June Cleaver, "Leave it to Beaver"
Barbara Billingsley played the iconic Eisenhower-era housewife June Cleaver on "Leave it to Beaver." She has become the object of our rebroadcast ambitions, enveloping motherhood in a kind and well-coiffed fashion. Oh, for June's patience on the days our toddlers refuse to eat or our teenagers test their ninja skills on a car door because of misplaced scientific curiosity (it makes a sneaker-sized dent, by the way). That's why we know it's good to cling to an ideal, to strive for a well-heeled set of behaviors -- even if they're about as realistic as discovering a leprechaun has set-up camp in our mailbox. We love and admire June, if only because she was the mother we thought we'd be -- until we actually became one.