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October 31, 2014

Goodbye to two great ladies of the small (and big) screen

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 8th 2008 8:06AM
Nina FochSometimes a celebrity dies who wasn't just a TV star, they actually had a hand in almost every aspect of television over a very long period of time. We lost two such stars over the weekend.

For example, fans of NCIS will know Nina Foch (right) from her role as Ducky's mother on the show. But did you know she also starred in several vintage horror movies back as early as the early 40s, such as Return of the Vampire and Cry of the Werewolf? She also had the honor of being the very first murder victim on Columbo, in 1968's Prescription: Murder (done in by hubby Gene Barry). She also appeared in several other TV shows, such as Bull, Just Shoot Me, Dharma & Greg, Murder She Wrote, L.A. Law, Hunter, Lou Grant, Barnaby Jones, Hawaii Five-0, That Girl, and a ton of others. She appeared in Spartacus, The Ten Commandments, An American in Paris and others. She was even the associate director on The Diary of Anne Frank.

Foch passed away in Los Angeles on Friday at age 84.

She wasn't the only veteran actress to pass away in Los Angeles on Friday. Beverly Garland was 82. She's probably best known to TV audiences as the wife of Fred MacMurray on My Three Sons, but she also had a very long career in the business. She appeared in such early 50s TV shows as Mama Rosa and The Lone Ranger, as well as Lux Video Theatre, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, Climax!, Goodyear Theater, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, Rawhide, Diagnosis: Murder, Friends, Ellen, Remington Steele, Magnum, P.I., Hart to Hart, and dozens more. She was a regular on 7th Heaven (she played Ginger), Lois & Clark (she played Ellen Lane), and Port Charles. She also appeared in several old sci-fi films you've probably come across late at night while channel surfing, including It Conquered The World and Not of This Earth.

Beverly GarlandSee what I mean about these two women not only starring in a lot of shows, but also forming a history of television within themselves? There aren't many people who can say they appeared in the original 1950 version of D.O.A., and then over 50 years later appeared in 7th Heaven like Garland did. How many stars have appeared in a 1943 western and then appeared on The Closer 64 years later like Nina Foch did? Pretty amazing.

It's really sad when these veteran, classic stars pass away. Like I've said before, a big part of pop culture is going along with them.

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Jay Shah

Nina Foch was 'European Cool'. An excellent actor, she seemed to be mired in 'B' noirs, mysteries and melodramas in the 40's and so was one of the earliest film actors to work on television. This in turn gave her recognition and she soon started to be offered supporting roles in some of the better feature films such as 'An American in Paris' (1951) and 'Executive Suite' (1954). She worked as an A.D. on George Stevens' 'The Diary of Anne Frank'. In her later years she was an acting coach and directed on stage, but still occasionally turned up on many popular American t.v. series. She never got a role that truly captured her abilities and character but I always thought that she could have been Paul Newman's foil as an interesting alternative to Patricia Neal's character in 'Hud' (1962) and would have done better than Lauren Bacall in 'Harper' (1966).

Farewell.

December 18 2008 at 4:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jenn

You neglected to mention "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" for Bev Garland. She was Amanda's (Kate Jackson) on the show, which aired on CBS from 1983-87.

December 09 2008 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rae

I remember Beverly Garland from Scarecrow and Mrs King. Fabulous actor and a sad loss.

December 08 2008 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Doran

Odd that few of Nina Foch's obits seem to mention that her first husband (back in the 50s) was James Lipton. Yes, THAT James Lipton, back in his soap-acting days. In my collection at home, I've got a few old magazines showing the two of them "at home," when the marriage was new, circa 1954 or thereabouts. They didn't stay together very long, but I understand the split was amicable. C'est la vie, as they say...

December 08 2008 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
floridAL

In addition to the roles she has played, I used to enjoy watching Beverly Garland on the celebrity game show called "Stump The Stars".

December 08 2008 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JND

I watched an episode of Laredo w/ Beverly Garland this weekend. She was a beautiful woman.

December 08 2008 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Adams

Beverly Garland appeared in a widely-syndicated filmed show called DECOY in the early 50's, the first TV show to feature a female police officer, years before Angie Dickinson.

December 08 2008 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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