Hugh Beaumont played one of the most famous television dads ever when he starred as Ward Cleaver in the 1950s sitcom “Leave It To Beaver.” Now, his daughter is opening up about how he was very similar as a dad in real life to the one he played on screen.
“He had a lot of input into the character,” Kristan Beaumont told Closer Weekly. “When we got into trouble, we usually had a talk with dad, just like on the show. He’d never yell or get upset.”
Born in Kansas, Beaumont originally studied theology before shifting to launching a career in Hollywood. Starring on “Leave It To Beaver,” which was on from 1957 until 1963, was one of the proudest achievements of his career.
“He took his responsibility very seriously,” explained Kristan. “That was one of the reasons he did the series. It was a way to support his family.”
The show was a massive success, but Beaumont never got wrapped up in his fame. Instead, he spent as much time as possible with his family when he wasn’t shooting the show. Kristan remembered him as a man who “loved poetry,” possessed “an infectious laugh” and considered the family’s annual trip to Minnesota as the highlight of his year.
“When you got in the car with dad, you drove until you got there–and it was 36 hours!” she recalled, adding that their trip always included lots of hiking, swimming and fishing.
“I don’t even think dad cared if he caught anything or night,” Kristan said with a laugh. “He just loved it.”
After “Leave It To Beaver” ended, Beaumont continued acting until 1970, when he suffered a stroke. He then moved to Minnesota, and acted very little after that.
Beaumont passed away of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 73 while in Germany, where he was visiting his eldest son, who was teaching psychology. Though it’s been nearly forty years since his passing, Kristan still remembers the advice her father gave her.
“My father believed that if you wanted to change anything, you had to start small,” said Kristan. “You couldn’t do everything at once. He always used to say: ‘You start by tying your shoes.’”