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Cameron Finley
Born (1987-08-30) August 30, 1987 (age 34)
  • Molecular biologist
  • former child actor
Years active1992–2000

Joseph Cameron Finley (born August 30, 1987) is an American former child actor[1] and molecular biologist. While receiving accolades for his work in Hope Floats, Baywatch, One True Love, and Perfect Game, he is most known for his role as Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver in the 1997 film Leave It to Beaver based upon the television series by the same name.[2]


Finley was born in Garland, Texas, the son of Lexa Iann (née Aulgur), a spiritual healer, and Charles David "Chuck" Finley, a software developer.[3] He has two siblings, Taz and Stopher.[4] When he was three, he was taken by his parents to an acting seminar near his home. He continued acting until the age of 12, at which time he chose to quit acting so he could go to school full-time and "be a normal kid".

Finley attended Moorpark High School. He graduated in 2010 from UC San Diego with a degree in molecular biology. He currently[when?] resides in Brooklyn, NY.[citation needed]


Finley starred in his first national commercial, for Shell Oil,[5] when he was three years old and living with his family in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas.[6][7] He also featured in commercials for such companies as Taco Bell, Shout, and Brink's Security. Finley acted in the films What's Eating Gilbert Grape, A Perfect World, 8 Seconds, and appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on three occasions.[5] In 1997, after beating out more than 5,000 other boys in a nationwide search, Finley played the title character in the Leave It to Beaver film.[8] He then appeared in Hope Floats as Travis, a sad child who dresses up as a dozen different characters ranging from Barney the Dinosaur to Charlie Chaplin.[9] In 1995 Finley was one of the 3,000 actors that auditioned for the role of young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.[10] Finley also starred in the 2000 direct-to-video Disney movie Perfect Game, in which he played Kanin, a boy driven by the ghost of his deceased father to show that he can play baseball as well as anyone on the championship Little League team.[11]

Since leaving acting in 2000, Cameron graduated from high school and went to study at the University of California, San Diego. He has worked as a researcher in molecular biology, and has published a number of academic research articles in his field.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 What's Eating Gilbert Grape Doug Carver
1993 A Perfect World Bob Fielder, Jr.
1994 8 Seconds Young Lane Frost
1995 Takedown
1997 Leave It to Beaver Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver
1998 Hope Floats Travis


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III Gus TV miniseries
1995 A Woman of Independent Means Drew #1 TV miniseries
1995 Coach Angry Child "Is It Hot in Here, or Is It Me?: Part 2"
1995 Walker, Texas Ranger Little Phil / Zack Jamison "Blue Movies", "Final Justice"
1995 Deadly Family Secreets Timothy Pick TV film
1996 Don't Look Back Jeremy TV film
1996 Touched by an Angel Matt "The Violin Lesson"
1998 The Lionhearts Spencer Lionheart (voice) Main role
1998-99 Baywatch Tanner Sloan Recurring role
1999 Three Secrets Spencer TV film
1999 Streets of Laredo Ben Parker TV miniseries
2000 One True Love Corey TV film
2000 Perfect Game Kanin 'Canine' Crosby TV film
2000 Time Share Max Weiland TV film
2000 Static Shock Second Boy (voice) "Child's Play"


Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "Cameron Finley bio". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  2. ^ "Cameron Finley filmography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  3. ^ Cameron Finley Biography (1987-)
  4. ^ Cameron Finley Biography – Yahoo! Movies
  5. ^ a b Caro, Mark (August 22, 1997). "Leave It to Cameron". Star-News via Chicago Tribune. p. 5D.
  6. ^ "Boy Gets 'Beaver' Title Role". The Day. May 27, 1996. p. A14. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  7. ^ "Universal Leaves 'Beaver' Role To Texas Boy". Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. June 7, 1996. p. 29.
  8. ^ Gire, Dann (August 22, 1997). "Acting, laser tags, whatever; when you're 10, anything's possible". Daily Herald. p. 28 (Time Out).
  9. ^ "Words of wisdom from Garland's Cameron Finley". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. August 22, 1997. p. 1 (Life & Arts).
  10. ^ "Finding Anakin - auditions for Star Wars Episode I". Archived from the original on 2021-12-14.
  11. ^ Hettrick, Scott (June 9, 2000). "A Kid's Idea Of A Perfect Game". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Los Angeles Times Syndicate. p. 13.
  12. ^ J Cameron Finley's research while affiliated with University of California, San Diego and other places,, accessed 18 May 2020
  13. ^ Sumner, Jane (July 11, 1999). "Awards spangled up in fun". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Nominations for the 3rd Annual The Hollywood Reporter YoungStar Awards". September 17, 1998. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  15. ^ "Nineteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards, 1996-1997". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  16. ^ "20th Annual Youth in Film Awards, 1997-1998". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on April 30, 2001. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  17. ^ "Twentyfirst Annual Young Artist Awards, 1998-1999". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  18. ^ "Twenty-Second Annual Young Artist Awards, 1999-2000". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  19. ^ "International Family Film Festival 2001 Winners". Santa Clarita International Film Festival. Archived from the original on December 22, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2012.