Jerry Mathers Admits He Was Ready To Leave ‘Leave It To Beaver’ When It Ended In 1963
Jerry Mathers, 74, is admitting that by the time his iconic show "Leave It To Beaver" ended in 1963, he was ready for it.
Jerry Mathers became a household name as a child star in the 1950s when he starred as Beaver on the sitcom “Leave It To Beaver” from 1957 until 1963. In a recent interviews, the 74 year-old Mathers revealed why he was ready for the show to end when it finally went off the air.
Jerry Mathers on the set of Leave It To Beaver pic.twitter.com/9ASetL5f1X
— Classic Movie Hub (@ClassicMovieHub) June 2, 2021
Mathers Ready For ‘Leave It To Beaver’ To End
“It ended at the right time for me,” Mathers told Fox News. “I wanted to play sports and of course, working at the studio, that wasn’t something I was able to do.”
“I was [now] able to be on the track team and football team,” he continued. “That was something I really wanted to do. And it was nice being in [a normal school]. I had a private tutor for the whole time that I was on the show. Now I was at a regular school, and it was a lot of fun. And I made a lot of good friends.”
Mathers went on to say that the cast and crew, which had become close over the years, were ready for it to end as well.
“Not that we were tired of it, but it was a lot of work,” Mathers recalled. “We had to be at the studio every day at 8 o’clock, work till 5. And on the weekends, a lot of times, we had PR to do… I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but it was just time… I was getting ready to go to high school and [my co-star] Tony Dow was getting ready to go to college. That was something we really couldn’t do if we were still on the show.”
Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow on the set of Leave It To Beaver pic.twitter.com/4UfClm6eP3
— Classic Movie Hub (@ClassicMovieHub) June 3, 2022
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Related: ‘Leave It To Beaver’ Star Tony Dow Dies One Day After Managers Mistakenly Announced His Passing
Mathers’ Gives Credit To His Mother
In this same interview, Mathers credited his mother Marilyn, who is still alive today at 96 years of age, with striving to give him a normal childhood despite his stardom.
“She took really good care of me,” he said. “I know some other child stars had very tough lives, but I had a very good time. I never had any problems with it. I loved going to the studio. It was a fun place with a lot of fun people.”
“I’d been working since I was 2 years old,” he added. “I started on live TV. I did a lot of different shows, but only for like a minute or five minutes, six minutes. And then when I got the part on ‘Leave It to Beaver,’ of course it was a series, so we worked a long time on it. But it was just a lot of fun.”
Jerry Mathers & his Mom (in her NINETIES!!!– Marilyn) from tonight's Hollywood Museum Mother's Day Tea 🍵 💕 ☕️ pic.twitter.com/xTnp2e4qUC
— Jennifer Hugus (@secondnaturegrl) May 5, 2022
Mathers then said that his mother was supportive of him when he left Hollywood for a normal life, as was the rest of his family.
“I spent six years in the National Guard,” he explained. “There [wasn’t] any kind of combat or anything like that, but we were a transport unit. A lot of times, the planes would come back, and they had a lot of damage to them… It was not a lot of fun because we were doing very, very hard work, but it was something that I [felt] I should do for my country… It was something I was proud to do.”
Happy Birthday to Jerry Mathers who turns 74 today. Pictured here as The Beaver on Leave it To Beaver. pic.twitter.com/eDEsFZo4As
— TCMFanatics (@Zsavooz) June 2, 2022
Related: Henry Winkler Reveals If He’d Ever Come Back For A ‘Happy Days’ Reboot
Mathers’ Life Today
Mathers went on to stay away from Hollywood and launch a successful career selling real estate. These days, he’s enjoying life with his family while also occasionally making appearances at fan conventions.
“I’m a grandfather now – I have five grandchildren,” he stated. “It’s wonderful. I also have a wonderful wife, and we have a great time with the grandchildren. We get to babysit them every once in a while.”
“I still do autograph shows because those are fun,” he continued. “I get to go all over the country. People still come up to me with questions about the show and what I’m doing… I’m just so grateful… I have just a wonderful life because ‘Leave It to Beaver’ has made me so many friends.”
Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers of the TV series "Leave it to Beaver" (1957-63) pic.twitter.com/yDvCWgYfIS
— Groovy History (@GroovyHistory) April 14, 2022
There are so many child stars that go down the wrong path after achieving fame, so it’s nice to know that the actor who played Beaver appears to have led such a nice life. We wish Mathers and his family many years of happiness together to come!
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