Friday, October 29, 2010

Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Billingsley Died last week.  She was 95.  To me, she made a contribution.

She was known for her role of Beaver’s mom in “Leave It to Beaver”.  She was the archetype of the perfect ‘mom’.  She, Jane Wyatt of ‘Fathers Knows Best’, and Harriet Nelson of ‘The Nelsons’ represented this 50’s image.  To sons and daughters of my generation, she was the mom we wanted to have, and to our mothers who had to put up with us, she was the impossible standard.  It was great entertainment for its time.   It was like tapioca pudding, a favorite desert of the 50’s.

She was also known for a very small role on “Airplane”.  She played a passenger who volunteers to help the airline stewardess to communicate with two passengers who only spoke ‘jive’.   Imagine a perfect mom with the 50’s image breaking the mold and reaching across to others of a different culture, helping the situation, and encouraging us to not just laugh but also to reach across ourselves.

The world changes, and we keep up.

Of course, I still like tapioca pudding.

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