Barbara Billingsley believed in the power of meditation, hot baths and a positive attitude

The June Cleaver actress even thought Leave It to Beaver was a form of positive attitude adjustment.

The Everett Collection

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The final episode of Leave It to Beaver opens with June Cleaver pulling a box off a shelf and peering inside. The audience watches as a smile stretches across her face, pushing June to sing out, "Ward! Will you come here?"

Soon we discover the box is full of precious family mementos, including a wind-up clown that was Beaver's first toy as a newborn baby. The proud parents cannot help themselves, and soon they've pulled out the "Family Scrapbook" (hence the title of the finale) settling in for a night revisiting old memories.

Throughout her time on Leave It to Beaver, Barbara Billingsley portrayed June as the ideal mother and wife, with every hair always in place as she maintained her sparkling clean home and raised her good-natured boys.

Behind the scenes, Billingsley revealed to The Independent in 1963, she had a secret to how she maintained June's perfect image onscreen: meditation. Behind the scenes, Billingsley closed her eyes and meditated to shut out studio chaos and keep her cool.

Billingsley had long ago taught herself a mental practice that helped her escape the bustle of being on set with two growing boys.

"It's the art of being able to shut my mind to noise and confusion, leaving inward quiet," Billingsley explained, describing this state of mind like she had entered an entirely different room.

To Billingsley, there was nothing more vital in life than a peaceful state of mind, which she saw as often the product of a positive attitude.

A year after Leave It to Beaver started, the actor even said that the sitcom's positive attitude was the reason for its popularity, because just by watching the show — which was finely crafted and entertaining — the audience regains positivity, feeling right at home in Beaver's carefully controlled world.

She enjoyed being part of the audience's positive attitude shift.

"Attitude is something one should watch very carefully," Billingsley told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1958. "In it there is hidden power for good or for bad. It is possible that an unhappy incident or big problem can be reversed by a change in attitude."

Before she became best known as Beaver's mom, Billingsley was a high-fashion model, and she said this idea that she was a great beauty had to do with her positive attitude, too.

"State of mind affects one's regard for appearance and has a far-reaching effect on one's complexion, hair, sleep and digestion of food," Billingsley said. "One might say it is the very foundation of beauty."

You can see why Billingsley became a meditative person who could easily tune out the chatter of working on a busy set, but she said when she felt she truly needed an escape, she had an easy solution for that, too.

She liked to sink into a hot bath, where she was free to think through any little problem that might arise in her world. It was as much about solitude as it was about the soothing suds.

"I retreat to the tub when I get that crowded feeling," Billingsley told The Independent.

"I do my best thinking, planning, and a lot of reading while surrounded by hot water."

To Billingsley, life was all about knowing how and when to take a break and just relax, which remains a good tip for any mom or dad today.

"That's really living," she said.

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19 Comments

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Mark091 2 months ago
Could METV write an article about the Movie and TV roles of Barbara
Billingsley.?
I would also like to see METV write
An article the movie and TV roles
Of Hugh Beaumont.
Please write articles on
Chester Anderson played by Buddy Hart and Tiger Fafara who played
Tooey Brown David Kent who played
Bill Scott Joey Scott who played
Bengie Bellamy and Frank Bank and
Ken Osmomd who played Lumpy
Rutherford and Eddie Haskell.
LoveMETV22 Mark091 2 months ago
Yes Mark they may. However you may increase your chances of having your wishes seen by using the CONTACT METV Link at the top of the page as well. Just a thought and good luck.
JHP 2 months ago
dont ever be hard on the beaver:)

(snicker snicker)
Flash4001 3 months ago
She was hilarious in "AIRPLANE!". When she translated Jive to the Stewardess Randi (Lorna Patterson)
"Chump don't want no help... Chump don't get no help. Jive Ass dude ain't got no brains No How."
LoveMETV22 3 months ago
I remember the episode on Roseanne where Barbara Billingsley,June Lockhart, Isabel Sanford and Alley Mills appeared. Leave it to Beaver, Lost In Space,The Jeffersons and The Wonder Years respectively. And Pat Crowley from "Please Don't Eat the Daisies. Funny episode.
PortelaJ 3 months ago
From Revenge of the Nerds: what’s the dirtiest joke heard on TV? Ward, don’t you think you were a little hard on the beaver last night. My bad 😞
top_cat_james_1 3 months ago
EDDIE HASKELL: "My, that's a lovely wicker basket you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver!"
VenturaCapitalist 3 months ago
https://www.billingsleysrestaurant.com/
kkvegas VenturaCapitalist 3 months ago
I used to live just a few blocks from there.
LoveMETV22 kkvegas 3 months ago
Looks like it is owned by two of Barbara Billingsley's sons.
Tlor 3 months ago
Hate hot baths!!! they make your skin wrinkle :-) even when I was 6 years old!

michaelangelo19 Tlor 1 month ago
Your skin which will become clean & bounce back nice and smoothe !
ncadams27 3 months ago
Wally: Hey Beav! What’s the matter?
Beaver: Mom’s taking a bath!
Wally: Everybody has to take a bath.
Beaver: What’s the fun of being an adult if you still need to take a bath!
AgingDisgracefully 3 months ago
Also consider Tone of Voice.
Who wants to be around grand pianos, weepy martyrs or their enablers?
RedSamRackham 3 months ago
* And she could speak jive! ☺ https://youtu.be/g0j2dVuhr6s
She sure could!
Andybandit 3 months ago
She was a classy lady, and great actress.
teire 3 months ago
My favorite show. Nice story.
LoveMETV22 3 months ago
Thank You MeTV. Great article about a great actress.
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