Barbara Billingsley was a talented actress who graced our television and movie screens during her 58-year career. Barbara is best known for playing June Cleaver on "Leave It to Beaver," and later "The New Leave It to Beaver." In honor of all her achievements, we searched high and low to bring you five of the most interesting facts about the beloved actress and her life.
1. Barbara first realized her love of acting when she was in second grade! From that day on, she made sure to act in every school play she possibly could. This went on and paved the way for her future success as an actress by helping her learn to work in front of crowds without being nervous!
2. Barbara attended classes at Los Angeles Junior College for one year after graduating from high school. When she was 19 years old, she moved to New York where she worked on the play, "Straw Hat." The play made it to Broadway, but unfortunately, after only five shows it came to a close. She then got a job making $60 per week as a fashion model!
3. She had many different hobbies that she loved, and all of them were definitely fitting for Mrs. Ward Cleaver! When she wasn’t acting, you could find her gardening, listening to the radio, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, spending time with her family, and of course, drinking wine!
4. She married Glenn Billingsley Sr., in 1941 and they had two sons, Drew and Glenn Jr. Glenn Jr. later went on to marry Karen Zappas, and they had three children, Logan, Morgan, and Taylor! Taylor wanted to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps, but her parents would not allow her to be a child actor, and so, she never followed her dream.
5. June Cleaver’s signature pearls were Barbara’s idea! She had a mark on her neck, or a hollow as she called it, and decided that the pearls were the perfect way to hide the blemish! They became such a huge part of her character that when they filmed "The New Leave It to Beaver," they made an entire episode about their disappearance!