To many of us who grew up with the Cleaver family, June Cleaver epitomized the perfect mom. Always impecably dressed with her ever-present string of pearls, she was the stay-at-home mom who seldom raised her voice and knew the right things to say for the occasion. We all wanted her to come live in our homes and she did, at least via the TV.
Every week many of us of "a certain age" as the French so quaintly put it, tuned in to "Leave It to Beaver" because we wanted to be part of the Cleaver family. The Cleavers and their friends and aquaintances represented "Perfectville" where drugs were something you took when you were sick and divorce was something that was whispered about between adults. During the Cleaver era sitting down for supper at the dining room table as a family unit was the norm with dad Ward, in his business suit replete with tie and mom June in her proper, poofy dress running back and forth serving up the food and dispensing sweetness and home-spun advice. Even when vacuuming, June wore her ever-present string of pearls and a turban to keep her hair clean.
It was quite a departure for her fans when she turned up as a jive-talking passenger on one of the "Airplane!" films. Ever the professional, she handled the role as perfectly as she did playing Mrs. Cleaver.
The Beaver's mom will now be dispensing advice in the "great beyond" through actress, Barbara Billingsley, who played the role of June Cleaver died at the age of 94. She played the role of ideal mother with a calm demeanor that endeared her to viewers. In a TV interview, she said she wanted to "set a good example for what a wife could be." She did that and then some.
Those unfamiliar with June Cleaver can go back in time since YouTube carries many of the original episodes. Chances are you'll smile and say "nice!" The Beaver's mom would be happy.