Leave It to Beaver Turns 50!
With the show being 50 years old, that means that all of the kids from the series are aged in their late 50's or early/mid 60's. For example, Jerry Mathers (Beaver Cleaver) is 59, Tony Dow (Wally) is 62, Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell) is 64, and Rusty Stevens (Larry Mondello) is 58. Another popular kid, little blonde Stanley Fafara (Whitey Whitney), died on his 54th birthday, in 2003, of complications from surgery. As for the Cleaver adults, Hugh Beaumont passed away in 1982, and Barbara Billingsley is now 91 years old!
TV Land will be running a 24 hour marathon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Leave It To Beaver. It begins on Saturday, October 6th at 8:00PM ET/PT and concludes on Sunday, October 7th at 8:00PM ET/PT. The marathon starts off with the rarely-seen 1957 pilot entitled “It’s a Small World.” This pilot has Jerry Mathers (Beaver) and Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver), but cast regulars Hugh Beaumont and Tony Dow are not a part of it. Instead, Max Showalter is cast as Ward Cleaver and Paul Sullivan as Wally (see pics below). Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap, The Simpsons) is seen in one of his very first roles as Frankie, a prototype for the character that would become Eddie Haskell. Diane Brewster (Miss Canfield) and Richard Deacon (Fred Rutherford) also appear in the pilot, but as different characters than what they played in the actual series.
See the TV Land marathon schedule here.