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Barbara Billingsley ACTOR


Barbara Billingsley was born Barbara Lillian Combes in Los Angeles, California on December 22, 1915. She got a chance to bond with her mother through motion pictures, who would take her and her siblings to the cinema on a regular basis. It was only natural then that the young Billingsley fell in love with drama. From second grade on, she performed in all of the school plays. After a year of school at Los Angeles Junior College, she dropped out to follow a revue she was appearing in, “Straw Hat”, which got moved to New York. After a short time on Broadway, the show closed and Billingsley decided to stay and become a fashion model. Shortly after she married restaurateur Glen Billingsley, who provided her with her surname. However, they later divorced.

In 1945, the actress landed a contract with MGM. Here she began by appearing in a number of mostly uncredited roles in films like “So You Think You’re Allergic” (1945), “The Romance of Rosy Ridge” (1947), and “A Kiss for Corliss” (1949). Towards the end of the decade, her name started to be featured in the credits of the movies, and she graduated to some A-list pictures, such as “Three Guys Named Mike” (1951), although she remained mainly in the smaller B films or in uncredited parts.

As 'B' pictures were beginning to disappear from Hollywood, Billingsley transferred to the small screen with shows like “The Abbott and Costello Show” (1952), “Professional Father” (1955), and “Schlitz Playhouse” (1953-55). In 1957 the actress signed a contract with Universal Studios, who then cast her as everyday mother June Cleaver in the television series “Leave it to Beaver” (1957-1963). In the show, which ran for over two hundred and thirty episodes, Billingsley portrayed the perfect mom – apron wearing and warm hearted, complete with faultless hair and a stunning body, as well as lady-like pearls and dresses. In the same year as the shows inauguration, the actress starred in her most well known film role as well, playing the mother of a daughter who elopes with Dean Stockwell in “The Careless Years” (1957).

After “Leave It to Beaver” ended in 1963, Billingsley had trouble finding roles, as she was now typecast as the sweet maternal figure. Besides a two episode stint on “The F.B.I” (1971), the actress did not return to public eye until 1980 in “Airplane!”. She made a brief appearance as a passenger on the plane who could “speak jive.” Three years later, she joined other cast members on a television reunion movie titled “Still the Beaver” (1983). The success of the TV film prompted a new show on Disney Channel, called “The New Leave It to Beaver” (1983-1989), which also had a lucrative six year run. This time though, Billingsley played Grandmother June Cleaver, who lives with the divorced Beaver and his children.

Following a number of television appearances, the actress returned to the big screen one last time for a film version of the famous show, titled “Leave It to Beaver” (1997). However, Janine Turner took over as June Cleaver, and she was relegated to the role of Aunt Martha. Her final role was in 2003’s television film “Secret Santa”, although she continued to have TV reunion specials with her remaining cast mates from “Leave It to Beaver”. On October 16, 2010, at the age of ninety four, Billingsley passed away from polymyalgia in Santa Monica, California.

2003       Secret Santa 
2000       Mysterious Ways 
1997       Leave It to Beaver 
1994       Murphy Brown 
1993       The Mommies  
1991       Empty Nest   
1991       Hi Honey, I'm Home
1991       Parker Lewis 
1989       Monsters 
1988       Baby Boom 
1988       Going to the Chapel 
1987       Bay Coven 
1987       Back to the Beach 
1987       The New Mike Hammer 
1985       Amazing Stories 
1984       Muppet Babies
1984       Silver Spoons 
1984       Movie Macabre
1984       High School U.S.A.  
1983       The New Leave It to Beaver
1983       Still the Beaver 
1983       The Love Boat
1982       Mork & Mindy 
1980       Airplane! 
1971       The F.B.I. 
1957       Leave It to Beaver 
1957       The Careless Years 
1957       Mr. Adams and Eve 
1957       Panic
1957       The Danny Thomas Show 
1956       The Brothers
1956       General Electric Summer Originals 
1956       The Loretta Young Show 
1955       You Are There 
1955       Professional Father  
1954       Day of Triumph 
1954       The Pride of the Family 
1954       The Lone Wolf 
1953       City Detective 
1953       The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse 
1953       The Abbott and Costello Show 
1953       Four Star Playhouse 
1953       Schlitz Playhouse
1953       Cavalcade of America
1953       Invaders from Mars 
1953       The Lady Wants Mink 
1952       The Bad and the Beautiful 
1952       Woman in the Dark 
1952       Young Man with Ideas 
1952       Rebound 
1952       Invitation 
1951       Two Dollar Bettor 
1951       Angels in the Outfield 
1951       The Tall Target 
1951       Oh! Susanna 
1951       Inside Straight 
1951       Three Guys Named Mike 
1950       Dial 1119 
1950       Pretty Baby 
1950       Trial Without Jury 
1950       Shadow on the Wall 
1949       A Kiss for Corliss 
1949       Prejudice 
1949       Any Number Can Play  
1949       Air Hostess  
1949       I Cheated the Law 
1949       Caught 
1949       The Sun Comes Up 
1948       Act of Violence 
1948       The Valiant Hombre  
1948       The Saxon Charm 
1948       Souvenirs of Death 
1948       The Argyle Secrets 
1947       The Unfinished Dance 
1947       The Romance of Rosy Ridge 
1947       Living in a Big Way 
1947       The Sea of Grass 
1947       The Arnelo Affair 
1946       The Secret Heart 
1946       Undercurrent 
1946       Three Wise Fools 
1946       Faithful in My Fashion 
1946       Two Sisters from Boston 
1946       Up Goes Maisie 
1945       Adventure 
1945       So You Think You're Allergic 

Matinee Classics - Leave it to Beaver starring Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver
Matinee Classics - Leave it to Beaver starring Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver
Matinee Classics - Barbara Billingsley, Leave it to Beaver's June Cleaver

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