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Mother’s Day: From June Cleaver to Gloria Pritchett, 5 great TV moms

Why settle for one great mom when, as any TV viewer knows, you can adopt a series of them?

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In this 1992 file photo, Phylicia Rashad, portraying Clair Huxtable talks on the telephone while Clarice Taylor, portraying Anna Huxtable, and Bill Cosby, portraying Dr. Cliff Huxtable and Raven Symone portraying Olivia, look on in a scene from "The Cosby Show."

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Why settle for one great mom when, as any TV viewer knows, you can adopt a series of them?

Here's five of the best, from the demure 1950s version to the freewheeling 21st-century incarnation. These fictional mothers may have set the bar high for generations of real ones, but they did something in return: kept families entertained so they'd give mom a break, if only until the next commercial. No Mother's Day card is necessary, but let's give each of these TV moms a big hug for Mother's Day on Sunday:

June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley), "Leave It to Beaver," 1957-63. Yes, June wore pearls around the house. And high heels. But her real trademark was her loving but no-nonsense approach to rambunctious sons Wally and Beaver. She met misbehavior with a knowing look and even tone, making surrender the only option.

Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad), "The Cosby Show," 1984-92. With five children and a husband who's a great partner but a big kid himself, what's a mother to do? Clair's answer: Be the calm center of a whirlwind of activity, while tending to a legal career and reminding Cliff (Bill Cosby) he's a lucky, lucky man.

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