Jerry Mathers, Iconic Former Child Star of TV's Legendary "Leave It To Beaver" Series, Turns 75

Herbie J Pilato

He is considered one of the most iconic former child stars of all time, and now, Jerry Mathers, best known for TV's Leave It To Beaver sitcom turns 75. Mathers portrayed Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver on the series, which originally aired from 1957 to 1963, as well as the rebooted edition of the show, The New Leave It To Beaver, which aired from 1983 to 1989.

A Closer Look at His Life, Career, Friends, and Colleagues

Jerry Mathers was cast as the lead in Leave It To Beaver after admitting he'd rather spend at his Cub Scout meeting than audition for the show. The producers selected him because they wanted an actor with a "real boy" attitude.

In the 1960s, Mathers served in the US Air Force National Guard during the Vietnam War. He was mistakenly reported as having been killed in action when a soldier with a similar name appeared on a "KIA" list.

In the 1970s, Mathers, who earned his B.A. in Philosophy, was employed in the banking and real estate industries.

Tony Dow, who played his older TV brother Wally Cleaver, died on July 27, 2022. That leaves Mathers, as the sole living male lead cast member from Leave It To Beaver.

Barbara Billingsley, who played mother June Cleaver in the series, was a mentor and friend to Mathers from the moment he stepped onto the Leave It To Beaver set when he was 8 years old. Their friendship lasted for 53 years until her passing in 2010.

Mathers, who turned 75 on June 2, 2023, is a spokesman for National Psoriasis Foundation.


No matter his age, Jerry Mathers will forever be known and beloved as Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver.

[Note: Certain facts and information in this article were resourced from various entertainment news and media outlets including,,,,, and]

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 58

Published by

Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

More from Herbie J Pilato

Comments / 0