Have you ever wondered what the net worth of Jerry Mathers’s is? Jerry Mathers is an American actor best known for his childhood role as Beaver Cleaver in the beloved family sitcom, Leave It to Beaver.
As of May 2023, Jerry Mathers has a net worth of $3 million.
In this article, we’ll discover how the former child star has acquired his meager fortune.
Table of Contents
Early Life and Career
Gerald Patrick “Jerry” Mathers was born in Sioux City, Iowa in 1948. He grew up in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles with his sister and two brothers.
At age two, Mathers modeled for a Christmas calendar ad for a department store. Around the same time, he made his TV debut on Ed Wynn’s variety show. Later, he co-starred with the comedian-host in a PET milk commercial.
Between the ages of six and seven, he appeared in the following movies:
- This Is My Love (1954)
- The Seven Little Foys (1955)
- The Trouble With Harry (1955)
- That Certain Feeling (1956)
- The Shadow on the Window (1957)
He also guest-starred in the following TV shows:
- The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952)
- Lux Video Theatre (1955)
- General Electric Theater (1955)
- NBC Matinee Theater (1955)
- Screen Directors Playhouse (1956)
Leave It to Beaver
Mathers gained worldwide fame through his portrayal of Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver in the TV show, Leave It to Beaver. His real-boy spunk landed him the role after telling the show producers that he didn’t want to be there because he had a Cub Scout meeting.
The show ran from 1957 to 1963 in original programming, with Mathers appearing in all 234 episodes.
A deal was made on his behalf where he would earn a percentage of the merchandise revenue for the show. Half a century later, the original show still generates revenue.
The show made history as the longest-running sitcom in television history, with episodes distributed in 40 languages and 80 countries. This cemented Mathers’ status as an American icon.
Mathers spent his post-Beaver years living a pretty normal life.
He attended Notre Dame High School and was actively involved in the school’s sports program. During this time, he made a few TV appearances and had to turn down many, due to his football and swimming practices.
He also enlisted in the US Military and served in the California Air National Guard in Van Nuys, California. He was rumored to have been killed in action (KIA) in the Vietnam War, though he was never stationed outside the US.
In 1973, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1962, Mathers recorded two songs: Don’t Cha Cry and Wind-up Toy. In high school, he led a rock band called Beaver and the Trappers, reminiscent of his childhood breakout role.
After college, Mathers worked as a commercial loan officer, then later as a real estate broker. He invested his savings from his acting career and started earning a $500–weekly payout.
In 1978, Mathers returned to acting when he joined his on-screen brother Tony Dow to do theater. The pair sold out a 10-week run of the play Boeing, Boeing, in Kansas City, Missouri. Shortly after, they headlined another show, So Long, Stanley, and went on a national tour until 1980.
In 1981, Mathers worked as a radio DJ at KEYZ in Anaheim, California. Two years later, he joined the original Leave It to Beaver cast for a TV movie, Still the Beaver.
Following the success of the reunion film, he reprised his role in the sequel, The New Leave It to Beaver, under Disney Channel. He earned a generous $45,000 weekly salary but struggled with the strict weight requirement and demanding schedule.
He finished filming 108 episodes, which were syndicated on major TV networks in the US and other countries.
Between 1987 and 1991, he appeared in episodes of the following TV shows:
- The Love Boat (1987)
- Park Lewis Can’t Lose (1991)
- Vengeance Unlimited (1991)
- Diagnosis: Murder (1999)
- Married… With Children (1999)
In 1989, he released his autobiography, And Jerry Mathers as the Beaver, under Putnam Publishing. Paperback copies of the book are still available on Amazon. Goodreads is also running a digital version.
In 2001, he was voted off in the first round of The Weakest Link, Child TV Stars edition.
In 2007, he starred as Wilbur Tumblad in the award-winning Broadway musical Hairspray.
In the late 1990s, Mathers had a successful catering business called Cleaver’s Catering in Sta. Clarita, California. His company provided catering services for various TV and movie outfits.
He claimed that he had various computer businesses as well, one of which was wide-format printing.
In 1989, People magazine listed Mathers in the top 25 television stars of all time. During the same year, he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Young Artist Awards for his work in Leave It to Beaver.
After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996, Mathers took a weight loss program with Jenny Craig. He made incredible progress and used his celebrity status to educate fellow diabetics on the company’s behalf.
He represented the Partnership for Prescription Alliance too, which brought affordable medicines to people without health insurance.
Jerry Mathers Net Worth 2023
As of May 2023, his estimated net worth is $3 million. At 74, the father of three lives a quiet life out of the limelight.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Jerry Mathers Related To Marshall Mathers, Otherwise Known As Eminem?
No, they aren’t relatives.
Is Jerry Mathers Still Alive?
Yes. He is the only living cast member of Leave It to Beaver.
Did Jerry Mathers get sued for using his Beaver photo to promote his catering business?
Yes, but the court ruled in his favor because it was indeed his face in the photo.
Despite being a former child superstar, Mathers attended school like a regular kid, did sports, and finished college. He also managed to render military service for five years.
Fame didn’t change Jerry Mathers. In fact, he used it to spread his health advocacies.
Hustle in Silence
When Jerry Mathers wasn’t active in Hollywood, he worked white-collar jobs and ventured into several businesses. Being his good-natured self, he never once complained about doing what every average American does to earn a living.
Take Charge of Your Health
A slew of medical problems prompted Jerry Mathers to turn his life around. His determination to improve his health and well-being paid off, and he still lives to tell the tale.