leave it to beaver
A family spokeswoman said Billingsley died of polymyalgia, a rheumatoid disease, at her home in Santa Monica, Calif.
In a statement, her TV son, Jerry Mathers, said, "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and lifetime mentor Barbara Billingsley. She will live in the hearts of her fans as a wonderful actress and be remembered by her friends as a gracious lady."
"She will be deeply missed by all of her family, friends, fans and most especially by me."
The "father knows best" theme runs through most of this week's new releases including 'American Dad,' 'Family Guy,' 'Leave It to Beaver,' and 'My Three Sons.' Rest assured, there is something for every Dad's DVD player this week.
Check out the rest of the titles after the jump!
The promo isn't online so I'll have to describe it. The narrator talks about how times change (with a montage of how phones have evolved over the years), how tastes change (a montage of different foods that people have eaten over the decades), and how we've changed (a montage of different hairstyles you might have had since you were a kid). The point of all this is that things change, but ... change is good! And that's why it's good that TV Land has a bunch of reality shows instead of classic TV shows, because things change and that's where viewers are now in their lives.
Are you that way too? There are some marathons on TV tomorrow that you might like. A sampling:
- Sci-Fi will continue their Twilight Zone marathon.
- TCM has Fourth of July/historical movies all day long.
- USA will have James Bond movies all day long starting at 9AM.
- Discovery has a Deadliest Catch marathon at 9AM.
- TV Land will have a Leave It To Beaver marathon starting at 11AM.
- At noon, HGTV has a marathon of HGTV's $250,000 Challenge.
Maybe that's because TV dads never spend much time at work. (We're pretty sure everyone's fathers would sign up for that!) Step into the wonderful make-believe world where every day is Father's Day, and join us as we count down our 20 favorite TV dads.
- Sci-Fi's Twilight Zone marathon continues from last night.
- AMC is showing classic westerns all day.
- Cartoon Network has Looney Tunes all day.
- Hallmark has Christmas movies all day.
- At 6am, USA has a Monk marathon.
- At 7, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning, America, and CBS' The Early Show will all have New Year's tips, predictions, advice, and recipes.
- At 8, TNT has a Bones marathon.
- History Channel has Ice Road Truckers episodes all day starting at 8.
They've been working on a script since 2004, but they are saying now that The Munsters movie is nearly ready to roll. I know, I know, how many times have we seen beloved TV series turned into horrible features? For every good one -- The Brady Bunch -- there's a lemon like Leave It to Beaver. The Wayans Brothers clearly believe that they have the goods to make The Munsters like the former rather than the latter.
However, I have to worry about how well they know the material when Shawn Wayans says, "Their characters are still who they were in the '50s. It's just in modern day." Umm, excuse me -- the '50s? The Munsters premiered in 1964 and ran till 1966; it was set in present day. Didn't the Wayanses notice that?
Tony Dow, who played Beaver's older brother Wally Cleaver on the classic series Leave it to Beaver, is also an artist, and he's going to have one of his sculptures shown at the famed Paris museum The Louvre. It's an abstract sculpture titled "Unarmed Warrior."
Dow doesn't act much anymore, but he was busy behind the scenes of TV shows and movies while doing his artwork. He directed episodes of such shows as Deep Space Nine, Coach, Crusade, Get A Life, Swamp Thing, and Cover Me. He also did visual effects for the Doctor Who TV movie in the 90s, as well as Babylon 5.
So Dow didn't die from eating Pop Rocks, become a porn star, or end up dying in Vietnam, rumors which swirled around his Beaver costars and aren't true.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Evelyn Keyes: Although she was best known for her movie work, including The Seven Year Itch, Gone with the Wind, The Jolson Story, and Here Comes Mr. Jordan, she also guest starred on many TV shows, including The Love Boat, several episodes of Murder, She Wrote, Amazing Stories, and Climax! She was once married to jazz legend Artie Shaw and directors John Huston and Charles Vidor. She died in Montecito, CA at age 91.
Well, other than the cool TV Squad gig, that is. That goes without saying.
What I have are life lessons learned from television, as well as some obscure bits of knowledge I may have overlooked had I led the scholarly life without television in my life.
Television has given us a large catalog of super-cool names to choose from. Since TV is all about wish fulfillment, it's rare for a character to be given a truly terrible name. Sometimes, though, a terrible name slips through the network sieve and luckily for all of us, TV Squad is there to catch it. The five worst names in the history of television after the jump...
- At 8, FOX has a new Cops.
- CBS has college football at 8, Florida State vs. LSU.
- ABC has college football too, Ohio State vs. Purdue
- TV Land has a Leave It To Beaver marathon starting at 8, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary, starting with the rarely seen pilot with Harry Shearer.
- Nick has a new TV movie at 8, The Naked Brothers Band: Battle of the Bands.
- Also at 8: TCM has the original version of The Producers.
- At 9, FOX has a new America's Most Wanted.
- Cartoon Network has a new Naruto at 9, then new episodes of Bobobo-bo Bo-Bobo and One Piece.
- At 10, TLC has a new Trading Spaces.
- At 11:30, NBC has a new Saturday Night Live, with guests Seth Rogan and Spoon.
- At midnight, FOX has a new Talk Show with Spike Feresten, with guest Louis C.K.
Check your local TV listings for more.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the classic sitcom Leave it to Beaver, and while many of the show's original stars have left us (Hugh Beaumont, Stanley Fafara, Sue Randall, Richard Deacon), much of the main cast is still going strong, and five of them - Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, Barbara Billingsley, Ken Osmond, and Frank Bank - appeared on Good Morning, America this morning to celebrate the day.
They've all kept busy over the years. Mathers appeared on stage in Hairspray this year and has appeared in several TV shows and wrote a book. Dow has directed many TV shows and movies over the years and is also an artist. Billingsley is an incredibly active 92 and even recreated her famous Airplane jive talk on GMA. Osmond became a cop - and was shot three times in the line of duty - and is now retired, and Bank (Lumpy Rutherford) is a financial expert who handles Mathers and Dow.
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