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Leave It to Beaver's Lumpy, Frank Bank, Dies
Monday April 15, 2013 11:25 AM EDT
Leave It to Beaver's Lumpy, Frank Bank, Dies
BY STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN
Frank Bank, who played the clumsy bully Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford on the popular 1957-1963 series Leave It to Beaver, died Saturday, one day after his 71st birthday, say published reports.
No cause of death was reported.
Beaver star Jerry Mathers, now 64, posted to his Facebook page Saturday: "I was so sad to hear today of the passing of my dear friend and business associate Frank Bank, who played Lumpy on Leave it to Beaver. He was a character and always kept us laughing. My deepest condolences to Frank's family."
Born in Los Angeles, Bank first appeared on screen as the very young Will Rogers in the 1952 Warner Bros. biopic The Will Rogers Story, and then managed to deliver other TV roles at the same time he was appearing on Leave It to Beaver.
Once the gentle sitcom about childhood was canceled, Bank continued to make sporadic TV appearances, including those on The Hollywood Squares, Family Feud, the 1983 TV movie Still The Beaver (it spawned The New Leave It to Beaver series, which ran four years) – although, in 1972, he had entered an entirely different profession: as a stock-and-bond broker.
According to a 1998 PEOPLE profile, Bank learned to handicap horses and read The Wall Street Journal during breaks on the Beaver set, where he taught himself "everything there was to know about tax-free bonds." Within three years of getting started, he says, he was earning $300,000 a year at an L.A.-based company.
Among his clients were Mathers and Barbara Billingsley, who played Leave It to Beaver's matriarch, June Cleaver. As she once told PEOPLE: "Frank is certainly brighter than Lumpy Rutherford, and a very good stockbroker."
But then, he was never like Lumpy, really. In his 1997 autobiography Call Me Lumpy, he claimed that, during the Beaver" years, he lived a life of wine, women and song – with maybe not much emphasis on wine and song.
"A thousand women," Bank told PEOPLE, though his costars, including Eddie Haskell's alter ego, actor Ken Osmond, found the claim hard to swallow. "I never pictured Frank as being Don Juan," said Osmond. "But I never went on a date with him."
Someone who did, however, ended up becoming his second wife, Rebecca Bank. (Earlier, Bank had married his high school sweetheart and had two daughters.)
Rebecca told PEOPLE of their first encounter in 1981, "We met at a party and fell in love." The two, who shared a passion for tournament poker, divorced their respective spouses and immediately married, the magazine reported in 1998.
- I was just thinking today that all of the main kids from "Beaver" and "Father Knows Best" (I know, too much Antenna TV) are still alive.
- I can't believe Lumpy was 71. Damn, I'm getting old!
- Antenna TV is showing 40 episodes of LITB back-to-back on Sunday, 4/28. I know they're losing "Beaver" to MeTV shortly thereafter (along with Adam-12 and Dragnet), so is this one last gasp to make sure that the show is overexposed so no one watches it on the competition?
- R.I.P., Lumpy Beaver.
- Mad Men's Rich Sommer would be brilliant playing Lumpy in the remake.
- Many people criticize Leave It To Beaver for bring corny and for a large part it was, but it also had it's moments where it was very touching. One of the Lumpy centered episodes had him getting a football scholarship and everyone has happy for him, congratulating him and throwing a party in his honor. June even bakes him a football shaped cake. During the party, Lumpy finds out he didn't actually get the scholarship because of a bad grade and is very hurt and disappointed, not so much because of the scholarship itself but because he feels that he let down all the people who were so thrilled for him.
- [quote]I know they're losing "Beaver" to MeTV shortly thereafter (along with Adam-12 and Dragnet),
How do you know that? I love those shows.
- These have been the dying-est last 10 days for older stars(I know, Lumpy wasn't exactly a star) that I can remember.
- R7 See link
- Did Lumpy ever find out that "Daddy" was gay?
- How old was the Lumpy character supposed to be? Bank was 15 when the show started, and 21 when it ended. I remember the Lumpy character as being about 14, not an adult at all. Was he one of those creepy adults who look young, playing a child on tv?
- Lumpy Rutherford was one of Wally's friends, R11, and was always a big football player oaf.
You're thinking of Larry Mondello, maybe.
- Yeah I'm thinking of the blond-headed, shy weirdo, who is also chubby, so I thought that was Lumpy.
- You're next, Beaver!
- Loved how Lumpy always called his father Daddy.
- Larry Mondello had swollen glands.
- All the kids called him "Lumpy". But just between us, 'Lumpy' was also my pet name for Ward's penis. Ward really didn't like it and he would roughly clutch my neck pearls. Oh that sweet man.
- RIP Clarence
- Any relation to G/Rumpy?
- My partner and I have watched every episode of "Leave It to Beaver" over the last year. It was fun to see Lumpy's character introduced as a bully, and then brought in as a slightly softer regular.
- I've been watching the series for the first time on Netflix. I'm currently up to season four.
Why didn't they spin-off the Mondellos? They were hilarious. Mrs. Mondello: Things would be all right if my daughter could just find a husband. Then we'd always have a man around to give it to Larry when his father's out of town.
Also, Hugh Beaumont was a total DILF.
- I know Lumpy's dad was played by Richard Deacon, more famous for The Dick Van Dyke Show, but did we ever see his mother?
- R13, I am as sure as it's possible to be without ever having seen the show in color that Larry Mondello was a redhead.
Next to Eddie, Larry was my favorite character. But Lumpy was a close third -- so hilarious to see that big ox call his pompous father "Daddy".
- Richard Deacon was gay.
- Now he belongs to the ages.
- Lumpy's mother was played by Majel Barret (Star Trek) and his sister Violet (who gave Beaver his first kiss--they showed a clip of it, as well as the actors reenacting the scene in the present, on some former child actor show a few years ago)-- was played by Veronica Cartwright.
- [quote]Why didn't they spin-off the Mondellos? They were hilarious. Mrs. Mondello: Things would be all right if my daughter could just find a husband. Then we'd always have a man around to give it to Larry when his father's out of town.
Larry wasn't seen after the third season. I've seen two different versions about why he was written out-- one says his family (in real life) moved to Philadelphia; the other says that his mother was such a stage mother that the producers couldn't deal with her. (The latter is from Barbara Billingsley.)
- Leave It to Beaver all-day marathon on Antenna TV. Saw a nice scene of Hugh Beaumont in sweatpants earlier.