Beverly Garland
Birth Date:
October 17, 1926
Birth Place:
Santa Cruz, California, USA
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My Three Sons


“Maybe I do come on strong, and people sense in me a strength and a positiveness.... It's really the way I look and act, not the way I am.... Once you cut through the protective coating, I'm strictly molasses.” Beverly Garland

American actress Beverly Garland (born 1926, died in 2008) was famous for playing Fred MacMurray's second wife, Barbara Harper Douglas, in “My Three Sons” (from 1969 to 1972) and Casey Jones in the groundbreaking crime/drama series “Decoy” (1957-1959). She also had regular roles in “The Bing Crosby Show” (1965-1965, as Ellie Collins) and “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” (1983-1987, as Dotty West) as well as recurring roles on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” (1995-1997, as Ellen Lane) and “7th Heaven” (1997-2004, as Ginger Jackson), not to mention appearances in many TV films and guest spots in countless TV shows. She received an Emmy nomination for her guest appearance in “Medic” (1954). Her film credits included “It Conquered the World” (1956), “Swamp Women” (1956), “The Alligator People” (1959), “Pretty Poison” (1968) and “ Airport 1975” (1974). On January 23, 1983, Garland was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to television.

Outside of acting, Garland owned and ran the Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn, in North Hollywood, the hotel her husband Fillmore Crank built and named for her. She married Crank from 1960 to his death in 1999, and had two children with him. Garland previously was married to Robert Campbell (1945) and then actor Richard Garland (1952-1956).


Childhood and Family:

Beverly Lucy Fessenden, who would later be popular as Beverly Garland, was born on October 17, 1926, in Santa Cruz, California. She was the only daughter of James Atkins Fessenden, a singer and salesman, and Amelia Rose, a businesswoman. At age 4, she moved with her family to Glendale (near Los Angeles), California, where she was involved in little theater and attended Glendale Community College, Glendale, California, from 1943 to 1945. The family would later move again, this time to Phoenix, Arizona. Beverly studied acting under Anita Arliss, the sister of illustrious stage and screen star George Arliss.

A 19 year old Beverly had a brief marriage to Robert Campbell in 1945. Seven years later, she married actor Richard Garland (1927-1969) on August 13, 1952, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1956. Beverly married businessman Fillmore Crank on May 23, 1960. They remained together until Crank's death on March 10, 1999. The couple had two children together, son James Crank and daughter Carrington Kendall Crank (born January 27, 1964). She was the stepmother of Kathleen Crank.

On December 5, 2008, at age 82, Beverly passed away in her home in Hollywood Hills, California. Several hundred people attended the memorial service and reception that was held on December 13 at her namesake hotel property, Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn in North Hollywood. Her body was cremated.



Beverly Garland launched her professional career on stage in Tustin, California, an Orange County community just south of Long Beach. Billed as Beverly Campbell, she made her film debut as Miss Foster in the original version of “D.O.A.” (1950), directed by Rudolph Maté. The same year, she also broke into the small screen with a regular role as Mama's daughter in the L.A. produced series “Mama Rosa,” which ran for six months. It was not long before she started acting in episodics, and in 1955, she was nominated for an Emmy for Best Actress in a Single Performance for her portrayal of a leukemia victim named Estelle Collins in the episode “White Is the Color “(1954) of NBC's “Medic.”

