Beverly Garland

Actress Beverly Garland died today. She guest-starred on a DIAGNOSIS MURDER episode that Bill Rabkin and I wrote that brought back Mike Connors as Joe Mannix. Connors was quoted in her Los Angeles Times obituary:

"Not only was she a terrific actress, she was one of
those special gals who was fun to work with," said Mike Connors, who
appeared with Garland in director Roger Corman's low-budget 1955 film
"Swamp Women" and later worked with her when she made guest appearances
on his TV detective series "Mannix."

"She had a great sense of humor,
she was very thoughtful and had a great laugh," Connors said. "You
couldn't help but laugh with her when she laughed."

Garland guest-starred in the 25-year-old MANNIX episode that we were using for flashbacks and reprised the same character in our DIAGNOSIS MURDER episode.

I remember calling her and telling her about what we had in mind. She remembered the MANNIX episode, and the character, very fondly — which was amazing, considering the 100s of  TV guest-shots she'd done in her career. She was very exciting about the chance to reprise a character that she'd played so long ago.

We sent her over a tape of the MANNIX episode and when she showed up on set the first day — an apartment in West Los Angeles — she had the character and her accent down cold. It was uncanny…as if she'd played it just yesterday instead of twenty five years earlier. 

She seemed to have a great time, particularly between shots when she was talking about the old days with Connors and Dick Van Dyke. For me, a true TV geek, it was one wonderful just to be able to sit there and listen to their conversation, prodding it along every now and then with a question.

I'm glad I had a chance to meet her and work with her.

6 thoughts on “Beverly Garland”

  1. I know her best as the mom is Scarecrow and Mrs. King. I always liked her character.
    And someday, I’m going to have to get a chance to see both the Mannnix and the DM episode. You mention them enough. 🙂

  2. I don’t remember her from a specific performance, but rather from being an actor who showed up many places and always did a great job.
    I am sorry she is gone.

  3. What sad news!
    I remember her more from her appearances in the 80s. She was wonderful as Amanda King’s ditzy mother in Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and as Laura Holt’s mother in Remington Steele. Oh, and My Three Sons. I grew up watching her. She will be sadly missed.

  4. Dear Lee:
    What a great rememberance of a great lady. A long-time favorite actress of mine, Beverly had both a sophisticated as well as an everyman’s style. Sort of the “shop girl who did well” vibe. I wrote a little something in my own blog, if you’re interested in checking it out:
    I want to see both the Diagnosis Murder episode you mentioned as well as the Mannix episode you tied it back to. I’m sure I will remember the Mannix episode as I was a huge fan– watching as a kid as my parent’s played cards in the living room. I was intrigued about the Westside apartment you mentioned– I briefly rented a place on Glenville years ago…Thanks again for a great “insiders” insight to a great actress and businesswomen, Miss Beverly Garland.
    Sean Bagley
    Litchfield County, Connecticut

  5. I wonder why she is not known as the first policeman. I remember her as a child on tv’s Decoy. I was very young, but my memmory of her is very clear. I always loved seeing her on tv.
    Cleo Duke-Wright
    Hartford Connecticut

  6. My brother in law, Walter “Russ” Lindsrsmith went to Fairfax High with Beverly Garland and Quinn Martin. He told us how much fun Beverly Garland was and what a special person she was. Beverly attended his memorial service in 2021. She was very pretty.


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