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5 Surprising Facts About Leave It to Beaver’s ‘Lumpy’ Rutherford

Frank Bank, who died on April 13 at age 71, only had a brief acting career in the 1950s and early 1960s. Nevertheless, he made a powerful impression on boomers with his one major role – as Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford, the hefty, dim-witted teenager who sometimes picked on young Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver, the popular sitcom that aired from 1957 to 1963. As Lumpy, Bank resonated with audiences because a certain childlike vulnerability peeked out from underneath his bullying bluster. Here he is, admitting to the Cleaver family that he can’t affect a stylish hairstyle because “I got a funny-shaped head.”

But Bank, despite his early stardom, quickly vanished from show business after Beaver left the air. As Time magazine once detailed, he became fodder for the same rumor mongers who had Mathers being killed in Vietnam and Ken Osmond (the annoyingly smarmy Eddie Haskell on the show) resurfacing as either pornographic film star John Holmes or shock-rocker Alice Cooper. In Bank’s case, he was rumored to have married either screen sex-goddess Raquel Welch or Barbara Billingsley, who played Beaver’s mother June Cleaver. But the truth was about Bank perhaps even more surprising:


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