Apart from guest spots in television shows like “The Lone Ranger,” “ The Web,” “Big Town,” “The Lone Wolf,” “City Detective,” “Soldiers of Fortune,” “Navy Log,” “Frontier,” “Star Stage,” “State Trooper,” “Front Row Center,” “Crusader,” “Wire Service,” “Telephone Time,” “Trackdown,” “The Millionaire” and “Hawaiian Eye,” among others, Garland went on to act in features throughout the 1950s, although largely in B movies. Her film credits during this period included “Problem Girls” (1953), “The Neanderthal Man” (1953), “The Glass Web” (1953), “Bitter Creek” (1954), “The Rocket Man” (1954), “The Miami Story” (1954), “The Desperado” (1954), “Killer Leopard” (1954), “Two Guns and a Badge” (1954), “New Orleans Uncensored” (1955), “Sudden Danger” (1955), “The Go-Getter” (1956), “The Steel Jungle” (1956), “Gunslinger” (1956, as Marshal Rose Hood), “It Conquered the World” (1956, as a scientist's wife who fights an alien), “Swamp Women” (1956, played a prison escapee named Vera), “Curucu, Beast of the Amazon” (1956), “Naked Paradise” (1957), “Not of This Earth” (1957), “Badlands of Montana” (1957), “Chicago Confidential” (1957), “The Joker Is Wild” (1957), “The Saga of Hemp Brown” (1958) and “The Alligator People” (1959, opposite Lon Chaney Jr ).

In 1957, Garland enjoyed a big success on television when she was cast in the leading role of undercover police officer Casey Jones in the syndicated crime/drama series “Decoy” (1957-1959), marking it the first American TV police series with a female protagonist. The show, however, only lasted for one season of 39 episodes. Despite its relatively short run, “Decoy” opened the way for many other detective/police shows starring a woman in the future, among them were NBC's “Police Woman” starring Angie Dickinson, ABC's “Honey West” starring Anne Francis, CBS's “Cagney and Lacey” starring Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless, and ABC's' “Charlie's Angels” starring Kate Jackson.

Garland maintained a busy schedule during the 1960s. She guest starred in a number of television series like Rod Cameron's syndicated private detective series “COronado 9” (2 episodes, 1960), “Twilight Zone” (1960, as Maggie), “ Perry Mason” (1960, as Mauvis Meade), “Hong Kong” (1960), “Thriller” (1960), “ Checkmate” (1961, as Jean Farrell), “The Asphalt Jungle” (1961, as Caroline), “ Danger Man” (1961, as Jo Harris), “Dr. Kildare” ( 1961-1962, as Susan), “Bus Stop” (1962, as Janie), “Cain's Hundred” (1962, as Jeanette), NBC's “The Eleventh Hour” (1963, as Marya Stone), “ The Fugitive” (1963, as Nurse Doris Stillwell), “ The Dakotas” (1963, asKatherine Channing), “The Farmer's Daughter” (1963, Ellen) and “Kraft Suspense Theatre” (1964). Between 1964 and 1965, Garland played the role of wife Ellie Collins on the television sitcom “The Bing Crosby Show,” opposite Bing Crosby as husband Bing Collins. Following the demise of the show, she went on to make guest appearances in “A Man Called Shenandoah” (1965, as Kate), “Loredo” (1965, as Aggie), “The Loner” (1966), “Pistols 'n' Petticoats” (1966), “Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color” (1967), “Judd for the Defense” (1967), “ The Mothers-In-Law” (1968), “The Wild Wild West” (2 episodes, 1967-1968) and “Lancer” (1969).

Meanwhile, Garland also acted in several films. She starred as Ellen Winslow on the drama “Stark Fear” (1962), opposite Skip Homeier as Gerald Winslow, supported Vincent Price, Joyce Taylor and Sebastian Cabot in the Sidney Salkow directed horror/thriller “Twice-Told Tales” (1963), appeared in Italian film “Salome '73” (1965), with Isabella Biancini, Olimpia Cavalli and Jane De Clerc, and played the role of Mrs. Stepanek in “Pretty Poison” (1968), a comedy/crime film adapted from the novel “She Let Him Continue” by Stephen Geller. She also co-starred with Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters and Skip Ward in the remake “The Mad Room” (1969), helmed by Bernard Girard.

In 1969, Garland joined the cast of the CBS situation comedy series “My Three Sons” in the main role of Barbara Harper, a widowed teacher who marries Steven “Steve” Douglas (played by Fred MacMurray). She remained with the show until it ended in 1972.

