Frank Bank, the actor who played Lumpy Rutherford on the 1950s hit sitcom Leave It to Beaver, died Saturday, April 13, one day after celebrating his 71st birthday. A friend, Stu Shostak, confirmed Bank's passing to the New York Times on April 16 but did not provide a cause of death.
According to the Los Angeles Times, however, Bank suffered a number of illnesses in recent years. His Leave It to Beaver costar Jerry Mathers, who played the title character from 1957 to 1963 and later reprised the role in reunion specials, told the paper he had even been hospitalized not long ago in Rancho Mirage.
Mathers, 64, wrote on Facebook that he was saddened to hear of the passing of his "dear friend and business associate," who "always kept us laughing." To the Times, he added: "Lumpy was the ultimate bully, but Frank was a very, very kind and gentle person and a very good actor to play it so well. The show was about all the people you knew growing up and throughout your life, and Frank brought that perspective to the show."
After Leave It to Beaver ended in the early 1960s, Bank gave up acting to pursue business and became a successful stock broker in L.A. However, he later reprised his role as Lumpy in the 1983 TV movie Still the Beaver and on Disney's late 1980s reboot of the series The New Leave It to Beaver. More recently, he wrote a memoir, Call Me Lumpy: My Leave It to Beaver Days and Other Wild Hollywood Life, about his time in the spotlight during the 1960s.
Bank is survived by his wife, Rebecca; daughters Julie, Kelly, Michelle, and Joanne; and five grandchildren.