TV Dad Hugh Beaumont

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on December 26, 2004

Whatever happened to Hugh Beaumont, the father on Leave It To Beaver?
—Joe P., Tennessee

Beaumont died from a heart attack in 1982, at age 73, while visiting his son, Eric, a psychology professor, in Munich, Germany. The man who will forever stay in TV viewers' minds as Ward Cleaver was also an ordained minister. He had a master's degree in theology and remained active in church activities throughout his acting career. A native of Lawrence, Kan., he started his acting career in radio and theater before moving on to movies such as The Mole People and The Blue Dahlia. He was cast in Leave It To Beaver in 1957 and remained through the series' end in 1963. He continued to make guest appearances on TV shows such as Mannix and Wagon Train, but retired from acting after he suffered a stroke in 1972. He recovered enough to do some directing and community theater in Los Angeles and in Aiken, S.C. (pop. 25,337), where his youngest son, Mark, lived. Just two months before his death, Beaumont reunited with the Leave It To Beaver cast on a local TV newscast.