Jerry Mathers Biography
Claim to Fame: Actor (Leave It to Beaver)
DOB: June 2, 1948
Diabetes Type: 2
Although he is best known for having played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963), Jerry Mathers, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996, is now playing the important role of advocate.
Jerry got his big break in 1955 playing Bob Hope's son in The Seven Little Foys, and Shirley MacLaine's son in The Trouble with Harry. A few years later, he began portraying "The Beaver," a role he would reprise first in the TV movie Still the Beaver (1983), and then again in the series The New Leave It to Beaver (1986-88). Recently, he made his Broadway debut playing Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray. In addition to his time on the stage and screen, Jerry also had a brief musical career. Near the end of Leave It To Beaver's run, he released two singles. After the show went off the air, he had moderate success for three-and-a-half years as part of Beaver and the Trappers.
In recent years, Jerry has done numerous television guest spots on shows including Batman, Diagnosis Murder, and Married with Children. He has also played bit parts in many motion pictures. Jerry served in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, and later worked in real-estate development and banking, as well as running his own catering business. Most recently, he has spoken to groups on the role that television plays in the state of the American family. Jerry himself is the father of three children.
Like many other people with diabetes, Jerry was diagnosed after noticing a significant change in his health. In his case, it was a 55-pound weight gain. Jerry was told that if left untreated, his diabetes would take his life within three months. Not only has Jerry taken control of his diabetes, but he lectures across the country helping others to do the same. One of the ways he does this is as the national spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson.
In an interview with dLifeTV, Jerry said, "A lot of our children have become sedentary. It's an epidemic." Along with maintaining an active lifestyle, Jerry watches what he eats in order to help keep his diabetes in check. Jerry also told dLife that diabetes is "not a death sentence." He emphasized the importance of catching it early, and urges everyone to check their blood sugar regularly.
Watch Jerry on dLifeTV.
Find more entertainers with diabetes.
Reviewed by dLife staff 12/13.
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