Hugh Beaumont: Wikis


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Hugh Beaumont

Hugh Beaumont in his portrayal of Ward Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver
Born Eugene Hugh Beaumont
February 16, 1909(1909-02-16)
Lawrence, Kansas
Died May 14, 1982 (aged 73)
Munich, Germany
Occupation Film, TV, radio actor
Spouse(s) Kathryn Adams Doty (1942–1974)

Eugene Hugh Beaumont (February 16, 1909 – May 14, 1982) was an American actor and television director. He was also licensed to preach by the Methodist church. Beaumont is best known for his portrayal of Ward Cleaver, the husband of June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) and the father of Wally (Tony Dow) and Beaver (Jerry Mathers) on the television series, Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963).



Early years

Beaumont was born in Lawrence, Kansas, to Ethel Adaline Whitney and Edward H. Beaumont.[1] After graduating from Baylor School, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he attended the University of Chattanooga, where he played football.[2] He later studied at the University of Southern California and graduated with a Master of Theology degree, in 1946. He married Kathryn Adams Doty, in 1942, and they had three children. They divorced in 1974.


In 1931, Beaumont began his career in show business by performing in theaters, nightclubs and on the radio. He began acting in motion pictures in 1940, appearing in over three dozen films (many roles not credited) before taking his best-known role as the archetypal philosophy-dispensing suburban dad Ward Cleaver on the popular sitcom television series Leave It to Beaver. In 1946-1947, Beaumont starred in five films as private detective Michael Shayne, taking over the role from Lloyd Nolan.

A precursor to his role as the kindly father figure came in Adventures of Superman. In a 1953 episode called The Big Squeeze, he played an ex-convict with a wife and son whose trust he must win back after an apparent return to his criminal past.

Before he and Barbara Billingsley were cast as the concerned parents in Leave It to Beaver, each had appeared separately in the early 1950s on Rod Cameron's syndicated detective series City Detective. He also appeared in one of the early episodes of the CBS western series, My Friend Flicka. He also guest starred in an episode of Frank Lovejoy's detective series, Meet McGraw.[3]

Beaumont not only acted in Leave It to Beaver, he also wrote and directed several episodes, including the final, retrospective episode, "Family Scrapbook." His portrayal as head of the Cleaver household ranked #28 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" in the June 20, 2004, issue.

Beaumont did not like the role of Ward Cleaver much at all, believing that it typecast him and all but obliterated recall of his many other roles in film and on television.

After Leave It to Beaver ended production and went into syndication in the fall of 1963, Beaumont appeared in many community theater productions and did a few guest roles on TV shows, such as Mannix, The Virginian, Wagon Train and Petticoat Junction.

Retirement and death

Beaumont was extemely unassuming. On one occasion in the early 1960s, he went alone to play golf at a course in the San Fernando Valley. He walked up to a twosome and asked if he could join them because the course was busier than expected. The twosome could not help but notice that other people were gawking and pointing at the Beaumont. Unable to contain their curiosity any further, they asked Beaumont why everyone was watching and pointing at him. He replied, "Why, I'm Hugh Beaumont and I'm in television!"[4]

Beaumont retired from show business in the late 1960s, launching a second career as a Christmas-tree farmer in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. His wife at the time, Kathryn Adams Doty, was born in New Ulm, Minnesota. He was forced to retire after suffering a stroke in 1972, from which he never fully recovered. On May 14, 1982, Beaumont died of a heart attack while visiting his son, a psychology professor, in Munich, Germany.


Motion pictures

Year Title Role Other notes
1940 Phantom Raiders Seaman
The Secret Seven Southern Racketeer
1941 South of Panama Paul Martin
The Cowboy and the Blonde Sound Man
Private Nurse McDonald
Unfinished Business Groom
Week-End in Havana Officer
1942 Wake Island Captain, Junior Officer
Right to the Heart Willie Donovan
Young America G-Man
Canal Zone Radio Operator
To the Shores of Tripoli Orderly
The Wife Takes a Flyer Officer
Unseen Enemy Narrator
Flight Lieutenant John McGinnis
1943 Northwest Rangers the Mountie who finds Fowler's body
The Fallen Sparrow Otto Skaas
Du Barry Was a Lady Footman
Flight for Freedom Flight Instructor
He Hired the Boss Jordan
Bombardier Soldier
Good Luck, Mr. Yates Adjutant
Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event George Sharpe
The Seventh Victim Gregory Ward
Salute to the Marines Sergeant
There's Something About a Soldier Lt. Martin
1944 I Love a Soldier John
Practically Yours Cutter
The Racket Man \"Irish\" Duffy
They Live in Fear the instructor
The Story of Dr. Wassell aide to Admiral Hart in Surabaya
Mr. Winkle Goes to War Ranger Officer
The Seventh Cross truck driver
Strange Affair Carey
1945 I'm a Civilian Here Myself Interviewer
Objective, Burma! Capt. Hennessey not credited
Blood on the Sun Johnny Clarke not credited
Counter-Attack Russian Lieutenant not credited
The Lady Confesses Larry Craig
Blonde from Brooklyn discharging Lieutenant not credited
You Came Along Chaplain
Apology for Murder Kenny Blake
1946 Murder is My Business Michael Shayne
The Blue Dahlia George Copeland
Johnny Comes Flying Home engineer
Larceny in Her Heart Michael Shayne
Blonde for a Day Michael Shayne
1947 The Guilt of Janet Ames Frank Merino
Three on a Ticket Michael Shayne
Too Many Winners Michael Shayne
Railroaded! Mickey Ferguson
Bury Me Dead Michael Dunn
1948 Reaching from Heaven Bill Starling
Money Madness Steve Clark (previously known as Freddie Howard)
The Counterfeiters Phillip Drake
1949 Tokyo Joe Major
1950 Second Chance Dr. Emory
1951 The Flying Missile Major Wilson
Target Unknown Colonel
Danger Zone Dennis O'Brien
Home Town Story man at airport
Go for Broke! Chaplain
Roaring City Denny O'Brien
Pier 23 Dennis O'Brien
The Last Outpost Lt. Fenton
Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell Policeman
Lost Continent Robert Phillips
Callaway Went Thataway Mr. Adkins, Attorney
Overland Telegraph Brad Roberts
1952 Phone Call from a Stranger Dr. Tim Brooks
Bugles in the Afternoon Lt. Cooke
Wild Stallion Capt. Wilmurt
Washington Story Chaplain
Night Without Sleep John Harkness
1953 The Mississippi Gambler Kennerly
The Member of the Wedding Minister
1955 Indian American actor
Hell's Horizon Al Trask
1956 The Mole People Dr. Jud Bellamin
1957 Night Passage Jeff Kurth
1965 The Human Duplicators Austin Welles

In popular culture

In the early 1980s, a Texas punk rock band combined this actor's name with the name of Jimi Hendrix's famous band to form The Hugh Beaumont Experience.


  • Applebaum, Irwyn. The World According to Beaver. TV Books, 1984, 1998.
  • Mathers, Jerry. ...And Jerry Mathers as "The Beaver". Berkley Boulevard Books, 1998.

External links

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