Supporting actor Ken Osmond is best remembered for playing Wally Cleaver's oily, conniving best friend Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963), a role he has periodically capitalized on in films and subsequent incarnations of the ever-popular series. Prior to getting that role, Osmond -- usually billed as Kenneth Osmond -- was already a busy child actor, playing supporting parts in such big-budget Warner Bros. films as So Big (his big-screen debut) at age eight. He made the rounds of the studios, appearing in Fox's tear-jerker Good Morning, Miss Dove in 1955, as well as the comedy Everything But the Truth at Universal in 1956. It was a year later that he took on the part of Eddie Haskell in Leave It to Beaver, which was produced by Universal's television unit. Osmond's work as Eddie earned him a Youth In Films Lifetime Achievement Award. Following the show's cancellation, Osmond did occasional television work, turning up in one episode of The Munsters (playing -- surprise! -- a troublemaking student) and elsewhere on the small screen, as well as in Paramount's 1967 college campus exploitation drama C'mon, Let's Live a Little, before he left acting. Osmond and his brother founded a charter helicopter company, and he later spent 18 years as a Los Angeles police officer. After sustaining multiple gunshot wounds during an attempted arrest, Osmond had to retire. In 1983, he returned to acting and Eddie Haskell, in The New Leave It to Beaver. The show ran until 1989 and featured his real sons, Eric and Christian Osmond, playing Eddie's sons Freddie and Boomer. In 1997, Osmond again showed up as Eddie in a cameo role in the feature-film version of Leave It to Beaver. ~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide
Jerry Mathers Born: 2-Jun-1948
Birthplace: Sioux City, IA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Beaver in Leave it to Beaver
Military service: Air National Guard (1966-69)
Jerry Mathers played Theodore Cleaver, "the Beav", on Leave It to Beaver. He was seven years old when the program began, but already an established actor, having previously played Shirley MacLaine's son in Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, Dan Duryea's son in This is My Love, and Bob Hope's son in The Seven Little Foys.
When Leave It to Beaver ended, Mathers dropped out of show business and went on to high school, where he tried to fit in as a normal kid, playing sports and dating girls. Within a few years, America was involved in a bloody war in Vietnam, and Mathers was widely rumored to have been a combat casualty. In reality, he tried to enlist in the Marines, but was rejected on account of his celebrity -- officers feared the inevitable negative repercussions if such an icon of innocence was killed in the war. Instead, Mathers served stateside in the Air National Guard, where he safely survived the 60s. After that he worked as a loan officer in a bank, leaving hundreds of people with the odd experience of having their loan applications rejected or accepted by the Beaver.
In the late 1970s, Mathers and his Beaver brother Tony Dow started touring together in dinner plays. In 1983, the cast of Leave It to Beaver, sans the late Hugh Beaumont, made a TV movie called Still the Beaver, which was followed by several years of The New Leave It to Beaver.
In more recent low-budget films, Mathers played a cop in Sexual Malice, a skanky erotic thriller starring Edward Albert, and taught biology in the high school crime caper Better Luck Tomorrow. His autobiography is titled And Jerry Mathers As The Beaver.
At last word, Mathers was working as spokesman for the National Psoriasis Foundation. "Living with psoriasis is no picnic," he says. "When you're covered with flaky, scaly, unsightly skin, it's difficult to live comfortably. People think it's contagious and they shun you, which can be humiliating. I want people to know that psoriasis isn't contagious and that new treatments are just around the corner for those of us with this serious disease."
Father: Norm Mathers (school district executive Los Angeles)
Sister: Susie Mathers McSweeney (b. 1951)
Brother: Jimmy Mathers (b. 1955)
Wife: Rhonda Mathers (div.)
Daughter: Grethen Mathers
Daughter: Mercy Mathers
Son: Noah Mathers (sound technician, b. 23-Jan-1978)
High School: Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, CA
University: BA Philosophy, UC Berkeley (1974)
Risk Factors: Diabetes, Obesity, Psoriasis
Tony Dow is best remembered for playing Wally Cleaver, the clean-cut and much wiser older brother of Beaver on the classic family sitcom Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963). Since the show's demise, he has appeared sporadically in a couple feature films and in a few television movies. He reprised the role of Wally in the 1980s in the made-for-TV reunion film Still the Beaver (1983) and in the series it spawned. In 1965, Dow starred in the short-lived series Never Too Young. After a final feature-film appearance as a judge in the good-natured, nostalgic spoof of the Beach Party movies Back to the Beach (1987), Dow disappeared for a few years and then re-emerged as a director of television episodes for such series as Babylon 5 (1993) and as a producer of films such as It Came From Outer Space II (1996). - Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide
I couldn't find a lot about Tony, but from some of the things I read, apparently he suffered from depression a lot.