Barbara Billingsley (Barbara Lillian Combes)

Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Billingsley

Actress.  Born Barbara Lillian Combes, she attended Los Angeles Junior College in the mid 1930s and then moved to New York City, where she worked as a model.  In 1945 she received a contract from MGM, and she appeared in several films during the late 1940s and 1950s, sometimes without screen credit.  In the 1950s she turned to television and appeared in shows including  the sitcoms “Professional Father” and “The Brothers”, as well as guest starring on “The Abbott and Costello Show”,  the David Niven anthology series “Four Star Playhouse” and the sitcom “Mr. Adams and Eve”.  In 1957 Billingsley began starring in the sitcom “Leave it to Beaver” as June Cleaver, mother to Wally and Theodore, nicknamed “Beaver”.  She appeared in her most famous role for 234 episodes, remaining with the show until it ended after six seasons.  After 17 years of semi-retirement, Billingsley returned to movies in 1980’s “Airplane!”, creating another iconic role by spoofing her wholesome image with a brief appearance in this send-up of 1970s disaster movies as a middle-aged white passenger who could translate between a white stewardess and two African-American passengers because “I speak jive”.  She also appeared in “The New Leave it to Beaver”, which ran from 1983 to 1989, and voiced the character of “Nanny” in the “Muppet Babies” cartoon from 1984 to 1991.  Billingsley continued to act occasionally, including appearances on the sitcoms “Roseanne” and “My Name is Earl”, and died at her home after having dealt for several years with the effects of a rheumatoid disease. (bio by: Bill McKern)  Family links:  Parents:  Robert Collyer Combes (1891 – 1950)  Lillian Agnes McLaughlin Combes (1891 – 1956)  Spouses:  Glen A Billingsley (1912 – 1984)*  Roy Kellino (1912 – 1956)*  Sibling:  Elizabeth Helen Combes McLaughlin (1911 – 1992)*  Barbara Billingsley (1915 – 2010) *Calculated relationship Inscription:”June Cleaver”

More Images

  • BarbaraBillingsley-closeup(Ron) -


  • December, 22, 1915


  • October, 10, 2010

Cause of Death

  • died of polymyalgia


  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • Santa Monica, California

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