Leave It to Beaver characters

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This is a list of characters featured in the American television series Leave It to Beaver, which was broadcast from 1957 through 1963.

Main characters and cast[edit]

The show's four main characters appeared in all 234 episodes of the show, and, in the opening sequence, were introduced in the following order:

The Cleavers-from left: Hugh Beaumont (Ward), Tony Dow (Wally), Barbara Billingsley (June), Jerry Mathers (Theodore AKA "Beaver").

Recurring characters[edit]

Beaver's friends, classmates, and teachers[edit]

Beaver's classmates: Judy Hensler (Jeri Weil), Whitey Whitney (Stanley Fafara), and Larry Mondello (Rusty Stevens)

Beaver's best pals include apple-munching Larry Mondello (Rusty Stevens, November 22, 1957 – June 6, 1960), Gilbert Bates (Stephen Talbot, March 19, 1959 – June 6, 1963), Hubert "Whitey" Whitney (Stanley Fafara, October 4, 1957 – June 6, 1963), and the old fireman, Gus (Burt Mustin, October 4, 1957 – February 24, 1962). Except for Gus, Beaver's friends steer him into trouble time and again. Other friends include Harry Henderson (Keith Taylor), a chubby, bespectacled boy brought in after Rusty Stevens' departure, and Richard Rickover (Richard Correll, April 30, 1960 – October 18, 1962).

Judy Hensler (Jeri Weil, October 4, 1957 – October 15, 1960) is Beaver's snitching, goody-goody classroom nemesis on the show. Penny Woods (Karen Sue Trent, February 20, 1960 – January 20, 1962) filled the nemesis role when Judy was dropped. Other friends include Lumpy's sister Violet Rutherford, (Wendy Winkleman, 1957 and Veronica Cartwright, February 19, 1959 – May 2, 1963). Benjie Bellamy (Joey Scott) and Chuckie Murdock (Rory Stevens) are both small boys and Cleaver neighbors who cause trouble.

Beaver had two female teachers in the earliest seasons. Miss Canfield (Diane Brewster, October 4, 1957 – March 21, 1958) is Beaver's kind and understanding second grade teacher at Grant Ave. Grammar School and appears in four first-season episodes. Beaver has a crush on her in one episode. Alice Landers (Sue Randall, October 16, 1958 – June 6, 1963) becomes Beaver's third grade teacher in the second season, replacing Miss Canfield. She remains his teacher for several seasons. Beaver develops a crush on her but his joy turns sour when she announces her engagement to Tom Brittingham. Cornelia Rayburn (Doris Packer, October 4, 1957 – June 13, 1963) is the principal of Grant Ave. Grammar School and, later Beaver's teacher, after Miss Landers, replacing Mr. Bloomgarten. In the later seasons, Beaver has male, rather than female, teachers who include Mr. Willet and Mr. Blair, both played by Wendell Holmes.

Wally's friends and classmates[edit]

Wally's closest friends are archetypal wise-guy Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond, November 1, 1957 – June 6, 1963), Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford (Frank Bank January 24, 1958 – May 30, 1963), Tooey Brown (Tiger Fafara, November 15, 1957 – May 28, 1960) and Chester Anderson (Buddy Hart, November 8, 1957 – May 28, 1960). Eddie and Lumpy appear in all six seasons while Tooey and Chester appear in the first through third seasons. Buddy Hart's father, John Hart (star of television's Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans), appears in three episodes though in no scenes with his son.

Several episodes in the last seasons concentrate on Eddie's adventures, with one episode following his plans to work on an Alaskan fishing boat [11] and another chronicling his troubles with a credit card.[12]

Lumpy is the heavy-set, not-very-bright, yet sincere football-playing Clarence, the son of Ward's co-worker, Fred Rutherford. While later appearances would cast him as a friend and classmate, Initially he is an 'outsider' between Beaver and Wally's age. As Beaver's nemesis, he bullies both Beaver and Wally in his first appearance[13]

Wally has several girlfriends through the series' run, with Mary Ellen Rogers (Pamela Baird, occasionally as Pamela Beaird, April 16, 1958 – June 6, 1963) and Julie Foster (Cheryl Holdridge, January 7, 1961 – April 11, 1963) making many appearances. Carol Sydes (aka Cindy Carol) appears as Wally's first girlfriend, Penny Jamison, in "Wally's Girl Trouble", and later appears as classmate and date Alma Hanson.

