See how the cast of 'Leave It to Beaver' changed over the course of the show
The actors truly came of age in TV's ultimate coming-of-age tale.
Few television characters have had their full lives on display like the Cleaver boys. Not only did Leave It to Beaver depict the adolescence of Wally and Beaver over the course of six seasons, from 1957 to 1963, the guys returned as adults three decades later for The New Leave It to Beaver.
The all-American boys had a bunch of friends along for the ride, too. Not to mention their parents.
We're going to focus on the original classic. Part of the charm of Leave It to Beaver is watching children come of age, guided by the sage advice of their parents. Of course, that was countered by the not-so-sage advice of Eddie Haskell.
Starting Monday, May 29, Leave It to Beaver heading to a new home on weekday "laughter-noons," Monday through Friday at 4:30PM | 3:30C. It's all part of our new Summer of Me. The episodes will continue in their current sequence, meaning you'll see the tail end of the series before it begins anew next month.
That got us thinking about how the actors changed over the run of the show. We grabbed images of these beloved characters from their earliest appearances to some of their final appearances.
Aside from the haircut, could you truly spot the difference? June was the rock of the family, and the fabulous Barbara Billingsley hardly changed at all. No wonder she's the ideal TV mom.
You can practically say the same thing about dad. A little gray is peppered in the hair, but Hugh Beaumont isn't so different from beginning to end.
Ken Osmond played one of the greatest TV teens. It's no wonder there were multiple urban legends about the guy. Outside of the Cleavers, he appeared on more episodes than anyone.
Lumpy evolved from bully to good pal. Actor Frank Bank towered over Wally and Beaver, and he only continued to grow.
Stanley Fafara appeared in 57 episodes as Beaver's classmate. In his final appearance, "Beaver Sees America" he ends up stealing Mary Margaret Matthews, the crush of both Beaver and Gilbert.
Beaver's buddy Larry (Rusty Stevens) always seemed to have a snack. He vanished after the first few seasons, but not after growing up a bit.
At last we get to the core boys. Big brother Wally (Tony Dow) became a man over the course of the series. By the final episode, he was old enough to vote. He had recently turned 18.
Jerry Mathers sprouted from a nine-year-old child star to an actor who had just celebrated his sweet sixteen.