INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE AFTER CRASHING HIS 1957 CHEVY INTO A MAIL BOX IN BEVERLY HILLS ON A RAINY NIGHT IN 1959.

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Dave Morse April 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Always a loveable character with somewhat of a vulnerability to him. Probably my favorite supporting character and enjoyed in a number of episodes. Resin in Peace

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Dave Morse April 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Lumpy was indeed a wonderful character on the show! He always seemed kind of a vulnerable character sometimes getting into trouble in some situations by his own actions. Not unlike the Eddie Haskell character only in a different way. Always loveable and we will miss him!

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Louise Ann April 15, 2013 at 10:03 am

He mad me laugh more than any other character on the show. RIP our dear “Lumpy”

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Barbara Parker April 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

It’s so hard to believe that “Lumpy” is gone. I was just watching an episode the other day and thinking, Wow they have been friends for such a long time. And now, one of them is gone. RIP “Lumpy”

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Leo Cook April 14, 2013 at 10:09 am

Frank was a wonderful comedic actor. Moreover, Clarence Lumpy Rutherfood is a classic televsion character. He could make you laugh and yet be still intimidated by him. Later, the character changed and became nicer. “Yes Daddy” always filled my home with peels of laughter from my brother and myself. It would have been a privilledge to have met him. Thank-you Frank for all the laughs.

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Richard Wind April 14, 2013 at 5:28 am

Lathers is a faceBook friend and I did see his post and responded … I just did see the Episode when Lumpy ( Frank ) had received a Sholarship and a party was thrown for him at The Cleavers Household … Upon Learning from his father over the phone in the Cleavers Den ( study ) that he did not receive the scholarship due to a D he got in Math … Frank played his part Soo Very Well in every Episode … Bless His Heart … Rest In Peace !

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Jack April 14, 2013 at 1:46 am

I remember how Lumpy turned from a Bully in the early seasons, to a lovable oof in the latter. An unforgettable TV icon

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C. A. Wylie April 14, 2013 at 1:12 am

“Lumpy” was supposed to be in only one episode – Season 1 , Episode 16, where the Cleaver boys try to pay him back for bullying but end up getting his father by mistake. The show execs liked Lumpy and Bank so much they kept bringing him back, the mark of a great actor!

RIP.

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Sue Grissom April 14, 2013 at 12:38 am

They didn’t call it “ensemble cast” in those days, but that’s what it was. It wasn’t just the “stars” it was the ensemble characters like “Lumpy” that made it a success. RIP Frank Bank, knowing that you are loved and remembered, as an individual.

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Allison April 13, 2013 at 11:52 pm

RIP Frank aka Lumpy Bank. Life sure goes by fast. If Frank was the 2nd from the left in the photo, he turned out to be the best looking of the lot, in later years at least.

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jon dibenedetto April 13, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I was sad to hear this. I loved his character on Leave it to Beaver as a child and still do.

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Tom Barrister April 13, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Condolences to Mr. Bank’s family. Frank Bank’s Hollywood output consisted mainly of “Leave it to Beaver” and its offspring, but the man created a unique character that is remembered as well as any on the series.

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Hans Von Rittern April 13, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Frank Bank made the loveable Clarence/Lumpy “real”. It is greatly to his credit and the other cast members that the show is so still very much loved. It is a sad loss too soon . . .

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