Hugh Beaumont

October 17, 2010 by staff 

Hugh Beaumont, Her TV son, Tony Dow Barbara Billingsley gave the perfect epitaph, calling her “America’s Mom.”

And “NBC Nightly News” used “America’s Mom” for the title of IT segment to her death today at the age of 94.

Billingsley will always be remembered for playing June Cleaver on “Leave It to Beaver” which ran from 1957-1963. The sitcom began on CBS, and then moved to ABC.

Billingsley projected kindness, love and dignity as June, the stay-at-home mother with Wally (Tony Dow) and Theodore (Jerry Mathers), who was affectionately known as “beaver.” June was also supportive, especially women of Ward (Hugh Beaumont, who died in 1982).

Billingsley wore pearls, which are key to the character. Classy, stylish in June was a pearl. Billingsley’s in good hands, were stable in June, thoughtful character, and that image will never going out of style.

Dow told CNN tonight that Billingsley said the role was the best thing ever happens to her and she enjoyed being remembered for. “For me, it’s been an honor,” she once said.

She reprized the role of June in the year 1980 in the TV movie “Still the Beaver” and later two series, “Still the Beaver” on Disney Channel and “the new IT Show Beaver” on WTBS. “The New Leave it to Beaver” his final years at Universal Studios Florida. The run ended with the sudden bankruptcy of the show syndicators.

Billinglsey played in June at other series like “Roseanne.” Billingsley also had guest roles on many series including “Murphy Brown”, “Empty Nest”, “The FBI”, “Morky & Mindy” and “The Love Boat.” Playing America’s mother would be her career options are limited, but made a stormy Billingsley cameo in the 1980 movie “Airplane!” She played a passenger who spoke jive. Who can forget that?

Still, June Cleaver was the highlight. If you’re known as “Mom-American,” you have done something right. Good night, Mrs. Cleaver.

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