Some of the surviving members of Leave It to Beaver recently reunited at The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles.
Those attending were Frank Bank (Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford), Jerry Mathers (Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver), Tony Dow (Wally Cleaver) and Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell). Barbara Billingsley (mother June Cleaver), who is now 94 years old, was not present.
Matt Hurwitz was the event’s moderator. The actors discussed being cast on the show and their recollections of filming it. They also talked about the late Hugh Beaumont (dad Ward Cleaver), Richard Deacon (Lumpy’s father), and directors Norman Tokar and Norman Abbott.
Dow recalled that, when the Still the Beaver reunion movie was being prepared, they tried to find Robert “Rusty” Stevens, who played Beaver’s pudgy friend Larry Mondello. When the detective they hired went to his home, his wife answered. She wasn’t sure that her husband was who the detective was looking for since he’d never told her he’d been on the show.
The founders of Shout Factory, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos, were also on hand. The gathering was held in part to promote the release of Leave It To Beaver: The Complete Series on DVD. The set contains 37 discs that hold all 234 episodes as well as hours of additional features like the rare pilot, a conversation with composer Dave Kahn, and recollections by Mathers, Dow, Billingsley, Osmond, and Bank.
In addition, the set will include several two-hour audio interviews with members of the cast, courtesy of our friend Stu Shostak and his Internet radio program, Stu’s Show.
What do you think? Are you a fan of Leave It to Beaver? What are your favorite episodes from this beloved show?
Images courtesy Kevin Parry/The Paley Center for Media.