One of television’s most famous sitcom actors visited Iowa Sunday to speak at the Sioux City Catholic Diocese annual bishop’s dinner for Catholic schools. Jerry Mathers played Beaver Cleaver in the long-running series “Leave it to Beaver.” Mathers said he started the series at age nine after overcoming a reading obstacle.
“I’m dyslexic, so when I read something I do not read it the same way you do,” Mathers explained. He said he got around the problem by having his mother read him stories and he would memorize them, and then act like he was reading them the next day. Mathers was born in Sioux City, but move to California when he was one year old, and the visit was the first time he had been back to the city since then.
Mathers stared in 234 episodes of the program and says he tried to stay in family oriented productions throughout his acting career.
“I have turned down things. It’s very hard as an actor when you go into a project to know how it’s going to be cut and what kind of a rating it’s going to be. So I have turned down several films that I could immediately see would be R’s,” Mathers explained.
“Leave it to Beaver” continues to gain fans as it is shows in reruns, but Mathers says he has yet to watch an episode of the show.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City