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Leave It to Hugh Beaumont

by Linnea Crowther

Was Ozzie Nelson of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” the perfect TV dad? Robert Young as Jim Anderson on “Father Knows Best”? How about Andy Taylor of “The Andy Griffith Show”? Here’s another contender for the title of best TV dad: Hugh Beaumont.

Beaumont played “Leave It to Beaver” patriarch Ward Cleaver. For six seasons, alongside Barbara Billingsley as June Cleaver, Beaumont corralled his television sons Wally and Beaver, gently reprimanding them for their weekly misbehavior.

Ward Cleaver was the father many children dream of — he remained calm and collected even when he was upset with his boys, and his punishments reasonably fit the crimes. Most importantly, he was there for his children and played an active part in their lives. More than a few children who watched “Leave It to Beaver” would have liked to have a dad who punished them when they did wrong, rather than one who was barely there at all.

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In the Battle for the Best TV Father, there are several strong contenders — but Hugh Beaumont as Ward Cleaver was certainly one of the all-time best.

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