Barbara Billingsley, the actress best known for her role as June Cleaver on ‘Leave It to Beaver’ passed away Saturday at the age of 94. She was America’s mom in the 1950′s and her acting carrer spanned decades and numerous diverse endeavors as seen by her role in ‘Airplane’ when she played the Jive Lady.
The actress won a new legion of fans in a brief, but memorable, scene in the 1980 send-up movie “Airplane.”
“Oh, stewardess. I speak jive,” Billingsley said in her role — much different from her June Cleaver persona — as an elderly passenger comforting an ill man on the flight. She, the sick man and his seat companion engaged in street-slang banter.
Sadly, the 50′s role model mom passed away on Saurday at her home following a long illness of rheumatoid disorder polymyalgia.
The actress passed away at 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) Saturday at her home in Santa Monica, California, after a long illness, spokeswoman Judy Twersky said. A private memorial is being planned.
Actor Jerry Mathers, who played Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, called Billingsley a lifetime mentor.
“Barbara was a patient advisor and teacher. She helped me along this challenging journey through life by showing me the importance of manners, and respect for others,” Mathers said in a statement. “She will be missed by all of her family, friends, fans and most especially by me.”
Video Hat Tip: Left Coast Rebel
We say goodbye to a classy woman, God Bless June Cleaver, rest in Peace.