This ''Beaver'' star was an ordained minister
"I also explain in advance that there will be no autographs after the service."
Imagine reading lines from a script and from a Bible. That was the case for one famous face of TV yesteryear. While the glitz and glamour of Hollywood may seem like a far reach from the pulpit, one of the main cast members of Leave it To Beaver was also a preacher.
Hugh Beaumont, who starred as Ward Cleaver, father to Beaver and Wally, was also an ordained minister. While he was frequently tasked with delivering each episode's moral, Beaumont may have been a ringer for the job. Earlier in his life, Hugh Beaumont had plenty of experience conveying lessons in front of churches.
Fame, though, changed the way he'd approach a sermon. According to a 1961 interview in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Beaumont struggled to continue with his ministry work after landing bigger parts in movies and TV.
"On the few occasions a year when I'm invited to preach," said Beaumont, "I always caution the minister not to introduce me." It seems a congregation able to put his name to his face may not have paid very close attention to his message. "I also explain in advance that there will be no autographs after the service."
Despite his legendary career in the pictures, Beaumont was first called to the ministry and only acted to supplement his theology studies. During the mid-1940s, Hugh Beaumont was attending the University of Southern California, earning his post-graduate degree. At the time, he would take acting gigs to be able to afford his continuing education. That work led to a contract with RKO, and before long, Beaumont found himself shifting his focus onto acting and away from ministerial duties. His profile steadily climbed with the seven Shayne pictures, in which he played detective Mike Shayne. Eventually, his career led him to Leave it To Beaver, a show praised for its morally upright messaging.
"Naturally, I'm glad that our TV series contributes to the welfare of family viewing. At least I hope it does," said Beaumont. "Sometimes I'm afraid we get a little too preachy."