Tony Dow and Barbara Billingsley reunited as mother and son in a 1982 stage play

The actors were mother and son once again, but this time their last names weren't Cleaver.

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Would you watch a stage play where Tony Dow is a playboy and Barbara Billingsley is his mom?

Well, in 1982, this was a real production. Seeing the two reunite for Neil Simon's Come Blow Your Horn meant a lot to Leave It to Beaver fans, who knew Billingsley as June Cleaver and Dow as one of her sons, Wally.

According to an article in The Kansas City Star in 1982, Dow's agent figured that the best person to play his character's mom in the stage play was Billingsley — and he was right.

"She is just an incredibly sweet woman who almost never loses her temper," Dow told the publication as he and Barbara discussed the brief reunion. The actress was a grandmother at the time and hadn't been on a stage since the '40s.

"I haven't been on the legitimate stage since I was an ingenue back in the late '40s," Billingsley chimed in. "It's tough getting back into the feel of stage work, although the audience on opening night was wonderful. I did some live TV, and it was similar to this, but I'm really the novice in this cast."

Her role in Come Blow Your Horn was one of the first she accepted since her second husband died. "I didn't really have a reason to stay at home anymore. And since I was getting calls to work, I thought, 'Well, why not?'"

Although she played Dow and Jerry Mather's mom for years, the actress didn't see them as her sons. In her eyes, they were co-workers and friends.

"He was a co-worker — a child, certainly, but someone I worked with every day," Billingsley said. "We were friends, equals. Besides, his own mother was always on the set. [She and I] became good friends over the years."

Dow added to her statement, saying, "Yeah. Mom lives on Catalina Island, and when she goes stir crazy, she calls up Barbara on the mainland."

The two, along with Jerry Mathers and Hugh Beaumont, brought to life one of television's most loveable fictional families. We're glad they got the opportunity to play a mother and son role together again.

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26 Comments

LoveMETV22 14 months ago
An accompanying video to the article. They discuss the production as well as a few other topics:
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LoveMETV22 14 months ago
" I hope that METV will consider writing an article about Cheryl Holdridge "
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They have. You just didn't search first.

https://www.metv.com/stories/mark-mccains-first-crush-on-the-rifleman-was-a-mickey-mouse-club-reunion-of-sorts

https://www.metv.com/lists/what-ever-happened-to-the-original-mickey-mouse-club-mousketeers

How many ways are they going to present the same information?
14 months ago
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mimi2 14 months ago
wow, lung cancer. I think she was already smoking on the LITB show. Raspy voice. Not at all like a teenage girl would have.
tootsieg 14 months ago
Nice Tony Dow and Barbara Billingsley got to work on stage together some 20 years after LITB originally aired.
Pacificsun 14 months ago
IMO, the most profound (telling) story written about Barbara Billingsly by MeTV, is that she never imagined being June Cleaver her entire acting career. She must've been a wonderful lady. To embrace the role so graciously, and with patience, continuing to go over and over anecdotes from the series.

You look at other actors like PR who couldn't handle more than 6 years of Bonanza in spite of overwhelming popularity (at the time). And then compare where both of them ended up.

Lesson learned.
Bapa1 14 months ago
I would've liked to see the cast reunite to do the film "Throw Momma From The Train"
obectionoverruled 14 months ago
Loved BB’s emphatic looks of incredulous ness when Eddie came over to inquire about where’s Wallace or Theodore. She read him like a book and knew he was a two timing fake artist. Those shows taught me at a young age that I was not the first kid in history to think he could outwit his parents, or that they hadn’t experienced many of the same conflicts and challenges that I did as a ten year old. Now it seems just about the whole LITB cast is caput; only Beaver is still on the scene. I guess Whitey and Lumpy are alive but they have turned away from Hollywood and the memorabilia parade. Sure would like to hear Lump remind Beaver once again that his name is Clarence.
CathB obectionoverruled 14 months ago
Whitey and Lumpy are deseased. Jerry Mathers is the only one left.
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LoveMETV22 14 months ago
You asked that question in another story.
It looks more like you want someone to research it for you, rather than a feature.
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Andybandit 14 months ago
Wow. I had no clue Tony and Barbara were in a play Come Blow your Horn. I never heard of it.
justjeff 14 months ago
"Come Blow Your Horn" was a 1963 movie starring Frank Sinatra as the playboy. Dan Blocker, Jill St. John, Phyllis McGuire (of the McGuire Sisters), Mary Grace Canfield, Herbie Faye, Norman Lear, Dean Martin and Barbara Rush were part of the cast... Molly Picon and Lee J. Cobb played Sinatra's parents.

The screenplay was written by Neil Simon and Norman Lear, and directed by Bud Yorkin.
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cperrynaples 14 months ago
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LoveMETV22 wallyandbagfan 14 months ago
Probably an extra. The only reference or bio to Cynthia Nixon would have her at 8 yrs old the time that episode aired. Most likely an uncredited role.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_Nixon
bnanna justjeff 14 months ago
Come Blow Your Horn was originally a Broadway play in 1961 by Neil Simon.
justjeff bnanna 14 months ago
Yes, that's where it was first presented... I was referencing the movie, as I'd seen it in my youth...
Sway 14 months ago
Would have liked to have seen them on stage. Nice story.
Classic1960s 14 months ago
Hi there I enjoy the Beaver I mean the TV sitcom comedy "Leave It To Beaver" every morning and it brings back memories when I was a kind.
cperrynaples 14 months ago
You know, I would have imagined them In Driving Miss Daisy with Barbara in the title role and Tony as her son! Obviously Morgan Freeman would still be the driver!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 14 months ago
BTW, this was BEFORE the Beaver reboots!
cperrynaples 14 months ago
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teire 14 months ago
Lovely little story.
teire 14 months ago
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