Actor Jerry Mathers Remembers His Days on ‘Leave It To Beaver’ — ‘It Was a Fantastic Life For a Kid’
The highway of Classic TV shows is littered with the bodies of young actors who were either discarded by the industry that represented the only life they knew, were taken advantage of by parents who exploited them and stole all their money, or simply couldn’t cope with an existence outside of the cameras. Somehow, though, Jerry Mathers, who on Leave It to Beaver was the one that everything was left to, came through it all completely unscathed.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Jerry, born Gerald Patrick Mathers on June 2, 1948 in Sioux City, Iowa, has actually been acting since the age of two when he was a child model for a department store ad. This was followed by a TV commercial for PET Milk, and then roles in the feature films This is My Love (1954), Men of the Fighting Lady (1954), The Seven Little Foys (1955), and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry (1955). By the time he auditioned for and was cast as Theodore Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver, showbiz was something he’d become very accustomed to. And what would have been considered life-changing for so many people, he handled with aplomb. As he does the fact that here we are in 2018 talking about the show over sixty years after it began.
“It just never quit,” the now 69-year-old Jerry points out to us in this exclusive chat. “Had it been something that kind of laid down and jumped back up, it might have been surprising, but it’s always been just very popular. I’ve always done a lot of interviews. I get a lot of people that see me on the street and still recognize me, and it’s always for Leave It to Beaver, even though I’ve done a lot of other things. But it’s a pleasure as an actor to have something that’s so well recognized and so well received, especially for all these years.”
For more of our exclusive interview with Jerry Mathers, please scroll down.
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