Barbara Billingsley — best known for the role as June Cleaver on the popular 1950s sitcom Leave It To Beaver — died at her Santa Monica home on Saturday, Judy Twersky, a spokeswoman for the thrice-divorced sitcom mom confirmed to The New York Times. The 94-year-old succumbed to long battle with the rheumatoid disease polymyalgia.
Billingsley, a native California Girl, enjoyed a career in showbusiness that spanned six decades. Though it wasn’t until she was cast as June, a stay-at-home mom, on the classic small screen smash, which ran from 1957 to 1963. Billingsley had difficulty finding work for some years afterwards, but parts began coming her way after she played an elderly white woman using street talk with two black men in the 1980 comedy spoof Airplane. She also appeared in Beaver spinoffs and had a small part in a 1997 Beaver TV movie.
Ms. Barbara is survived by her two sons, Drew Billingsley of Granada Hills, California and Glenn Billingsley of Phillips Ranch, California
A private memorial in Santa Monica is planned for this week.