LEAVE IT TO BEAVER’s Hugh Beaumont, who played patriarch Ward Cleaver, was an authentic family man both on and off screen, says daughter Kristan Beaumont.
“He had a lot of input into the character,” Kristan told Closer Weekly in a recent interview. “When we got into trouble, we usually had a talk with dad, just like on the show. He’d never yell or get upset.”
Though Beaumont died in 1982, his legacy as one of television’s favorite fathers continues. His faith plays a large part in that legacy, as well.
Before his career in Hollywood took off, he earned his Master of Theology degree from the University of Southern California in 1946. Because of his schooling, he was able to work as a lay minister for the Methodist Church as well as act, according to The New York Times.
The popular sitcom aired from 1957-1963 and gave an opportunity for Beaumont to provide for his family.
“He took his responsibilities very seriously,” says Kristan. “That was one of the reasons he did the series. It was a way to support his family.”
Family was very important to Beaumont. Kristan explained how their annual family trip to Minnesota was the “high point” of his year.
“When you got in the car with Dad, you drove until you got there — and it was 36 hours!” she said.
Their days in Minnesota were spent hiking, swimming and fishing.
“I don’t even think Dad cared if he caught anything or not,” she laughs. “He just loved it.”
His daughter also divulged that Beaumont “loved poetry,” and possessed “an infectious laugh.”
When Beaumont’s days as Ward Cleaver came to an end, he continued to act, write and even opened his own Christmas tree farm.
He also took time to mentor the young actors from LEAVE IT TO BEAVER until his death in 1982.
Mentoring young actors echoed these words of advice Kristan’s father gave her.
“My father believed that if you wanted to change anything, you had to start small. You couldn’t do everything at once,” she said. “He always used to say: ‘You start by tying your shoes.’”