Leave It to Beaver: About The Cast

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CHRISTOPHER McDONALD (Ward Cleaver) continues his association with producer Robert Simonds in a vastly different role, going from the arrogant and underhanded golf pro "Shooter McGavin" in Universal's hit comedy Happy Gilmore to America's most admired and imitated father in Leave It To Beaver.

McDonald is no stranger to film audiences, starring recently with Ray Liotta and Linda Fiorentino in MGM's Unforgettable for director John Dahl; with Halle Berry in Rich Man's Wife (Disney/Hollywood Pictures) and with Lawrence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding Jr. In HBO's highly-acclaimed Tuskeegee Airmen.

Additionally, McDonald starred as "Jack Berry," the infamous host in Quiz Show for director Robert Redford and as Gena Davis' selfishly concerned husband in Thelma & Louise. Other film credits include Grumpy Old Men, Chances Are, Outrageous Fortune, Wild Orchid 2: Two Shades of Blue, Grease II, The Boy's Next Door and Dutch.

McDonald is currently starring in Rysher Entertainment's A Smile Like Yours opposite Greg Kinnear and Lauren Holly. He will next star opposite Robin Williams in Buena Vista's Flubber, a remake of the Disney classic, The Absent Minded Professor. Also later this year, McDonald will star opposite Kathleen Quinlin for director John Duigan in Lawn Dogs, which premiered at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival and opposite Stanley Tucci in Rysher Entertainment's Eighteenth Angel.

JANINE TURNER stars as America's favorite mom, 'June Cleaver.' She is perhaps best known for her role as 'Maggie O'Connell' on the Emmy Award-winning CBS series Northern Exposure, for which she was nominated for an Emmy and three Golden Globe awards. She began her modeling career as a child in her native Texas before moving to New York to model and study at The Actor's Studio at the age of fifteen. She then returned to Texas after landing a recurring role on the series Dallas.

Her feature film credits include Dino Delaurentiis' Tai-Pan, George Romero's Monkey Shines and a memorable turn as Olympia Dukakis' niece in Steel Magnolias. She also starred opposite Sylvester Stallone in the international action hit, Cliffhanger.

She recently returned to television as the star of CBS' highly-rated telefilm Stolen Women, the true story of a woman kidnapped by the Lakota Sioux Indian tribe in 1868.

Nine-year-old CAMERON FINLEY (The Beaver) won his coveted role as the result of a nationwide talent search conducted in seven major cities and involving more than 5,000 boys auditioning.

Leave It To Beaver marks Finley's debut in a title role, following appearances in such feature films as The Gulf, Takedown, A Perfect World, 8 Seconds and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

He is currently filming Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock, Gena Rowlands and Harry Connick, Jr.

Finley also has an extensive list of television credits that includes Touched by an Angel, Coach, Deadly Family Secrets, Walker, Texas Ranger, Streets of Laredo, Woman of Independent Means, Heaven and Hell and Unsolved Mysteries.

Finley has a bright future ahead. As Leave It To Beaver director Andy Cadiff notes, "I always thought that if we could find an incredible kid to play Beaver, we would be home free. And it worked out that way once we saw Cameron."

ERIK von DETTEN (Wally Cleaver) didn't have to look any further than his own life to capture the spirit of The Beaver's older brother--bright, popular and athletic: a stand-up guy.

A gifted athlete and California beach kid, von Detten is skilled at surfing, skateboarding, skiing, golf, sailing and an endless list of other sports.

Von Detten also has an extensive list of feature film credits, including Amanda, Toy Story (the voice of "Sid") and Top Dog. His television credits include E.R., Bump In The Night, The Lazarus Man, A Stranger To Love, Escape To Witch Mountain, A Season Of Hope, Touched By An Angel, In The Best Of Families and a regular role on Days of Our Lives.

At the age of ten, ADAM ZOLOTIN (Eddie Haskell) tagged after his older sister Amanda to an acting school in Long Island where he was discovered by the Jan J. Agency and soon began appearing in television commercials. Within a year, he booked the starring role of Louis in the feature film, Jack, playing opposite Robin Williams and Fran Drescher. Zolotin also had a starring role in The Family Channel movie Dog's Best Friend with Richard Mulligan, Shirley Jones and Bobcat Goldwaith. Between all of this, he managed to fit in a guest star role on NBC's Law & Order where he portrayed a crack-addicted murderer and was a series regular on the Fox television series, Love and Marriage.

Zolotin is to start high school in the Fall and lives with his family in New York. His parents are both New York City school teachers. He spends most of his free time skateboarding and hanging out with his uncle, Lee Mazzilli, former New York Yankee and New York Met and now manager of the Tampa Yankees.

The original June Cleaver, BARBARA BILLINGSLEY (Aunt Martha) returns to Mayfield as the doting, but irritating Aunt Martha. Billingsley has been a true stalwart of the "Beaver" story, playing June Cleaver in 234 episodes of the original Leave It To Beaver series from 1957-63, 105 more episodes in The New Leave It To Beaver from 1983-90 (with current Leave It To Beaver producer/screenwriter Brian Levant) and the CBS TV movie Still The Beaver.

Billingsley is one of the true pioneers of television, having performed during the '50s on such shows as Four Star Playhouse, Climax, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars and Matinee Theater and co-starring with the likes of President-to-be Ronald Reagan, David Niven, Dick Powell, Ethel Barrymore, Billie Burke, Stirling Hayden, Ida Lupino, Dame Judith Anderson and Merle Oberon.

Billingsley took an extended leave from show business after Leave It To Beaver to travel, then returned in the late '70s to star in Airplane. She has been an active performer since then.

Leave It To Beaver also marks a Mayfield homecoming for KEN OSMOND (Eddie Haskell, Sr.), who returns as the father of the lovably obnoxious Eddie Haskell, the character he created forty years ago. A recipient of a Youth In Films Lifetime Achievement Award, Osmond left acting after Leave It To Beaver and formed a charter helicopter company with his brother. He also served as a Los Angeles policeman for 18 years until having to retire after surviving several gunshot wounds in an arrest attempt.

Osmond returned to acting as the adult Eddie Haskell on the television series The New Leave It To Beaver from 1983-89. His real life sons, Eric and Christian, portrayed the grown up Eddie Haskell's sons "Freddie" and "Boomer" in the series.

Leave It To Beaver marks the feature film debut of multi-talented ERIKA CHRISTENSEN (Karen Connelly), as she plays the girl who catches the eyes and breaks the hearts of best friends Wally and Eddie.

While Christensen is gifted in many areas of the performing arts, her first love is acting. In the past two years, she has performed with the Serendipity Theater Company, the Pasadena Dance Theater Company and acted in Michael Jackson's video Childhood.

Christensen also sings in an all-girl trio and performed as a back-up singer on Neil Diamond's "Christmas Album II."

Christensen studies acting, dancing and singing, and maintains a 4.0 grade point average in school ("straight A's").

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