Born in Lawrence, Kansas, on February 16, 1909, actor Hugh Beaumont grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. After going to college at the University of Chattanooga for a few semesters, Beaumont's family moved to Los Angeles, and he completed his studies at USC. Beaumont's initial ambition was to be a minister, but he left that goal behind, at least temporarily, and began doing stage and radio work in the 1930s. Winning a "Gateway to Hollywood" contest, his first film appearance came in the MGM short Jack Pot (1940; with Tom Neal), which was a part of the studio's Crime Doesn't Pay series of shorts. In April 1941, he married Universal contract player Kathryn Adams, who retired from acting to be a wife and mother. Beaumont's career was stagnating in a series of bit parts until the mid 1940s, when he took over the role of Michael Shayne from Lloyd Nolan in PRC's detective series of films. When the series was resurrected for television in 1960, Richard Denning played the fictional private detective.

While working as a lay minister on weekends, Beaumont continued acting in a flourish of noir releases at PRC, but when the studio was absorbed by Eagle-Lion in 1948, his film career sagged. But he kept working in the then-new medium of television, in educational and industrial films as an actor and narrator, and in theatrically released films such as The Mole People (1956; with John Agar) and in westerns including Night Passage (1957; with Audie Murphy. In 1957, Beaumont landed the role of Ward Cleaver in the CBS (later ABC) situation comedy Leave It to Beaver for which he's now best remembered.

the films of hugh beaumont

South of Panama (1941)

Hugh Beaumont

From the PRC thriller South of Panama

Apology for Murder (1945)

Hugh Beaumont and Ann Savage

With B movie queen Ann Savage in PRC's Apology for Murder

The Lady Confesses (1945)

Hugh Beaumont and Mary Beth Hughes

With Mary Beth Hughes in the PRC noir The Lady Confesses

Blonde for a Day (1946)

Hugh Beaumont, Frank Ferguson, and Mauritz HugoKathryn Adams and Hugh Beaumont

LEFT: With Frank Ferguson and Mauritz Hugo in PRC's Michael Shayne entry Blonde for a Day. RIGHT: With Kathryn Adams, who was Beaumont's wife from 1941 to 1974

Three on a Ticket (1947)

Hugh BeaumontHugh Beaumont

From Beaumont's penultimate Michael Shayne series entry Three on a Ticket, one of the later films released by PRC

Railroaded (1947)

Hugh Beaumont

Beaumont is on John Ireland's trail in PRC's crime drama Railroaded

Money Madness (1948)

Frances Rafferty, Hugh Beaumont, and Cecile Weston

With Frances Rafferty and Cecile Weston in the low-budget mystery Money Madness

Danger Zone (1951)

Tom Neal, Pamela Blake, Virginia Dale, and Hugh Beaumont

With Tom Neal, Pamela Blake, and Virginia Dale in Danger Zone

The Mole People (1956)

John Agar, Cynthia Patrick, and Hugh BeaumontHugh Beaumont and John AgarHugh Beaumont and John AgarHugh Beaumont and Nestor Paiva

From the campy Universal-International sci-fi release The Mole People. LEFT: With John Agar and Cynthia Patrick. CENTER: With John Agar. RIGHT: With Nestor Paiva

Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963 TV Series)

Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, Barbara Billingsley, and Jerry Mathers

With Tony Dow, Barbara Billingsley, and Jerry Mathers in a 1958 ABC-TV photo from Leave It to Beaver. Beaumont directed many episodes during the six-year run of the series

later years

Beaumont earned a master's degree in theology from USC in 1946 and frequently served as a minister in southern California churches while continuing his acting career. After Leaver It to Beaver was canceled in the summer of 1963, Beaumont's acting career slowed. He made just one more film, the 1965 sci-fi flick The Human Duplicators with George Nader and Barbara Nichols. He kept working on television until the early 1970s, where he made a number of guest appearances on popular TV programs, including Mannix and Petticoat Junction, and he also returned to stage work. Retiring from acting in 1971, Beaumont and his wife moved to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and started a tree farm. Soon afterward, he suffered a severe stroke at the age of 63 which left his face partially paralyzed, and he never fully recovered. After 33 years, his marriage to Kathryn Adams dissolved in 1974. He passed away suddenly from a heart attack while visiting his older son in Munich, Germany on May 14, 1982, at the age of 73. Hugh Beaumont was survived by two sons and a daughter and his sister, Gloria.

