Forever known for her role as matriarch on Leave it to Beaver, she has had a lasting impact on mothers since the show's 1957 debut (I also made my world debut in 1957).
Moms wanted to BE June Cleaver; kids wanted her to be their mom.
Her dresses, heels and string of pearls, as well as her calm and understanding demeanor when dealing with the hijinx of Wally and The Beav, gave women an impossible standard to maintain in all things maternal and wifely.
How many times have you heard a mom say, "I'm no June Cleaver" - as if to say that they lack the ability to reach her pinnacle of parental and domestic perfection?
Some quotes from Barbara Billingsley:
When asked if there was a difference between her and the June Cleaver character: "My sons say, no. Gradually what happened is the writer started writing about you, as well as the character they created originally. So you all become mixed up."
"June Cleaver didn't keep her house in perfect order, the prop man did it."
So until we all get a prop man, we're on our own.
Here's a clip of The Cleavers in all their glory:
Here is Barbara talking jive in one of The Boy's favorite movies, Airplane!:
Rest in peace, Barbara/June. I'll continue to muddle through without you.