Monthly Archives: October 2010

Barbara Billingsley … Much more than a pop culture icon who spoke “jive”

Barbara Billingsley talks with Brad Lemack (1991) – Courtesy of RerunIt.com

Barbara Billingsely and The Cleavers (circa 1958)

Barbara Billingsely and The Cleavers (circa 1958)

I was so sadden to learn of the death of Barbara Billingsley yesterday.

I had gotten to know Barbara over the years through my management of Isabel Sanford. In the 1990’s when “TV mothers” were all the rage, it seemed like every other week, Isabel and I would find ourselves on a plane or sharing a limo with Barbara, June Lockhart and Marion Ross in one combination or another. There were trips to New York together; there were television sitcom appearances together; there were talk show appearances together; and there were a ton of local charity event appearances together.

What a joyous time; what a wonderful person to get to know; what an entourage we all made.

I never saw Barbara be anything less than gracious and friendly to anyone who approached her for her autograph or to talk about “the Beaver” or just in the day-to-day routine of business and life.

There are many highlights of my association with her, none the least of which is when she agreed to sit down and chat over a cup of coffee on my coffee shop cable talk series “Lemack & Company Live” in 1991.

Soon the entire interview will be available to view on RerunIt.com. In the meantime, we have hastily pulled together four minutes of clips from that interview, including Barbara’s take on going against typecasting and speaking “jive” in the hilarious 1980 feature film “Airplane.”

With much appreciation … enjoy.

BL