The classic characters of 1950s television sitcoms endure in our hearts and memories \u2014 and thanks to syndication, on our TV sets as well. Sometimes it feels good to look back at those idyllic days of long ago, when every family was perfect ... at least according to the television. Join us as we remember Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Donna Reed, and more of our favorite 1950s sitcom stars. "I Love Lucy" I Love Lucy cast (AP Photo) With "I Love Lucy," comedy couple Lucille Ball (1911\u20131989) and Desi Arnaz (1917\u20131986) wrote the book on television. As the married stars of their own TV sitcom, they broke taboos: they were one of television's first bicultural couples and they openly acknowledged Ball's pregnancy, even incorporating it into the show's storyline. Together they pioneered a new paradigm for television production and distribution, and built an empire in the process. https:\/\/youtu.be\/oE-vMj77pMk Lucille Ball (1911\u20131989) Lucille Ball (AP Photo) Ball starred as a ditzy housewife Lucy Ricardo who had dreams of stardom in the groundbreaking sitcom "I Love Lucy." She was a queen of comedy, noted for her impeccable timing. Read More Desi Arnaz (1917\u20131986) Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (Getty Images \/ CBS) When Arnaz came to the U.S., a 16-year-old boy fleeing Cuba with his family, television was just a glimmer in the public's eye. Fourteen years later, Arnaz would become one of TV's top innovators, pushing its boundaries and helping define the still-new medium. Read More William Frawley (1887\u20131966)\u00a0 William Frawley (Getty Images \/ Silver Screen Collection) Frawley played to perfection landlord and building supervisor Fred Mertz in "I Love Lucy." Frawley was nominated for an Emmy five times for the role. Vivian Vance (1909\u20131979) Vivian Vance (Wikimedia Commons) Vance and Lucille Ball didn't immediately click as friends. In fact, Ball was reluctant to cast Vance on "I Love Lucy" \u2014 she was looking for an older, frumpier woman to play her neighbor. But Desi Arnaz had seen Vance's work onstage and was convinced he had found the right actress for the job. As it turned out, the chemistry between the two women was brilliant. Read More "Leave It to Beaver"\u00a0 "Leave It To Beaver" cast (Getty Images \/ CBS) "Leave It to Beaver" introduced us to the Cleavers, the classic 1950s suburban family. Unlike other sitcoms of the era, "Leave it to Beaver" focused on the lives of the children, Wally and the Beaver. Barbara Billingsley (1915\u20132010)\u00a0 Barbara Billingsley (Getty Images \/ CBS) For six seasons, Billingsley was quintessential TV mom June Cleaver on "Leave It to Beaver." It was an image she had trouble shaking in the decades to come. Read More Hugh Beaumont (1909\u20131982) Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow (Getty Images \/ CBS) Ward Cleaver was the father many children dream of \u2014 he remained calm and collected even when he was upset with his boys, and his punishments reasonably fit the crimes. Most importantly, he was there for his children and played an active part in their lives. More than a few children who watched \u201cLeave It to Beaver\u201d would have liked to have a dad who punished them when they did wrong, rather than one who was barely there at all. Read More "The Honeymooners" "The Honeymooners" Cast (Wikimedia Commons) "The Honeymooners" was one of early television's most enduring shows, still making us laugh more than half a century after it originally aired. Starring Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, and Joyce Randolph, the TV show set the standard for generations of sitcoms to come. Jackie Gleason (1916\u20131987) Jackie Gleason (Getty Images \/ Michael Ochs Archives) "The Honeymooners" is one of the best-remembered TV shows of the 1950s, even though it aired for just a single season. And Ralph Kramden has become synonymous with the actor who played him. Jackie Gleason developed the character on his variety show, "The Jackie Gleason Show," where Kramden and his friend