Cleaver family, neighbors, and co-workers[edit]

"Aunt" Martha Bronson (Madge Kennedy, December 13, 1957 – March 28, 1963) is a proper old maid who lives not far from Mayfield and wants Beaver to attend a prep school. She appears in five episodes and is mentioned in other episodes. Because she once gave Wally and Beaver umbrellas, she is called "their umbrella aunt".

Uncle Billy (Edgar Buchanan, December 30, 1960 – March 21, 1963) is Wally and Beaver's fancy-free, globe-trotting, story-telling great uncle. June does not trust him completely because he fills her sons' heads with tales of irresponsible living.

Larry Mondello's mother Margaret Mondello (Madge Blake, June 25, 1958 – February 27, 1960) is a nervous woman who finds her son's misadventures exasperating. The character was dropped when Rusty Stevens left the show in its fourth season. George and Agnes Haskell are Eddie's parents. George was played by Karl Swenson, John Alvin, and George O. Petrie. In one episode, it is implied that Mr. Haskell's name is "Edward Clark Haskell, Sr." and, in another episode, he is "Frank". Agnes was played by Ann Doran and by Anne Barton. Tooey Brown's mother, Mr. Mondello, Judy Hensler's parents, and Whitey Whitney's parents make one-time appearances. Larry Mondello's sister in high school is never seen.

Fred Rutherford (Richard Deacon, October 18, 1957 – May 23, 1963) is Ward's pompous, overbearing co-worker. Fred is the father of an awkward teenage son named Clarence ("Lumpy"), and a daughter about Beaver's age named Violet. The Rutherfords socialize with the Cleavers on a couple of occasions: playing cards in the Cleaver home and, at a later time, enjoying a picnic outing together. Fred travels widely and gives Ward a meerschaum pipe after visiting Germany.

Special appearances[edit]

Several Andy Griffith Show players appeared on Leave It to Beaver. Hal Smith, Mayberry's town sot Otis Campbell, appeared as a restaurant manager in the fourth-season episode "Beaver Won't Eat", while Dorothy Neumann, Otis Campbell's wife Rita on The Andy Griffith Show, appeared in "The Community Chest" as a Mayfield housewife. Howard McNear, Mayberry's barber Floyd Lawson, played a barber in a second-season Beaver episode. Burt Mustin (Mayfield's Gus, the fireman) had a long career as Jud Fletcher on The Andy Griffith Show and Will Wright (Mayfield's first season Pete, the fireman) appeared on The Andy Griffith Show as Ben Weaver, a sour, miserly Mayberry department store owner.

Phyllis Coates, who portrayed Lois Lane during the first season of The Adventures of Superman, played Mrs. Donaldson in "New Neighbors," while Superman heavy Herb Vigran appeared in the first-season episode "Brotherly Love".

Two actors playing veterinarians on the long-running CBS children's series Lassie appeared on Leave It to Beaver. Frank Ferguson (Dr. Peter Wilson in the early seasons of Lassie) played Jeff, the tramp, in "Beaver's Good Deed", and Arthur Space, who portrayed Doc Weaver through the Timmy years of Lassie, played Mr. Judson in "Wally's Present".

Veteran film and television character actresses appearing on the show included Maudie Prickett as Mrs. Bennett, the owner of a lost chihuahua in "Beaver and Poncho", Irene Tedrow as Mrs. Hathaway, Aunt Martha's traveling companion in "The Visiting Aunts", and Lurene Tuttle as Mrs. Evans, Eddie's landlady in "Bachelor-at-Large".

Barbara Parkins, Judy Walker, a babysitter for an older Beaver. "No Time for Babysitters" She understands Beaver wanting to be alone when Gilbert and Richard arrive.

Actress Lee Meriwether, winner of the 1955 Miss America beauty pageant, appeared as an unnamed housewife in "Community Chest".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Leave It to Beaver, episode 2: "Captain Jack".
  2. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 140: "Mother's Helper".
  3. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 214: "Beaver's Good Deed".
  4. ^ Mathers, Jerry. ... And Jerry Mathers as The Beaver. Berkley Boulevard Books, 1998. (ISBN 0425163709)
  5. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 51: "The Visiting Aunts".
  6. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 21: "Cleaning Up Beaver".
  7. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 117: "Beaver's Team".
  8. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 197: "Beaver's Football Award".
  9. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 36: "Beaver and Henry".
  10. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 59: "Beaver's Pigeons".
  11. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 228: "Summer in Alaska".
  12. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 215: "The Credit Card".
  13. ^ Leave It to Beaver, episode 16: "Lumpy Rutherford".