Barbara Billingsley -- December 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to Barbara Billingsley, who would have turned 99 today! She is best remembered as the ideal wife and mother—who wears pearls while doing housework—from Leave It to Beaver, which ran from 1957 to 1963. For 235 episodes, “June Cleaver” never had a bad day: the house was immaculate, dinners were wholesome, and her loving smile was ever-present.

Born in Los Angeles, Billingsley moved to New York to appear on Broadway—until the show closed after five days—and she began working as a model. She appeared in several films throughout the 1940s and ‘50s, most notably Three Guys Named Mike (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Invaders from Mars (1953). She then appeared often on television until her big break came with Leave It to Beaver. She is also well-known to younger audiences for her decidedly un-typecast role as a jive-talkin’ passenger in 1980’s Airplane!

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Which actor from the Leave It to Beaver cast became a police officer after the show ended?

a) Ken Osmond (“Eddie Haskell”)

b) Frank Bank (“Clarence ‘Lumpy’ Rutherford”)

c) Robert “Rusty” Stevens (“Larry Mondello”)

d) Stephen Talbot (“Gilbert ‘Whitey’ Bates”)

Answer below!

CLIPS OF THE DAY

Oh my, how women’s roles have changed!

A typical breakfast at the Cleaver house.

A heartwarming scene from Leave It to Beaver.

DID YOU KNOW…

Billingsley’s first husband Glenn Billingsley is cousin to the father of Peter Billingsley. You know him better as “Ralphie” in the 1983 classic A Christmas Story.

DID YOU ALSO KNOW…

Billingsley’s husband Glenn was a restaurateur, as was his uncle Sherman, founder of New York City’s famed Stork Club. 

QUOTES OF THE DAY

June Cleaver didn't keep her house in perfect order, the prop man did it.

~Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Billingsley, who was my TV mom June, is as nice in person as she appeared on the show.

~Jerry Mathers (“Theodore ‘Beaver’ Cleaver”)

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) That’s right; bad boy “Eddie Haskell” turned to law enforcement in his adult life. As a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, Ken Osmond was shot three times! He was saved by his bulletproof vest.