I still love The Beaver!!

Leave it to Jerry ‘Beaver’ Mathers, Tony Dow
SANTA MONICA, Calif. รณ Fifty years after they first appeared on TV as Wally and Theodore “the Beaver” Cleaver on Oct. 4. 1957, Leave It to Beaver stars Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers are still going at it like real brothers.
Discussing the plot of their 1980s reunion series, Still the Beaver, Mathers, 59, recalls that “Wally was doing very well in his architectural business.”
“No, no,” corrects Dow, 62. “Wally was an attorney. Since I hate attorneys, they made me an attorney.”
The two friends laugh, making it clear that they also share another brotherly quality: deep affection.
“Fifty is a milestone, like a wedding anniversary,” boasts Mathers, seated next to Dow in the posh TV Land offices where they have come to talk up this weekend’s 24-hour 50th anniversary marathon (TV Land, Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/PT).
Mathers, the divorced father of two daughters and a son, just concluded a three-month run in Broadway’s Hairspray playing the father, Wilbur. Dow tells Mathers he feels “really bad” that he missed his performance.
“I’ve been busy,” Dow says.
Sounding very much like the Beav, always in awe of his big bro, Mathers prods Dow: “Tell him what you do.”
With an aw-shucks sort of humility, Dow reveals he is building luxury condominiums.
“Tell him what else you do,” Mathers says. (You can almost hear him say: “Go on, Wally. Tell ’em. Tell ’em.”)
Turns out Dow is a sculptor of modern art, and one of his bronze pieces is on display in the backyard garden of their former TV mom, Barbara Billingsley, whose June Cleaver will always be remembered for vacuuming the Cleaver living room in high heels and pearls.
Dow, now a grandfather, and his wife, Lauren, live close to Billingsley. “I talk to her quite a bit,” he says. “We have dinner once a month or so.”
“She was singing at my mom’s 80th birthday party about three months ago,” Mathers pipes in. “It was the night before I left for Broadway.”
Calling from her home in Los Angeles, Billingsley, her voice quivering just a bit, still sounds like a proud mama at age 91.
“They were always good kids,” she says of her TV sons. “Tony had an exhibit of his artwork and sold 18 pieces. Pretty darn good, isn’t it?”
Not leaving Mathers out, she adds: “Jerry told me it had been a dream of his always to be able to go to New York and be in a Broadway show. So all we have to do is decide what we want to do. You have to have a dream.”
Ten years ago, a big-screen Beaver remake was produced, and only Billingsley accepted an invitation to cameo. (TV dad Hugh Beaumont died in 1982.)
“Tony and Jerry didn’t want to be in it,” Billingsley says. “They were crazy. But it really didn’t turn out very good.”
The two also turned down numerous celebrity reality show offers, Mathers says. “They thought they could throw more money at us and have us do it, but we said, ‘No, it’s not about that.’ When you denigrate (Beaver) in any way, it’s not worth it.”
“I think it depreciated the value of (the brand),” agrees Dow, who even dodged an opportunity to direct the film.
Says Mathers: “There were a lot of inneundos and such. And the Eddie Haskell character was more sexual than anything else.”
Funny enough, all these years later, the original Eddie Haskell, Ken Osmond, is still in the thick of things. He has filed a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit seeking unpaid royalties from the Screen Actors Guild.
“This suit is on behalf of all actors,” Osmond, 64, says in an e-mail. “SAG should have paid this money out that it has been collecting for over 11 years.”
Asked about Osmond’s lawsuit, Dow groans and defends Osmond just as Wally always stood up for troublemaker Eddie: “I spoke to Ken, and I doubt it was his idea.”