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.
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.