Monday, October 18, 2010
In Memoriam: Barbara Billingsley (1915-2010)
--Barbara Billingsley on “June Cleaver”
Everyone knows her as June Cleaver—devoted wife of Ward and mother to Wally and Theodore. However, Barbara Billingsley was a successful actress in other roles as well. Her early career on the stage led her to a brief stint on Broadway before she transitioned to modeling and, then, to Hollywood where she was featured in small parts in a variety of 1950’s films. This work led her to a prominent role in the film, The Careless Years, opposite Dean Stockwell. Her performance in the film brought Miss Billingsley to the attention of television casting directors who quickly employed the tall blonde in many programs.
Barbara Billingsley will always be the epitome of class and elegance—not for her pearls, heels or perfectly coiffed hair, but for the sense of grace with which she carried herself, both on screen and in life. Thankfully, her spirit of gentleness and decency will live on through her many thoughtful performances.