If you're a fan of the classic CBS sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, chances are, you recall the character Ritchie Petrie. In fact, the adorable five-year-old boy was one of the show's most beloved stars. But what did he do after the show ended? And is he still acting today?
Larry Mathews was just five when he was cast as Ritchie Petrie, the son of Dick Van Dyke (played by Robert Simpson "Rob" Auer) and Laura Petrie (played by Mary Tyler Moore). The show ran for 158 episodes from October 3, 1961 to June 1, 1966. It won a whopping 15 Primetime Emmy Awards out of 25 nominations, and became one of the most popular shows of its time.
Mathews had no prior acting experience when he first auditioned for the role of Ritchie, but Auer must have been impressed with his ingenuity and natural charm. He was also very easy to work with, and that helped him get the job.
After the end of The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1966, Mathews left show business completely and went back to a conventional childhood. He eventually graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since then, he has appeared on a few TV programs to discuss his old days as a child actor and seems to look back on his time on The Dick Van Dyke Show with fondness. IMDb reports that he even owns the desk used as a prop on the set of the show.