Monday, December 8, 2008

Another sad goodbye: Actresses Nina Foch and Beverly Garland

They were like chalk and cheese.

Beverly Garland was a busty, B-movie starlet and more. She had a successfult TV career, including stints on the 1960s-spawned My Three Sons, '70s parody Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, '80s light mystery Scarecrow and Mrs. King and '90s prime-time soap Port Charles. But she was much loved for her regular-gal appearances in '50s exploitation pictures like The Neanderthal Man and Problem Girls (both 1953), Killer Leopard (1954), Swamp Woman (1955), It Conquered the World (1956) and Not of This Earth (1957).

Elegant, Dutch-born Nina Foch was a concert pianist before transforming herself into a clasically trained actress. She glided through b-movies of every stripe, including Return of the Vampire (1944) and Cry of the Werewolf (1944), with the slightly distant air of someone destined for bigger and better things. The bigger things never materialized, but she worked steadily in movies and TV until the end of her life, gracing episodes of Navy NCIS and The Closer; that's better -- much better -- than most actors can say.

Two very different actresses, and I'll miss them both.

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