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The Human Duplicators (1965) with George Nader, Barbara Nichols, Richard Kiel, Dolores Faith, and Richard Arlen
Night Passage (1957) with James Stewart, Audie Murphy, and Elaine Stewart
The Mole People (1956) with John Agar, Cynthia Patrick, Nestor Paiva, and Alan Napier
Hell's Horizon (1955) with John Ireland, Marla English, Bill Williams, and Larry Pennell
The Mississippi Gambler (1953) with Tyrone Power, Piper Laurie, Julie Adams, William Reynolds, and Guy Williams
The Member of the Wedding (1952) with Julie Harris, Ethel Waters, and Dickie Moore
Night Without Sleep (1952) with Gary Merrill, Linda Darnell, and Hildegard Knef
Wild Stallion (1952) with Martha Hyer, Ben Johnson, and Edgar Buchanan
Bugles in the Afternoon (1952) with Ray Milland, Hugh Marlowe, and George Reeves
Phone Call from a Stranger (1952) with Bette Davis, Gary Merrill, Shelley Winters, Warren Stevens, and Craig Stevens
Overland Telegraph (1951) with Tim Holt, Mari Blanchard, and George Nader
Callaway Went Thataway (1951) with Fred MacMurray, Dorothy McGuire, Jesse White, and Howard Keel
Lost Continent (1951) with Cesar Romero, Hillary Brooke, Acquanetta, John Hoyt, Sid Melton, and Chick Chandler
Savage Drums (1951) with Sabu, Lita Baron, and Sid Melton
Pier 23 (1951) with Ann Savage, Mike Mazurki, and Peter Mamakos
Roaring City (1951) with Wanda McKay
Danger Zone (1951) with Tom Neal and Virginia Dale
Cavalry Charge (1951) with Rhonda Fleming, Ronald Reagan, Bruce Bennett, and Bill Williams
Target Unknown (1951) with Mark Stevens, Joyce Holden, and Alex Nicol
Second Chance (1950) with Ruth Warrick
Tokyo Joe (1949) with Humphrey Bogart and Florence Marly
The Counterfeiters (1948) with Lon Chaney Jr., George O'Hanlon, Joi Lansing, and Herbert Rawlinson
Money Madness (1948) with Frances Rafferty
Reaching From Heaven (1948) with Regis Toomey and Margaret Hamilton
Bury Me Dead (1947) with Cathy O'Donnell and June Lockhart
Railroaded (1947) with John Ireland, Sheila Ryan, Keefe Brasselle, and Peggy Converse
Too Many Winners (1947) with Trudy Marshall and Byron Foulger
Three on a Ticket (1947)
The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947) with Rosalind Russell, Melvyn Douglas, and Sid Caesar
Blonde for a Day (1946) with Frank Ferguson
Larceny in Her Heart (1946) with Cheryl Walker
The Blue Dahlia (1946) with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake
Johnny Comes Flying Home (1946) with Richard Crane and Harry Morgan
Murder Is My Business (1946) with Lyle Talbot, Cheryl Walker, and Virginia Christine
Apology for Murder (1945) with Ann Savage and Arch Hall Sr.
You Came Along (1945) with Lizabeth Scott, Robert Cummings, and Don DeFore
The Lady Confesses (1945) with Mary Beth Hughes
The Racket Man (1944) with Tom Neal and Larry Parks
Prunes and Politics (1944) with Edgar Kennedy and Barbara Hale
There's Something About a Soldier (1943) with Tom Neal, Evelyn Keyes, Bruce Bennett, Jeff Donnell, and Kane Richmond
The Seventh Victim (1943) with Tom Conway and Evelyn Brent
The Fallen Sparrow (1943) with John Garfield, Maureen O'Hara, and Walter Slezak
Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) with Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, and Gene Kelly
Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event (1943) with Lupe Velez and Leon Errol
He Hired the Boss (1943) with Stuart Erwin, Vivian Blaine, and Chick Chandler
Canal Zone (1942) with Chester Morris, Harriet Nelson, and Larry Parks
To the Shores of Tripoli (1942) with John Payne, Maureen O'Hara, and Randolph Scott
Right to the Heart (1942) with Brenda Joyce, Cobina Wright, and Don DeFore
Week-End in Havana (1941) with John Payne, Alice Faye, and Carmen Miranda
South of Panama (1941) with Roger Pryor and Virginia Vale
Jack Pot (1940) with Tom Neal and Reed Hadley

