As the freckle-faced, ball cap-wearing title character on the blueprint for family sitcoms for decades to come, "Leave it to Beaver" (CBS, ABC, 1957-63), actor Jerry Mathers was forever identified with the ideal of the 1950s American family. It was a time in entertainment history that Mathers would eventually come to grips with - even embrace - after a period of moving away from the indelible, clean-cut image. "Leave it to Beaver" ran for six seasons, making Mathers and his alter-ego a permanent fixture in pop-culture, even before the phrase had come into existence. After the show ended, he would attempt to establish his own identity in a number of ways, including a stint in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War - leading to a persistent rumor of his being killed in action, despite the fact that he had never left the U.S. Eventually, an add-mixture of American nostalgia and his need to make a living would bring Mathers back to the Cleaver household with "Still the Beaver" (Disney Channel, 1984-85) and "The New Leave it to Beaver" (Disney Channel, 1986-89). The middle-aged Mathers settled into a sporadic career comprised of appearances as an interviewee on retrospectives like "Child Stars: Their Story" (A&E, 2000), or the odd dramatic turn in films such as "Better Luck Tomorrow" (2002). However, the staple of Mathers' body of work would continue to be cameo appearances as himself in family-friendly entertainment like "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" (2006), proving the child actor exemplified a beloved time in American history.