Another Child Star From The ’60s Passes Away

By Ken Foote, Director of Programming for CBS 11

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If you were a child of the 1950’s and 1960’s, you more than likely watched Leave It To Beaver.

The show ran from 1957-1963, starting on CBS in 1957, then moving to ABC until its cancellation in 1963. 234 episodes were made, watching Wally and the Beaver grow up with good-looking parents: Ward and June Cleaver.

People always wondered what Ward did for a living (he was an accountant!). And what interesting friends Wally and Beaver had: Eddie Haskell, Larry Mondelo, Gilbert Bates, Mary Ellen Rogers, and Clarence “Lumpy’ Rutherford.

Frank Bank, who played Lumpy, passed away April 13 at age 71.

Bank’s character was not only a friend of the Cleaver boys, he was the son of Ward Cleaver’s business associate, Fred Rutherford.

Lumpy was a typical American teenager: loved the girls (although not quite as handsome as Wally), bullied the little kids (nothing too serious back then unlike what some kids face in real life today which is very serious), but always a little scared of his Dad who called him either Clarence or “you goof!”, never Lumpy.

He, Wally, and Eddie were best friends and all were able to get through Mayfield High School. Lumpy never intentionally said anything in front of Ward that could be used against him because he knew it would get to Fred. Bank was masterful in playing this role. When the show ended in 1963, Bank was in real life 21 years old playing an 18 year old.

After the show left ABC, it went into syndication on local television and of late you can still see it on cable. Bank went on to be a game show panelist on Hollywood Squares and Family Feud. He lived in Palm Springs CA and was a successful bond broker. He even had specialized license plates on his car that said, “LUMPY”.

In the 1980’s, MCA Television (the original producer) created The New Leave It To Beaver where all of the kids of the 60’s were the parents of the 80’s. The New leave It To Beaver aired on KTVT from 1989-1993 in syndication.

Frank, thank you for the laughs for the past 56 years. And believe me, you were no goof!

See you next time.

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