Jay North


Jay North, born on August 3, 1951, in California, is an American actor who gained fame as a child star in the 1950s and 1960s. Best known for his role as Dennis Mitchell in the CBS sitcom “Dennis the Menace,” North’s acting career spanned over a decade, during which he appeared in numerous films and television shows. However, after his acting career ended, North pursued various other professions, including working as a prison guard and selling cars. In this blog post, we will explore the life and career of Jay North, from his early days as a child star to his later years as a prison guard and beyond.

Early Life and Career

Jay North

Childhood and Family Background

Jay North was born to Dorothy North, a stage mother who encouraged her son’s acting career from a young age. North’s father, Hal North, was a Hollywood publicist who worked with stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. North’s parents divorced when he was young, and he was raised by his mother, who managed his career and accompanied him to auditions and film sets.

Acting Career

North’s acting career began when he was just six years old, after his mother took him to an audition for a television commercial. He landed the role and went on to appear in several other commercials before making his film debut in the 1957 drama “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.” However, North’s big break came in 1959, when he was cast as Dennis Mitchell in the CBS sitcom “Dennis the Menace.” The show was a huge success, and North became a household name overnight.

Life After Acting

Prison Guard

After his acting career ended, North struggled to find work and eventually landed a job as a prison guard in Florida. He worked at the Okeechobee Correctional Institution for several years and later wrote a book about his experiences called “The Back Door of Midnight: Dark Secrets of the Okeechobee Correctional Institution.”

Car Salesman

After leaving his job as a prison guard, North worked as a car salesman in California. He reportedly enjoyed the job and was successful at it, but eventually left to pursue other interests.

Personal Life

Marriage and Family

North has been married twice. His first marriage was to Kathleen Brucher, with whom he had two children. The couple divorced in 1982. North later married Cindy Hackney, and the couple has been together ever since.


North is also known for his love of animals, particularly his pet chimpanzee, Maya. North acquired Maya in the 1960s while filming the movie “Maya,” and the two became inseparable. Maya even accompanied North to his job as a prison guard, where she reportedly helped to calm the inmates.


Jay North’s life and career have been full of ups and downs, but he remains a beloved figure in Hollywood and beyond. From his early days as a child star to his later years as a prison guard and car salesman, North has always been willing to try new things and take on new challenges. Whether he is remembered for his role as Dennis the Menace or his book about life as a prison guard, North’s legacy is sure to endure for many years to come.


Who is Jay North?

Jay North is a former child actor who gained fame for his role as Dennis Mitchell in the television series “Dennis the Menace” in the 1960s.

What was Jay North’s career like as a child star?

Jay North’s career as a child star was highly successful. He starred in “Dennis the Menace” from 1959 to 1963 and also appeared in several films and television shows during that time.

What did Jay North do after his acting career?

After his acting career, Jay North pursued several different careers. He worked as a circus performer, a race car driver, and a prison guard.

What led Jay North to become a prison guard?

Jay North became a prison guard after struggling with addiction and financial difficulties. He has spoken openly about his experiences and the challenges he faced during that time.

What is Jay North doing now?

Jay North is now retired and living in the United States. He occasionally makes appearances at fan conventions and events, but largely lives a quiet life outside of the public eye.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top