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Legendary Actress, Businesswoman Beverly Garland Dies
Posted by Tommy Garrett on Dec 14, 2008 - 10:29:29 PM
HOLLYWOOD HILLS—On Friday, December 5, Hollywood Hills actress and Los Angeles businesswoman, Beverly Garland, died at her home after being ill. Garland was 82.
Her career spanned over five decades. The actress, best known as the mother on “My Three Sons,” was the first choice for actor Fred McMurrary, who she remained friends with until the end of his life. Garland didn’t mind being called a B-actress and once told Canyon News, “We didn’t camp. That’s why some of the films and shows that I worked on are considered classics.” The actress was very humble; most were classics because of her incredible talent.
She starred in movies that may not be considered in the same league with “Gone with the Wind” and “Double Indemnity” but films that captured a cult following such as “Swamp Women,” “Badlands of Montana” – you name it! A following where each year fans would join the actress at her famed hotel in Universal City, which bared her name. The Beverly Garland Hotel was well-known by tourists from every continent on the planet and Beverly was always there alongside her concierge to greet guests to the hotel.
In 2005 Garland opened her hotel to a special group of friends in the press and she was pleased to unveil her lovely restaurant in the hotel complex. She stated at the time, “I named the restaurant after my beautiful granddaughter Tula. So my grandson asked me, grandma, what are you going to name after me? I told him a sandwich.” Garland had a wonderful sense of humor, which is constantly being talked about among her circle of closest friends.
One of them is PR magnate and longtime companion Gene Walsh. Walsh told Canyon News exclusively on the loss of his dear friend, “Beverly was a sterling representative of Hollywood. Her fame was nationwide but it wasn't until our travels (together we went to 24 countries) I became aware of her international popularity. For example, at a museum in Berlin, a coat-check girl recognized her and requested her autograph, and in Ireland, a young lady made a similar request in a church parking lot. Beverly was always gracious, signing her autograph and expressing her appreciation for being recognized. She was the ideal example of 'what you see is what you get' and you saw and got a very great lady.”
One of Hollywood’s most distinguished and beloved ladies, in the mid 1990s ABC’s casting director Mark Teschner tapped her for a role in his soap “Port Charles.” One of her costars was actor, photographer, artist Jeffrey Byron, who told Canyon News, “Beverly was an angel to work with. I really enjoyed our scenes together and she added such class to the show, similar to the class my mom, Anna Lee, added to our sister soap 'General Hospital.'”
Known to many from TV appearances on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” and “Seventh Heaven,” Garland became her name when she married Richard Garland in 1949. However, she found her soul mate, Fillmore Crank, who she married in 1960. The real estate developer bought a piece of property in Universal City from famed movie icon Gene Autry and Beverly said after months of working on the property to open the hotel, “On the first morning a guest came down and said, Beverly, I love this hotel because it reminded me of my grandmother’s farm. Because the first thing I heard this morning was cock-a-doodle-doo!” Beverly laughed and lamented on the fact a truck carrying chickens had turned over just weeks earlier in front of the hotel and she and husband Fillmore Crank didn’t have the heart to call the humane society to have the chickens gathered up.
Many moments like this were shared on Friday, December 12, at the Grand Ballroom at Beverly’s famed hotel where a memorial service was held.
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