Leave It to Beaver, 1957-1963 CBS/ABC TV Series. Beaumont portrayed Ward Cleaver

The Most Deadly Game, episode The Classic Burial Position, originally aired January 2, 1971
Medical Center, episode Death Grip, originally aired November 4, 1970
Mannix, episode The Mouse That Died, originally aired October 17, 1970
Mannix, episode War of Nerves, originally aired March 14, 1970
Marcus Welby, M.D., episode The "Merely" Syndrome, originally aired March 3, 1970
The Virginian, episode Nora, originally aired December 11, 1968
Mannix, episode To the Swiftest, Death, originally aired October 19, 1968
The Virginian, episode With Help from Ulysses, originally aired January 17, 1968
Petticoat Junction, episode With This Gown I Thee Wed, originally aired November 4, 1967
Petticoat Junction, episode Meet the In-Laws, originally aired October 28, 1967
The Virginian, episode Girl on the Glass Mountain, originally aired December 28, 1966
Petticoat Junction, episode Every Bachelor Should Have a Family, originally aired April 19, 1966
Lassie, episode Cradle of the Deep, originally aired February 6, 1966
Wagon Train, episode The Pearlie Garnet Story, originally aired February 24, 1964
The Adventures of McGraw, episode Border City, originally aired July 23, 1957
Tales of Wells Fargo, episode Jesse James, originally aired, originally aired July 1, 1957
The Loretta Young Show, episode Take Care of My Child, originally aired November 1, 1956
General Electric Summer Originals, episode Alias Mike Hercules, originally aired July 31, 1956
Celebrity Playhouse, episode Home Is the Soldier, originally aired April 2, 1956
The Loretta Young Show, episode But for God's Grace, originally aired April 1, 1956
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Web of Circumstance, originally aired March 9, 1956
Four Star Playhouse, episode Command, originally aired February 23, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Silent Strangers, originally aired February 9, 1956
Cavalcade of America, episode The Boy Who Walked to America, originally aired January 3, 1956
My Friend Flicka, episode One Man's Horse, originally aired January 1, 1956
Medic, episode The World So High, originally aired December 26, 1955
The Loretta Young Show, episode Man in the Ring, originally aired December 11, 1955
Crossroads, episode With All My Love, originally aired October 28, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Firing Squad, originally aired October 6, 1955
Cavalcade of America, episode A Time for Courage, originally aired September 13, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Frightened Woman, originally aired June 23, 1955
Science Fiction Theatre, episode Conversation with an Ape, originally aired June 17, 1955
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, episode Stake My Life, originally aired May 8, 1955
The Loretta Young Show, episode Dateline: Korea, originally aired March 13, 1955
The Public Defender, episode A Knowledge of Astronomy, originally aired March 3, 1955
Lassie, episode The Well, originally aired February 20, 1955
Climax!, episode The Leaf Out of the Book, originally aired February 3, 1955
The Loretta Young Show, episode The Refinement of 'Ab', originally aired January 23, 1955
The Loretta Young Show, episode The Girl Who Knew, originally aired January 2, 1955
The Lineup, episode Cop Shooting, originally aired December 10, 1954
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Adolescent, originally aired October 28, 1954
Studio 57, episode Trap Mates, originally aired October 5, 1954
The Public Defender, episode Think No Evil, originally aired August 16, 1954
Fireside Theatre, episode Fight Night, originally aired May 11, 1954
Cavalcade of America, episode The Paper Sword, originally aired April 27, 1954
The Public Defender, episode Lost Cause, originally aired March 25, 1954
Lux Video Theatre, episode Call Me Mrs., originally aired March 11, 1954
City Detective, episode The Blonde Orchid, originally aired January 1, 1954
Waterfront, episode Backwash, originally aired January 1, 1954
The Loretta Young Show, episode The Bronte Story, originally aired November 15, 1953
Adventures of Superman, episode The Big Squeeze, originally aired September 25, 1953
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Trestle, originally aired June 11, 1953
The Lone Ranger, episode The Godless Men, originally aired January 29, 1953
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Guardian of the Clock, originally aired January 23, 1953
Hopalong Cassidy, episode The Feud, originally aired October 28, 1952
Dangerous Assignment, episode The Assassin Ring Story, originally aired April 21, 1952
Dangerous Assignment, episode The Manger Story, originally aired January 1, 1952
Dangerous Assignment, episode The Piece of String Story, originally aired January 1, 1952
The Silver Theatre, episode Lady with Ideas, originally aired May 8, 1950

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Watch Hugh Beaumont's 1948 film noir thriller Money Madness

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This page premiered October 8, 2003.