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Distinguished Speaker Series

March 17, 2014


Jerry Mathers

Jerry Mathers
Star of "Leave it to Beaver"


“You know, working isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be. I wonder why older people do it so much?”
-Beaver


This is an example of the endearing words said by Jerry “The Beaver” Mathers, who remains an American institution. Mathers is known by people throughout the world and was named by People Magazine as one of the most well- known individuals in television history.

Born on June 2, 1948 in Sioux City Iowa, Jerry's television and show business career began at the tender age of two when he did a Pet Condensed Milk commercial on the “Colgate Comedy Hour.” He continued to work on many of the early ‘50’s television shows and in 1954, he made his movie debut co-starring with Linda Darnell in “This Is My Love.” He then caught the attention of Alfred Hitchcock who signed him for the 1955 film, “The Trouble With Harry.”. The budding young actor next appeared in two Bob Hope movies, “The Seven Little Foys” and “That Certain Feeling.” Two movies with Alan Ladd followed, “The Deep Six” and “Men of the Fighting Lady.”

It was in 1957 however; with the debut of the series “Leave It To Beaver” that Jerry entered the hearts and homes of America. An immediate success, the show gained national attention and ran for six seasons, totaling 234 episodes. When it celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 4, 2007, the show became the longest running scripted show in television history. Currently shown on TV Land and in countries throughout the world, “Leave it to Beaver” has made Jerry an American Icon. His television movie, “Still the Beaver”, was one of the top ten movies of the week for 1982 which led to the development of a new series entitled “The New Leave It To Beaver.” Jerry successfully completed filming 108 episodes which were syndicated and aired in all major domestic and foreign markets. As well as starring in the series, Jerry also directed multiple episodes. Jerry’s legitimate theater credits include “Hairspray”, Neil Simon Theater, “Boeing, Boeing”, “Who’s On First”, and the national debut tour of “So Long Stanley” which played to standing room only houses across the country for 18 months.

Jerry’s television credits also include “Ozzie and Harriet”, “December Bride”, “Red Skelton Show”, “Screen Directors Playhouse”, “Ray Bolger Show”, “Martin and Lewis”, “George Gobel Show”, “Lux Theater,” “NBC Matinee Theater,” “Texaco Theater,” “Bob Hope Show,” “Four Star Review,” “Spike Jones”, “Colgate Comedy Hour,” “Art Linkletter’s House Party”, “Lassie”, “My Three Sons”, “Family Affair”, “Batman”, “The Love Boat”, “Lily Tomlin for President”, “Saturday Night Live”, “Diagnosis Murder”, “The Prodigy”, Academy Awards (presenter), “Vengeance Unlimited”, “Playing Patti”, “Alan Thicke Show”, “Vicki” (Vicki Lawrence Show), “Studs”, “Match Game”, “Hollywood Squares”, “Scattergories”, “Married with Children”, “Family Feud – celebrity edition”, “Howdy Doody Time Reunion”, “TV’s All Time Favorites”, “Dick Clark’s Super Bloopers and Practical Jokes”, “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”, “Sexual Malice”, “Down the Drain”, “My Talk Show”, “Flying High”, “Fourth Network”, “Hardcastle and McCormick”, “Weakest Link”, “Prodigy”, “Conrad Bloom”, “Illeanarama Supermarket” and “The Girl, the Gold Watch & Dynamite.” He has also had recurring spots on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. Additionally, the “3rd Annual TV Land Awards” (2005) as John the gardener (“Desperate Classic Housewives” skit), “The War at Home” (2006), “Getting Around - Alternatives for Seniors Who No Longer Drive” – Host, PBS Documentary, (2007).

Motion picture film credits include “Back to the Beach” with Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon and Pee Wee Herman, “Bigger Than Life”, “This is My Love” with Linda Darnell and Dan Duryea, “The Seven Little Foys” with Bob Hope, “That Certain Feeling” with Bob Hope, Eva Marie Saint, George Sanders, and Pearl Bailey, “The Shadow on the Window,” and “The Deep Six” and “Men of the Fighting Lady” with Alan Ladd. “Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) Sundance Film Festival judges award winner, “Angels with Angles”-- (2005), “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector”– (2006), “Will to Power” (2007). Mather’s topic at the 7th annual distinguished speaker event will be “The Golden Age of Television”. Past speakers have been Dr. Harvey Kushner, Bill Sammon, Mike Mullane, Beth Holloway, Dr. Joseph McInnis, and Elizabeth Smart.

Call 870-574-4521 for complimentary tickets.


Past Distinguished Speakers
March 11, 2013: Elizabeth Smart
April 23, 2012:   Dr. Joseph MacInnis
March 14, 2011: Beth Holloway
March 15, 2010: Colonel Mike Mullane
March 16, 2009: Bill Sammon
March 24, 2008: Dr. Bruce Tefft, Dr. Harvey Kushner and Mr. Jeff Epstein