1970s saw Garland land guest spots in “ Then Came Bronson” (1970. as Beth Morse), “ Mod Squad” (1972, as Ellie), “ The New Temperatures Rising Show” (1972, as Claudia), “Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law” (1973, as Mrs. Varni), “The Rookies” (1973), “Cannon” (1973, as Cecilia Thatcher), “The New Perry Mason” (1973, as Laura Lee), “Mannix” (1973), “Love, American Style” (1973), “ Doc Elliot” (1974, as Bonnie Ames), “Planet of the Apes” (1974), “ Ironside” (1974), “Wide World Mystery” (1975), “Kung Fu” (1975, as Mrs. Theresa Hobart), “Medical Center” (2 episodes, 1974-1975), “Marcus Welby, M.D.” (1975), “ Mary Tyler Moore” (1975), “Switch” (1976), “The Six Million Dollar Man” (1977), “ The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” (1977), “ Lanigan's Rabbi” (1977), “The Tony Randall Show” (1977), “Greatest Heroes of the Bible” (1979) and “Charlie's Angels” (1979). She played Cookie LaRue in three episodes of the syndicated soap “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” between 1976 and 1977, and Hanna in an episode of the 1979 TV miniseries “The Slavers.” The actress also acted in several television movies in the 1970s, namely “Cutter's Trail” (1970), which marked her TV film debut, “And Then They Forgot God” (1971), “ Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole” (1972), “ The Weekend Nun” (1972), “ Voyage of the Yes” (1973), “Unwed Father” (1974), “The Healers” (1974) and “The Day the Earth Moved” (1974), as well as in the features “Where the Red Fern Grows” (1974), “ Airport 1975” (1974, with Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Susan Clark), “Sixth and Main” (1977) and “Roller Boogie” (1979).

In 1980, Garland played Mrs. Kaufman in the “Trapper John, M.D.” episodes “Girl Under Glass: Part 1 and 2” and Emma in “It's My Turn,” a comedy/drama film starring Jill Clayburgh, Michael Douglas, and Charles Grodin, and helmed by Claudia Weill. She appeared as Real Grandma in an episode of “Hart to Hart” called “The Hartbreak Kid” (1981), co-starred with Ellen Crawford and Louis Jourdan in the drama film “Gamble on Love” (1982) and portrayed Abigail Holt in two episodes of “ Remington Steele” called “Thou Shalt Not Steele” (1982) and “ Sting of Steele” (1983). She also guest starred in “ Flamingo Road,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “ Matt Houston” (all 1982). Garland returned to series television as a regular when she was cast as Kate Jackson's widowed mother, Dotty West, on the CBS television series “Scarecrow & Mrs. King,” starring Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner. She was on the show from its premiere on October 3, 1983 until it ended on May 28, 1987.

In the 1990s, Garland appeared in movies such as “Beanpole” (1990, TV), “The World's Oldest Living Bridesmaid” (1990, TV), “Death Falls” (1991, as Mae Baxter), “Finding the Way Home” (1991, TV), “The Wish That Changed Christmas” (1991, TV) and “Hellfire” (1995, TV). Besides, she guest starred in “ Sons and Daughters “ (1991, as Marcy Hammersmith), “P.S.I. Luv U” (1991, as Emma), “Friends” (1995, as Aunt Iris), “Ellen” (1995, as Eva), “Diagnosis Murder” (1997, as Stella Carter), “Spider-Man” (1997, as the voice of Miranda Wilson), “Teen Angel” (1998), “The Simple Life” (1998) and “The Angry Beavers” (1998-1999, as the voices of Edgar the Swamp Witch / High Princess / Unseen Foe ). She had a recurring role as Lois Lane's mother, Ellen, in several episodes ABC's “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” during 1995 to 1997. In 1997, she began her recurring role as Ginger Jackson on The WB Television Network series “7th Heaven,” a post she held until 2004.

Garland portrayed Estelle Reese in the television series “Port Charles” (2000). She had a small stint in the episode “The Guardian” of “Indian Summer” (2001) and played Katherine in the 2030 film “If,” alongside Jesse Hlubik, Kimberly Rowe and Andrew Roa. Also in 2003, she portrayed Aunt Jessica in the made for television film “Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure,” starring Kate Bradley, Jake Thomas and Randy Quaid.


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