Born in Los Angeles in 1915 Billingsley, who began her career as a model in New York City before her big break on 'Leave it Beaver,' has passed away in her Santa Monica, Calif., home after a long illness.
Barbara Billingsley portrayed June Cleaver, the idealized mother of the early sixties. With her stiff taffeta dresses and pearls- in high heels, yet, she became a kind of surrogate mother for a lot of children my age. I never saw the original show but every afternoon after school, I would rush home to watch the re-runs, without ever questioning why my home was, for the
most part, hardly anything like the Beav's. For me, it was merely a daily dose of perfection with all problems resolved by the closing credits. There weren't any bad guys-(Eddie Haskell was only a weasel) and suburbia was just about as close to heaven as one could wish for.