Actress Barbara Billingsley, best known for her role as June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver, died Saturday at the age of 94.
A family spokesperson stated that the actress died at 2 a.m. at her Santa Monica, CA, home after battling a long illness. A private memorial is being planned.
Billingsley was known for wearing her strand of pearls on the popular television series and giving her TV husband Ward a peck on the cheek as he came in from work. She often had concerns over the boys, primarily Beaver, to share and offered tidbits of advice to her three men.
Jerry Mathers, the actor who played the role of her son “Beaver”, stated that he viewed his TV mom as a lifetime mentor. He shared the many things that she taught him over the years and stressed how much she would be missed.
Tony Dow, the actor who played her son Wally on the show, also showed his love for the actress. He shared how happy she was to be known as “America’s Mom” and shared the impact that she made on everyone she met along the way.
Though her claim to fame was definitely Leave it to Beaver, Billingsley also gathered fans from her role in the 1980 movie Airplane.
The actress was born in Los Angeles, CA on December 22, 1915. She began a modeling career in New York City in 1936. She was under contract with MGM in 1945 and began her role on Leave it to Beaver in 1957. The show ran until 1963 when it ended.
The actress also voiced the role of Nanny in Muppet Babies from 1984 until 1991.