Norton evolved for a few years before breaking out on their own. Read More Art Carney (1918\u20132003) Art Carney (AP Photo) Dressed in a ratty T-shirt, vest and beat-up fedora, Ed Norton as played by Art Carney was socially awkward and always hungry. Friends said Carney and Norton shared some traits: He was known to eat several helpings of dinner and dessert and was extremely shy despite his exuberant trademark outburst \u2014 "Va va va voom!" Read More Audrey Meadows (1922\u20131996) Audrey Meadows (Wikimedia Commons) Meadows was an Emmy Award-winning actress on the classic sitcom "The Honeymooners" as well as a keen businesswoman at a time when women were often barred from the boardroom. She was the first female director of the First National Bank of Denver, and was deeply involved in day-to-day operations of Continental Airlines as an advisory director. "Beulah" Ethel Waters (1896\u20131977) Ethel Waters (Getty Images \/ Redferns \/ GAB Archive) Waters portrayed the title character in "Beulah," the first sitcom to star a Black actress. Beulah served as a cook and housekeeper for the Henderson family. Waters reportedly left the series because she felt the scripts were degrading to African Americans. "Make Room for Daddy" Jean Hagen, Danny Thomas, Rusty Hamer, Sherry Jackson (Getty Images \/ ABC) "Make Room for Daddy" starred Jean Hagen (1923\u20131977), Danny Thomas (1912\u20131991), Rusty Hamer (1947\u20131990), and Sherry Jackson as the Williams family. Dad Danny was a comedian and nightclub entertainer who mostly left mom Margaret to deal with the children. "Ozzie and Harriet" The Nelson Family, Ozzie and Harriet with sons Ricky, left, and David (AP Photo \/ A&E) Long before Ozzy and Sharon and the Osbourne clan captivated viewers, Ozzie and Harriet\u00a0and sons were the real-life must-see TV family. "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" featured real-life family Ozzie Nelson (1906\u20131975), Harriet Nelson (1909\u20131994), David Nelson (1936\u20132011), and Ricky Nelson (1940\u20131985) Read More "The Donna Reed Show" "The Donna Reed Show" Cast (Getty Images \/ ABC) Carl Betz (1921\u20131978) and Donna Reed (1921\u20131986) starred as Dr. Alex Stone and Donna Stone on "The Donna Reed Show." The Stones were one of the most perfect television families. Donna Reed (1921\u20131986) Donna Reed (Getty Images \/ ABC) In "The Donna Reed Show," Reed starred as Donna Stone, an upper-middle-class housewife and the quintessential TV mom. As improbably perfect as Donna Reed's character was, she was the mother that so many viewers dreamed of having or being. Read More "Our Miss Brooks" Eve Arden (1908\u20131990) Eve Arden (Getty Images \/ FPG \/ Henry Gris) Debuting as a radio program in 1948, "Our Miss Brooks" brought listeners into the world of a funny and well-loved high school teacher. Played by Eve Arden, Miss Brooks was sarcastic, confident, chronically underpaid but highly valued by students and friends Read More "The Gale Storm Show" Gale Storm (1922\u20132009) Gale Storm (Getty Images \/ Silver Screen Collection) Storm made a splash acting on screens big and small, and had a successful recording career, too. She portrayed cruise director Susanna Pomeroy in "The Gale Storm Show." Read More "Father Knows Best" Robert Young and Jane Wyatt (Getty Images \/ Hulton Archive) With Robert Young (1907\u20131998) and Jane Wyatt (1910\u20132006)\u00a0in the lead, the Anderson family was a favorite for six seasons. Read More "Bachelor Father" Noreen Corcoran (1943\u20132016) and John Forsythe (1918\u20132010) Noreen\u00a0Corcoran and John Forsythe (Getty Images \/ ABC) "Bachelor Father" starred John Forsythe (later of "Dynasty" fame)\u00a0as wealthy bachelor Beverly Hills attorney Bentley Gregg, who assumes the responsibility of raising his niece Kelly, played by Noreen Corcoran, after her parents are killed in a car accident. Read More Sammee Tong (1901\u20131964) Sammee Tong (Getty Images \/ ABC) Tong portrayed valet Peter Tong in "Bachelor Father," a role he reportedly enjoyed. Tong died by suicide at age 63.