Tuesday, October 19, 2010
a june worth remembering.
that's what barbara billingsley's epitaph should be.
billingsley, who played the archetypal fifties mom june cleaver of leave it to beaver, had what she called 'a hollow' in her neck, & thought wearing a strand of pearls would cover it up on-camera.
the pearls, which she wore in almost every scene of the show's 234 episodes － including while gardening － became her trademark.
barbara lillian combes was a los angeles native.
her dad was an assistant chief of police.
her mom was a knitting mill forewoman.
they divorced before barbara was four.
barbara was voted "class queen" in high school.
she worked on broadway & as a model.
she had only one major film role, in 1957's the careless years.
leave it to beaver debuted on cbs the same year, but was quickly cancelled.
abc picked up the show the following year & stayed with it for five seasons.
barbara was raising two boys of her own
at the same time she was mothering wally & the beav.
she was married three times. the first finished with divorce, the other two husbands died.
pigeon-holed as coyingly domestic, barbara had trouble getting acting work once the series was over.
she both spoofed & honored her milky maternal image with guest appearances later on in life.
she spoke jive [in 1980's outrageously hilarious Airplane!].
another potential epitaph.
barbara died saturday at the age of 94.
do you think they'll bury her in her pearls?
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image sources: imsinglesowhat.com, vibrakeys.com