Frank Bank was a bully but only on TV's 'Leave It to Beaver'

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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LOS ANGELES -- Frank Bank, who as Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford served as the dimwitted foil to "Beaver" Cleaver and brother Wally on the classic TV comedy Leave It to Beaver, died Saturday. He was 71.

A spokesman for Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles confirmed Mr. Bank's death but did not disclose where he died or the cause.

Mr. Bank had a number of illnesses and was hospitalized recently in Rancho Mirage, Calif., said Jerry Mathers, who played Beaver Cleaver in the popular series that ran from 1957 to 1963.

Leave It to Beaver revolved around young Beaver and his misadventures, which usually involved the teenage Wally and Wally's friends -- skinny, sarcastic Eddie Haskell and oafish, overweight Lumpy, who loved pushing Beaver around.

"Lumpy was the ultimate bully, but Frank was a very, very kind and gentle person and a very good actor to play it so well," Mathers told the Los Angeles Times. "The show was about all the people you knew growing up and throughout your life, and Frank brought that perspective to the show."

By the mid-1970s Mr. Bank had left show business and was earning a six-figure income as a stock-and-bond broker in Los Angeles. Among his clients were former co-stars Mathers and Barbara Billingsley, who had played Mrs. Cleaver. "Frank is certainly brighter than Lumpy Rutherford, and a very good stockbroker," Billingsley told People magazine in 1968.

Born in Los Angeles on April 12, 1942, Mr. Bank made his acting debut in 1950 with an uncredited appearance in the movie Cargo to Capetown. He had small parts on television before joining the cast of Leave It to Beaver.

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