This ‘Leave It to Beaver’ Cast Member Completely Gave Up Acting After the Show — and Made Way More Money
Kids who grew up in the ’50s loved Leave It to Beaver. The TV show featured Jerry Mathers as Theodore “The Beaver” Cleaver, and each episode followed the Cleaver family’s antics. All in all, the show was a success from 1957 to 1963, and it still has plenty of loyal fans to this day.
Frank Bank played Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford on the show. He was a bully on the show and frequently picked on the Cleaver boys. No one could’ve played Lumpy better than Bank — but it seems the actor had a tough time finding work after the show ended.
Frank Bank played Clarence ‘Lumpy’ Rutherford on ‘Leave It to Beaver’
There are plenty of iconic characters on Leave It to Beaver, and no other could play Lumpy Rutherford. It seems his fellow co-stars also thought Bank was the perfect fit to play the bullying teen.
“Lumpy was the ultimate bully, but Frank was a very, very kind and gentle person and a very good actor to play it so well,” Mathers told the Los Angeles Times, according to Dispatch. “The show was about all the people you knew growing up and throughout your life, and Frank brought that perspective to the show.”
Bank first made his acting debut in an uncredited role in Cargo to Capetown in 1950. But his first notable role was with Leave It to Beaver — and he became known for the part until his death.
Bank had difficulty finding work after ‘Leave It to Beaver’ ended
While Bank had a ton of success on the sitcom, he had trouble finding acting gigs afterward. According to Do You Remember?, Bank had an extremely difficult time separating himself from his role as Lumpy. This led him to get typecast frequently as the same type of character. Even when he was offered a role in a pilot episode centered on the Archie comic books, one of the representatives commented that they’d always view Bank as his iconic Beaver character.
“I love the show, but I can’t get it out of my head that that’s Lumpy on screen, not Archie,” the representative said.
Dispatch noted this greatly discouraged Bank, and he stated he didn’t want “to be like George Reeves, who could only be Superman.” This led him to pursue business instead of acting, and he ultimately became a six-figure stock-and-bond broker in Los Angeles.
Bank died at 71 years old
Bank died at the age of 71, but he was remembered by his friends, family, and Leave It to Beaver co-stars. “I was so sad to hear today of the passing of my dear friend and business associate Frank Bank, who played Lumpy on Leave it to Beaver,” Mathers posted to Facebook in 2013, according to Entertainment Weekly. “He was a character and always kept us laughing. My deepest condolences to Frank’s family.”
While Bank ultimately gave up acting, he’ll forever be remembered for his role. And Dispatch notes his children adored the fact that he was on the show even when he didn’t think it was anything to brag about. As he told Orange Coast magazine in 1989, “They were so proud, I became proud.”
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