‘Leave It to Beaver’ Secrets Revealed

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Leave It to Beaver is one of the most well-known American television shows of all time. The adventures of the Cleaver family – Ward, June, Wally, and Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver – became legendary, and the characters became the archetype against which all future sitcom families would be judged. However, despite the show’s popularity, there are plenty of Leave It to Beaver secrets out there.

From first auditions and casting changes to production secrets and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, we’ve found everything you could possibly want to know about Leave It to Beaver, including why the show ended after 234 episodes.

Be sure to SHARE these Leave It to Beaver secrets with everyone who appreciates classic television.

Tony Dow’s Acting Experience

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Prior to his casting as Wally Cleaver, Tony Dow had little acting experience. However, he was an accomplished diver and won a Junior Olympics championship in the 1950s.

Barbara Billingsley’s Pearls...

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Cleaver family matriarch June always wore a distinctive pearl necklace throughout the series’ run. The look became an iconic part of the character, and become a universal symbol for the trope of a “sitcom mom” (see: Marge Simpsons). However, the character’s jewelry choice wasn’t a fashion statement. Actress Barbara Billingsley was insecure about an indentation in her neck and insisted on wearing the necklace in all her scenes.

...And Her Heels

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The pearls weren’t the only identifiable part of Barbara Billingsley’s wardrobe.

Early in the series, her character, June, would often wear flat shows. However, as the show went on and the teenage actors grew, Billingsley’s shoes transitioned to heels so she could maintain a height difference with them.

Fictitious Mayfield

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For years, fans have debated where the fictional town of Mayfield — where the series took place — was set. Some claimed the town was in Wisconsin (thanks to a throwaway line about the governor living in Madison), while others pointed to an episode where Beaver wanted a surfboard as proof that Mayfield was in a coastal state.

In truth, the creators never had a specific state in mind for Mayfield.

Town Footage

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Stock footage of Skokie, Illinois was used for establishing shots of Mayfield.