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.

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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.

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. 

June Cleaver

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.

Ward Cleaver

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.

Eddie Haskell

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 Rutherford

Lumpy evolved from bully to good pal. Actor Frank Bank towered over Wally and Beaver, and he only continued to grow.

Whitey Whitney

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.

Larry Mondello

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.

Wally Cleaver

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.

Beaver Cleaver

Jerry Mathers sprouted from a nine-year-old child star to an actor who had just celebrated his sweet sixteen.


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KathyMcKinny 3 months ago
Beaver was 9 when it started???? He acted more like a 5 year old.
HerbF 10 months ago
They really need to cut thought all the rights issues and finally release into reruns the NEW LEAVE IT TO BEAVER series from the 1980's - a fun updating that ran for over 100 episodes. The rights are so messed up - perhaps MeTV could take a shot at it?
laura5fold HerbF 5 months ago
I'd LOVE to be able watch those!!!
RedSamRackham 10 months ago
* When Wally turned 18 in 1963 legal voting age was still 21. Beaver was 15 in real life when series ended. TV was "clean" back then so Eddie and the other teen guys NEVER spoke of "getting lucky" with their dates although Wally might've scored with Marlene if he'd played it right. ☺
MarkJohnAstolfi 10 months ago
In season 1, Lumpy was "almost 16" while Wally and Eddie were 13...in season 2, Lumpy was a Junior while the other 2 were Freshmen (episode 5)...that was changed to "a Sophomore for 2 years" (episode 19)...in season 3, Wally and Eddie were now Sophomores and, as Eddie explained to June, Lumpy was "left back into our class this year"...so that's 3 years in the 10th grade...tough for the Lump!...
EddieHaskel 23 months ago
Fun look at evolution of the characters over six years. FYI, The New Leave it to Beaver was actually initially called Still the Beaver as a CBS TV movie in March 1983 followed by the first season of 26 episodes of the revival series by the same name on The Disney Channel from 1984-85 before it ran three more seasons on Ted Turner's WTBS Superstation by the different name of The New Leave it to Beaver from 1986-89.
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