Barbara Billingsley Remembered by TV Sons
She was America's mom. Now Barbara Billingsley's TV sons are remembering the iconic actress who died over the weekend at age 94.
Jerry Mathers is 62 now. He was just 9-years-old when he played the Beaver opposite Billingsley's quintessentil mom June Cleaver on Leave It To Beaver.
Mathers told INSIDE EDITION, "She was as sweet as you'd think she'd be. A lot of people said, 'Was she like your mother?' No, she was more to me, I had my mother and loved my mother very much, Barbara was more like a very special teacher that you had."
Tony Dow was 12 when he played big brother Wally. He's 65. Dow told INSIDE EDITION, "She was a wonderful, warm, classy lady. Everybody thinks of June Cleaver and Barbara Billingsley as one, but in fact they were two distinct people. Both were gracious. Both were lovely and both made a big impact on America."
To 1950's TV viewers, Billingsley was always the perfect stay-at-home mom. Impeccably dressed in her trademark pearls and high heels, even when vacuuming.
But she poked fun at her wholesome image and captured the hearts of a new generation of fans in the classic 1980 comedy Airplane. Dow said, "It was really a lot of fun and of course, she had a great sense of humor."
In real life, Billingsley was married three times and had two sons of her own. But it's the motherly advice she gave Wally and the Beaver that will live forever in television history.
Mathers said, "Barbara was very big on manners. I remember one time I was going to a door and I walked in front of her and she very very smoothly grabbed me by the small hairs at the back of your neck and gave me a very gentle pull and pulled me back, and I looked up at her and she said, 'Jerry, ladied always go first.' "