Over 40 years later, she has remained a frequent TV presence with her warm, inviting smile yet strong, determined demeanor. Garland's career as a working actress has continued long after some of her more celebrated peers have spent time with plastic surgeons and dreaming of a comeback.
Garland began her professional career on stage in Tustin, CA, an Orange County community just south of Long Beach. In 1949, she made her film debut--billed as Beverly Campbell--in the original version of the film "D.O.A." By 1950, she was on TV in the L.A.-produced series "Mama Rosa", sort of an Italian "I Remember Mama" that ran for about six months. She then began acting in episodics, and in 1954 earned an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Single Performance as a leukemia victim in an episode of "Medic" (NBC). At the same time, she continued to appear in features, although mostly in B pictures. In 1953, she appeared with Edward G. Robinson in the behind-the-scenes in TV mystery "The Glass Web". She was a woman with whom Barry Sullivan can redeem himself in "Miami Story" (1954), and had a small role alongside Humphrey Bogart in William Wyler's "Desperate Hours" (1955). In "The Steel Jungle" (1956), Garland was a pregnant wife of a bookie who chooses jail over informing on the mob--or being with her. By 1959, Garland was in the low budget "Alligator People", playing a woman who searches for her missing husband only to find him at a Southern mansion partly transformed into a reptile. Film work became more sporadic in the 60s as Garland devoted herself to TV series work, but in 1974 she could be seen briefly in "Airport 1975", as the wife of Dana Andrews, who calls her just before he gets into his single-engine craft, has a heart attack, and slams into Karen Black's plane. Garland was Linda Blair's shallow mother in "Roller Boogie" (1979) and co-starred in Claudia Weil's enchanting 1980 comedy "It's My Turn".
Garland is undoubtedly better remembered for her TV series work. From 1957-58, Garland was female cop Casey Jones on the syndicated series "Decoy", which is considered the first series to feature a woman police officer as a lead. She played wife to Bing Crosby on "The Bing Crosby Show" (ABC, 1964-65), and, in perhaps her most memorable TV role, was the widow who married Fred MacMurray on "My Three Sons" (CBS, 1969-72). From 1983-87, on "Scarecrow & Mrs. King" (CBS), she was Kate Jackson's mother, confused about how her daughter spent her days. Garland has also played recurring roles as a mother on other series, including NBC's "Remington Steele" (as Stephanie Zimbalist's mom) and, more recently, on ABC's "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (as Lois Lane's nagging mother helping her prepare for her wedding).