Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford actor Frank Bank has died. “Lumpy” was the dim-witted foil to “Beaver” Cleaver and his brother Wally on the classic Leave It to Beaver comedy.
Banks will always be remembered by anyone who grew up in the 1950s as one of sitcom’s stereotypical bullies. The series aired between 1957 and 1963, though reruns have gone on since then.
Bank played alongside Jerry Mathers (Beaver), Barbara Billingsley (Beaver’s mother, June) and Hugh Beaumont (Beaver’s often-clueless father, Ward). After learning of Bank’s death, Mathers, 64, released a statement on Facebook, saying:
“I was so sad to hear today of the passing of my dear friend and business associate Frank Bank … He was a character and always kept us laughing. My deepest condolences to Frank’s family.”
Along with playing Lumpy Rutherford, Banks also played the young Will Rogers in the 1953 film The Will Rogers Story. But despite this appearance, he was best known for the Leave It to Beaver bully role. After the sitcom was taken off the air, Banks made occasional appearances on television.
Some of those appearances included guest spots on The Hollywood Squares, Family Feud, and the 1983 TV movie Still The Beaver. After taking roles on the small screen, Frank Bank chose to become a stockbroker. The occupation helped the former on-screen bully keep in touch with the friends he made during his acting career.
Some of his clients included Mathers and Billingsley. The former TV mom once stated of working with Bank, “Frank is certainly brighter than Lumpy Rutherford, and a very good stockbroker.”
Leave It to Beaver’s Clarence Rutherford was known for his size and dim intellect, giving him the nickname “Lumpy.” But his bullying of Beaver and Wally never caused much harm — mostly because of his incompetence. But the real man was nothing like his character. He wrote an autobiography, Call My Lumpy, which was published in 2002.
Lumpy Rutherford, a.k.a. Frank Bank, passed away on Saturday at the age of 71. A cause of death has not been given.