SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Barbara Billingsley, who gained the title supermom for her gentle portrayal of June Cleaver, the warm, supportive mother of a pair of precocious boys in "Leave it to Beaver," has died. She was 94.
Spokeswoman Judy Twersky says Billingsley died early Saturday at her home in Santa Monica. She had suffered from a rheumatoid disease.
She acted in a number of roles in movies from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s, but it wasn't until "Leave it to Beaver" that she became a star.
When the show debuted in 1957, Jerry Mathers, who played Beaver, was 9, and Tony Dow, who portrayed Wally, was 12. Billingsley's character, the perfect stay-at-home 1950s mom, was always there to gently but firmly nurture both through the ups and downs of childhood.
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