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Jay North – How well did we know Dennis the Menace?

Written by Rebeka Knott


Dennis the Menace, television sitcom (1959 – 1963) starred child actor, Jay North. When the series began, North was just 7 years old. As you might remember, the show revolved around the antics of, Dennis, a precocious, blond haired rascal of a boy who was forever finding himself in the middle of some sort of conflict. A cowlick in the back of his head, stripped t-shirt and overalls were his signature.

No one knew at the time, but North has said that his aunt put unhealthy pressure on him to perform; often being physically and verbally abusive. He suffered corporal punishment for not performing up to his aunt’s expectations. He spent most of that time in fear.

Jay North reports still having close relationships with many of his former cast members. He has fond memories of working with them even though much of that time, unbeknownst to them, he was very unhappy. North has said that although he has spent most of his life, “fighting the ghost of Dennis the Menace,” he is proud to have been associated with the show. Jay North is currently 66 years old.