Barbara Billingsley

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour Archive interview, Barbara Billingsley (1915-2010) discusses her early film career at MGM. She then talks about her eventual television roles on Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, Four Star Playhouse and Matinee Theatre. She also speaks in detail about her her work on the series Professional Father and The Brothers – two parts she played before her defining role as "June Cleaver" on the series Leave it to Beaver and The New Leave it to Beaver. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 14, 2000 in Santa Monica, CA.

"People stopped me on the street and said 'I can't live up to you.' Of course, they're referring to 'June Cleaver.' Barbara Billingsley is more apt to wear jeans and things like that."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Barbara Billingsley on well-known aspects of Leave it to Beaver and her character, "June Cleaver" 
Barbara Billingsley on some classic episodes of Leave it to Beaver
Barbara Billingsley on "June Cleaver's" high heels and pearls
Barbara Billingsley on her role in "Airplane" as the jive-speaking woman
Barbara Billinglsey on how she would like to be remembered
Barbara Billingsley on being cast for the pilot of Leave it to Beaver, "It's A Small World" which aired as a teleplay on the anthology series Studio 57
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early years growing up in Los Angeles; on her education and interest in theater
On being signed to a contract with MGM and her early impressions of television
On her first television work on Schlitz Playhouse of Stars and Four Star Theater

Chapter 2

On her early television roles on Four Star Playhouse, Matinee Theatre, and Climax!
On her regular role on Professional Father
On her role on The Brothers and her tryout for a permanent role on Make Room for Daddy
On being cast for the pilot of Leave it to Beaver, "It's A Small World" which aired as a teleplay on the anthology series Studio 57

Chapter 3

On playing June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver, including many production and cast details
On working with the young actors on Leave it to Beaver

Chapter 4

On working with Richard Deacon, and Leave it to Beaver producers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher
On Leave it to Beaver storylines, the town of "Mayfield," and some of the shows writers and producers
On some classic episodes of Leave it to Beaver

Chapter 5

On the first episode of Leave it to Beaver and having the distinction of being in every episode of the series; on the show going off the air; on her role in "Airplane" as the jive-speaking woman
On starring on The New Leave it to Beaver; on guest-starring on the Mork & Mindy episode "Cheerleader in Chains"; on voicing "Nanny" on Jim Henson's Muppet Babies; on guest-starring on the Amazing Stories episode "The Remote Control Man"

Chapter 6

On some of her guest appearances in films and television series and her thoughts on the Leave it to Beaver feature film
On her advice to aspiring actors; her family; on the legacy of Leave it to Beaver; on how she would like to be remembered

Chapter 7

On b-roll photos from her career
Shows

Amazing Stories

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Barbara Billingsley on guest-starring on the Amazing Stories episode "The Remote Control Man"

Climax!

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Barbara Billingsley on working on a Climax! teleplay "The Thirteenth Chair" with Ethel Barrymore

Danny Thomas Show, The aka Make Room for Daddy

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Barbara Billingsley on guesting on Make Room for Daddy in the episode "Danny's Date" (airdate: January 14, 1957)  as a tryout for the role of his new wife

Empty Nest

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Barbara Billingsley on her guest appearance on Empty Nest episode "My Nurse is Back and There's Gonna Be Trouble" (airdate: December 14, 1991)

Four Star Playhouse

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Barbara Billingsley on her work on Four Star Playhouse

Jim Henson's Muppet Babies

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Barbara Billingsley on voicing "Nanny" on Jim Henson's Muppet Babies

