BARBARA BILLINGSLEY, the star of 'Leave It To Beaver', died on Saturday 16th October 2010, aged 94. The actress, who played the housewife and mother 'June Cleaver' on the much-loved US sitcom, had been in poor health in recent years and died of rheumatoid disease at her California home, according to a family spokesman.
'Leave It To Beaver' ran for 234 episodes from 1957 and 1963 and often followed the antics of 'Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver, played by Jerry Mathers, as he got himself into endless mischief. However, Billingsley's character was always on hand to teach him a lesson in her own loving way.
Although best known for her work on 'Leave It To Beaver', Billingsley's appearance in the comedy film 'Airplane' is described by the New York Daily Post as "one of the great cameos in baby-boomer movie history". During a scene in the 1980 cult classic, which stars Robert Hays and Leslie Nielsen, an airline stewardess cannot understand a black passenger's complaints, which prompts Billingsley to pop up and say "I speak jive", before translating the man's grievance. The actress is survived by her two sons, stepson, and four grandchildren.