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Published:October 18th, 2010 01:05 EST
june cleaver

Barbara Billingsley June Cleaver Beloved TV Icon Dies

By Robert Paul Reyes

Barbara Billingsley died Saturday at age 94. Billingsley had successful career in TV, the stage and the movies, but of course she`s remembered primarily for her iconic role as June Cleaver on "Leave It to Beaver".

The beloved show, still seen widely in syndication, starred Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as Beaver`s parents, June and Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Beaver`s brother Wally. Jerry Mathers played the title role.

june cleaver

The Cleaver household represented the idealized suburban family of the late 1950` and early 60`s.

June Cleaver was always impeccably dressed in her trademark pearl necklace and chiffon dress.

June`s most impressive quality was her soothing voice; she could have talked me into anything. If June told me "I want you to jog naked around the block a couple of times", I would have readily complied. But in June`s bucolic world, a dude jogging in the nude is about as likely to occur as the moon turning blood red.

If the Beaver came home from school with a broken nose, a black eye, and a bruised groin, she would simply coo "Oh, Beaver, honey it`s all right, let me fix you some cookies and a glass of milk.", and the little squirt was as good as new. If the Beaver told his mom that Gilbert said that the Commie Russians were going to blow up the United States, June would feed him cookies and milk, and the little nerd would be without a care in the world once again. June`s panacea for everything from a skinned knee to nuclear Armageddon was cookies and milk.

Beaver was a goofball, but his older brother Wally was a Don Juan with more girls than a rock star. June didn`t play favorites, and she showered both of her sons with love. In the last couple of years of the show when Beaver was a little older, he didn`t have much luck with the girls. But a couple of cookies and milk from June made Beaver forget that he was a little dork. It`s no accident that "Beaver" is slang for vagina.

Beaver`s dad, Ward, was a bit starchy, (this ain`t the 50`s, let me get real, he was anal-retentive. Whenever Ward was a bit strict with Beaver, the little runt ran to his saintly mom for comfort.

June never expressed any worries to her husband about their geeky son. She never told him, "Ward aren`t you afraid that the Beaver is a clueless loser?" The most she could bring herself to say was, "Ward, I`m worried about the Beaver."

We remember June Cleaver fondly because of her compassionate and kindly personality, but let`s not forget that she was a MILF: Mother I Would Like to Faternize with. No wonder the sleazy Eddie Haskell was always sniffing around the Cleaver home.

Barbara Billingsley is in the great big suburban subdivision in the sky, but thank goodness we will always have June Cleaver.

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