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G Entries
Frederic Gadette
Beverly Garland
Fred Gebhardt
William Gibson
Jeff Goldblum
Jerry Goldsmith
Bernard Gordon
Bert I. Gordon
Peter Graves
Lorne Greene
Sir Alec Guinness
 
GARLAND, BEVERLY
(Beverly Fessenden 1929–2008). American actress.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: The Neanderthal Man (Ewald André Dupont 1953); The Rocket Man (Oscar Rudolph 1954); Killer Leopard (Ford BEEBE 1954); "Negative Man" (1955), "The Other Side of the Moon" (1956), episodes of Science Fiction Theater; Curucu, Beast of the Amazon (Curt SIODMAK 1956); It Conquered the World (Roger CORMAN 1956); Not of This Earth (Corman 1956); The Alligator People (Roy Del Ruth 1959); "The Four of Us Are Dying," episode of The Twilight Zone; "Knock Three-One-Two," episode of Thriller (1960); Twice Told Tales (Sidney Salkow 1963); "The Night of the Cut-throats" (1967), "The Night of the Bleak Island" (1969), episodes of The Wild, Wild West; The Day the Earth Moved (tv movie) (Robert Michael Lewis 1974); "The Interrogation" (1974), episode of Planet of the Apes; "Battle Hymn" (1975), episode of Kung Fu; "Death Probe" (1976), episode of The Six Million Dollar Man; "The Mystery of the Fallen Angels" (1977), episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries; "Abraham's Sacrifice" (1981), episode of Greatest Heroes of the Bible; Hellfire (tv movie) (David Tausik 1995); "Home Is Where the Hurt Is," "Never on Sunday" (1995), "I Now Pronounce You ...," "Swear to God, This Time We're Not Kidding," "'Twas the Night before Mxymas" (1996), "The Family Hour" (1997), episodes of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman;  "The Un-Natural," "Back to DePolo" (1998), episodes of Teen Angel; If (Lisa Stoll 2003).

Provided voice for animated film:  "The Haunting of Mary Jane Wilson" (animated; voice) (1997), episode of Spider-Man; "The Mighty Knothead/Pond Scum," "Open Wide for Zombies/Dumbwaiters" (1998), "Long Tall Daggy/Practical Jerks" (1999), episodes of The Angry Beavers.

 
Choose your own cliché to describe Beverly Garland: she was one tough cookie; she came from the wrong side of the tracks; she had been around; she wasn't the kind of girl that you brought home to meet your mother. She would never marry a prince, and no one would ever mistake her for Grace Kelly. Then again, no one would ever cast Grace Kelly in a science fiction film, a demanding and disturbing milieu ill-suited to sophisticated ladies. Let's face it: when you need a woman who can stand up to a giant cucumber from outer space, you don't need Grace Kelly, you need Beverly Garland.

By far the most striking member of the early Roger CORMAN's repertory company of cheap unknowns, Beverly Garland repeatedly displayed her earthy fortitude in confrontations with some of the most ludicrous monsters ever seen in cinema. Sure, the script may have demanded that she scream in horror at the very sight of some Beast of the Amazon or Alligator Person, but we in the audience knew that she was really better equipped to handle the problem than any of the male heroes ostensibly there to come to her rescue. A dame who easily adapted to a man's world, Garland also starred as television's first female police officer in the series Policewoman Decoy (1957), and I'm sure she was a heck of a lot more credible in the role than Angie Dickinson.

But there were brains behind her brashness, and Garland knew perfectly well that shrieking at rubber-suited grotesqueries didn't exactly put you on the fast track to Easy Street. So, she cleaned up her act and reinvented herself as a respectable suburban sitcom wife and mother, first as Bing Crosby's wife on the short-lived The Bing Crosby Show (1964-1965), then more memorably as the woman who, in 1969, finally snared television's most eligible widower, Fred MacMurray's Steve Douglas of My Three Sons (1960-1972). As that series lamentably crept into stultifying dullness, it's a pity that no one thought to develop an episode on the promising theme of "Mrs. Douglas Confronts an Embarrassing Question about Her Past": "Excuse me, ma'am, but didn't you once star in The Neanderthal Man?"

Still, even as she continued to perform in upscale venues like Airport 1975 (1974) and the series Greatest Heroes of the Bible, Garland kept in touch with her old neighborhood, just in case her luck changed, sparkling as a psychotic Tuesday Weld's trailer-park-trash mom in the (to put it mildly) very strange Pretty Poison (1968) and appearing in episodes of science fiction series like The Wild, Wild West, Planet of the Apes, Kung Fu, and The Six Million Dollar Man. But always keeping her eye on the bottom line, and keenly aware that it's hard for a gal to make a living in Tinseltown once she loses her looks, Garland also started making some canny real estate investments—most conspicuously, the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn next to Universal Studios—which by the 1990s had become her main source of income.

In the 1990s, having earned the freedom to work only when she wanted to, Garland indulged in some slumming, making a triumphant return to the Corman stable in a television movie he produced, Hellfire, and providing voices for episodes of the animated series Spider-Man and The Angry Beavers.  She was also impressive as Lois Lane's mother in several episodes of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, effortlessly stealing the spotlight from her daughter and super-powered son-in-law—an inspired bit of casting because, when the assertive, independent women of contemporary science fiction film go looking for distinguished predecessors, Beverly Garland surely qualifies as an ideal role model. Yet she conspicuously steered clear of the sorts of low-budget exercises in nostalgia that were attracting other veterans of 1950s science fiction films like John AGAR, preferring to ease into retirement with occasional roles in television comedies and soap operas until her death in 20008. In the end, that is, and against all odds, Beverly Garland proved that she was a real class act.

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