For the Second Time, June Cleaver is the TV Mom Americans Would Most Like to Have Had Growing Up

New York, N.Y. – May 8, 2013 – Coming home after school to a plate of fresh baked cookies with a mom who is always there waiting to hear how their child’s day was? That was the very picture of television moms during the 1950s and 1960s. TV moms began to change in the 1970s, as some went to work, and by the 1980s and 1990s it was rare to find that stay at home mom.

But, among these television moms, which rises to the top? It’s the 1950s version, as June Cleaver of Leave it to Beaver is the television mom Americans would most like to have had as a mom when they were growing up. In the number two spot is the quintessential 1980s mother, working lawyer Claire Huxtable of The Cosby Show who always seemed able to perfectly balance family and career. In the third spot is a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls (all of whom had hair of gold like their mother) – Carol Brady, of The Brady Bunch. Interestingly, all three of these were in the same spots the last time The Harris Poll asked this question, in 2008.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,345 adults surveyed online between April 10 and 15, 2012 by Harris Interactive®.

Mama’s Family

Two very different television moms are in a tie for the fourth spot on the list. First, while the show is from the 1970s, Marion Cunningham from Happy Days was a 1950s mom – as well as becoming a maternal figure to one of the coolest guys on TV at that time, the Fonz. The second mom in the 4th spot was pure 1950s – Donna Stone from The Donna Reed Show.

Dropping into the bottom half of the top ten in the number 6 spot is another 1950s icon and real life mother to her television sons as well, Harriet Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Then it’s the zany red-head who was the first pregnant woman on television – Lucy Ricardo ofI Love Lucy. Harriet and Lucy were also number 6 and 7 in 2008. And, who wouldn’t want to have a witch for a mom? Samantha Stevens of Bewitched is on the list this year for the first time at number 8, followed by the blue-collar mom who always seemed to say the things many other moms were thinking, Roseanne Connor of Roseanne, who dropped one spot from 2008. Finally, debuting at number 10 is a reality show mom, Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting.

Dropping off the list from 2008 are two moms who were tied for the number 8 spot: Lorelei Gilmore of Gilmore Girls and everyone’s favorite blue haired mom, Marge Simpson of The Simpsons.







Thinking of television mothers, who would you most like to have had as a mom when you were growing up?

Base: All adults



June Cleaver Leave it to Beaver



Claire Huxtable The Cosby Show



Carol Brady The Brady Bunch



Marion Cunningham Happy Days



Donna Stone The Donna Reed Show



Harriet Nelson The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet



Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy



Samantha Stevens Bewitched



Roseanne Connor Roseanne



Michelle Duggar 19 Kids and Counting



= means there was a tie for that position


Lorelei Gilmore Gilmore Girls (was tied for No. 8) and Marge Simpson The Simpsons (was tied for No. 8)









June Cleaver


June Cleaver/Claire Huxtable

Echo Boomers (18-35)

Claire Huxtable

Gen X (36-47)

Claire Huxtable

Baby Boomers (48-66)

June Cleaver

Matures (67+)

June Cleaver


June Cleaver


Claire Huxtable


June Cleaver


Bill O’Reilly

African American

Ellen DeGeneres/Mark Harmon


Jon Stewart

Household with children

Claire Huxtable

Household without children

June Cleaver





This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States April 10 and 15, 2013 among 2,345 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.




The Harris Poll ® #25, May 8, 2013

By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

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