CNN) -- Barbara Billingsley, who wore a classy pearl necklace and dispensed pearls of wisdom as America's quintessential mom on "Leave it to Beaver," has died at age 94, a family spokeswoman said Saturday.
The actress passed away at 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) Saturday at her home in Santa Monica, California, after a long illness, spokeswoman Judy Twersky said. A private memorial is being planned.
Actor Jerry Mathers, who played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, called Billingsley a lifetime mentor.
"Barbara was a patient advisor and teacher. She helped me along this challenging journey through life by showing me the importance of manners, and respect for others," Mathers said in a statement. "She will be missed by all of her family, friends, fans and most especially by me."
Tony Dow, who played Beaver's brother, Wally Cleaver, also reflected on Billingsley's legacy.
"She was as happy as a lark bei
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