Remembering Barbara Billingsley and Tom Bosley
A tribute to two beloved TV parents
Barbara Billingsley and Tom Bosley represented stalwart, old-school TV parents. On Leave It to Beaver, Billingsley, who died on Oct. 16 at the age of 94 from a rheumatoid disease, played June Cleaver in pearls without a trace of irony and with firm confidence. She made you understand that June knew how to guide her family through suggestion and by example. Bosley, who passed away from cancer on Oct. 19 at 83, had a career in film and on stage (winning a Tony in the title role of 1959’s Fiorello!). His Howard Cunningham on Happy Days was more rumpled but no less discreetly savvy: ”Mr. C” was a sometimes grumpy, sometimes rueful, great TV dad to children who weren’t his own, like the Fonz. And us.