Leave it to Beaver

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Barbara Billingsley on being cast for the pilot of Leave it to Beaver, "It's A Small World" which aired as a teleplay on the anthology series Studio 57
Barbara Billingsley on well-known aspects of Leave it to Beaver and her character, "June Cleaver" 
Barbara Billingsley on working with Hugh Beaumont on Leave it to Beaver
Barbara Billingsley on the character of "Beaver Cleaver" and working with Jerry Mathers on Leave it to Beaver
Barbara Billingsley on working with some of the younger actors on Leave it to Beaver
Barbara Billingsley on Leave it to Beaver producers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher
Barbara Billingsley on Leave it to Beaver storylines, the town of "Mayfield," and some of the shows writers and producers
Barbara Billingsley on some classic episodes of Leave it to Beaver
Barbara Billingsley on the first episode of Leave it to Beaver and having the distinction of being in every episode of the series

Mork & Mindy

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Barbara Billingsley on guest starring on the Mork & Mindy episode "Cheerleader in Chains"

Murphy Brown

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Barbara Billingsley on her guest appearance on the Murphy Brown episode "Crime Story"

NBC Matinee Theater

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Barbara Billingsley on appearing on Matinee Theatre live broadcasts

New Leave it to Beaver, The

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Barbara Billingsley on reprising her role as "June Cleaver" on The New Leave it to Beaver (aka Still the Beaver)

Professional Father

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Barbara Billingsley on co-starring on Professional Father, her first series role

Roseanne

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Barbara Billingsley on guesting on the Roseanne episode "All About Rose"

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars aka Celebrity Playhouse

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Barbara Billingsley on her work on Schlitz Playhouse of Stars

Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The

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Barbara Billingsley on guesting on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Barbara Billingsley on "June Cleaver's" high heels and pearls

Hollywood Blacklist

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Barbara Billingsley on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Barbara Billingsley on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pop Culture

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Barbara Billingsley on "June Cleaver's" high heels and pearls

Television Industry

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Barbara Billingsley on the Hollywood Blacklist
Professions

Performer

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Barbara Billingsley on her advice to aspiring performers

Performers

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Barbara Billingsley on her advice to aspiring performers
Genres

Animation

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Barbara Billingsley on voicing "Nanny" on Jim Henson's Muppet Babies

Comedy Series

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Barbara Billingsley on the legacy of Leave it to Beaver
People

Frank Bank

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Barbara Billingsley on working with the young actors on Leave it to Beaver

Ethel Barrymore

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Barbara Billingsley on working on a Climax! teleplay "The Thirteenth Chair" with Ethel Barrymore

Hugh Beaumont

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Barbara Billingsley on being cast for the pilot of Leave it to Beaver, "It's A Small World" which aired as a teleplay on the anthology series Studio 57
Barbara Billingsley on working with Hugh Beaumont on Leave it to Beaver

Candice Bergen

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Barbara Billingsley on her guest appearance on the Murphy Brown episode "Crime Story"

Joe Connelly

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Barbara Billingsley on Leave it to Beaver producers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher

Richard Deacon

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Barbara Billingsley on Leave it to Beaver castmember Richard Deacon

Tony Dow

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Barbara Billingsley on working with the young actors on Leave it to Beaver

Stanley Fafara

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Barbara Billingsley on working with the young actors on Leave it to Beaver

Katharine Hepburn

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Barbara Billingsley on working with Katharine Hepburn while under contract with MGM

Jay Leno

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Barbara Billingsley on guesting on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Jerry Mathers

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Barbara Billingsley on being cast for the pilot of Leave it to Beaver, "It's A Small World" which aired as a teleplay on the anthology series Studio 57
Barbara Billingsley on the character of "Beaver Cleaver" and working with Jerry Mathers on Leave it to Beaver

Bob Mosher

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Barbara Billingsley on Leave it to Beaver producers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher

Ken Osmond

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Barbara Billingsley on working with the young actors on Leave it to Beaver

William Self

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Barbara Billingsley on her work on Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, produced by William Self

Rod Serling

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Barbara Billingsley briefly on her friendship with Rod Serling

Max Showalter

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Barbara Billingsley on being cast for the pilot of Leave it to Beaver, "It's A Small World" which aired as a teleplay on the anthology series Studio 57

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