Mostly Credited As: Hugh Beaumont
Birth Name: Eugene Hugh Beaumont
Date Of Birth: February 16, 1909 (Age 73)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Lawrence, Kansas
Date Of Death: May 14, 1982
Cause Of Death: Heart attack (Munich, Germany)
The man forever remembered as “Ward Cleaver” was born Eugene Hugh Beaumont in Lawrence, Kansas, on February 16, 1909 to parents Ethel A. and Edward H. Beaumont. After graduating from high school, he played football at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His life then took him in a direction many fans may not have expected. Continuing his education, Beaumont graduated with a Master of Theology degree in 1946, from the University of Southern California, and was soon ordained a Methodist minister. While in college he met and married his wife of 40 years, Kathryn Adams, an actress who appeared in films like Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur. During their life together they raised 3 children.
Beaumont began his career in show business in his 20's by performing in theaters, nightclubs and radio throughout the 1930's. He started his film career in 1940, mostly consisting of uncredited bit roles. In 1957 he earned a part that would make him a household name, suburban dad "Ward Cleaver" on the popular television series Leave It To Beaver. While working on the show he also expanded his repertoire by working not just as an actor, but also a writer and director on several episodes. After the show ended in 1963, he continued to work in television making appearances on Lassie, Petticoat Junction, Mannix and many others before quietly moving into semi-retirement in Minnesota to become a Christmas tree farmer.
In 1972 Beaumont suffered a stroke that forced him to give up acting entirely. His final TV appearance had been on The Most Deadly Game in 1971. Then sadly, in May of 1982, while visiting his son in Munich, Germany, Hugh Beaumont died after suffering a heart attack.