Beverly Garland struggles with one of
THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE (1959)!
The following interview
can also be seen in an issue of Scary
Garland: Walking Down Monster Bash Lane...
An interview with actress
- Beverly Garland by Ron Adams
Beverly is a vivacious
person, just bubbling with enthusiasm for everything she's done and
is currently involved with.
QUESTION: Of all the
things and many accomplishements you've had from TV shows like MY THREE
SONS, SCARECROW & MRS. KING to FRIENDS, do you find people still asking
you about your films from 1950's?
BEVERLY: Oh, yes, I never
dreamed that any one would care! People still ask about NOT OF THIS
EARTH and THE GUNSLINGER. When that first started to happen to me, people
asking about the old films...I couldn't remember those things right
off; I had to call up Roger Corman and say WHAT'S GOING ON (laughing)?!
So funny what people remember. But, probably people remember me most
from the MY THREE SONS TV show.
QUESTION: Which one of
the 50's sci-fi movies do you seem to asked about the most?
I think NOT OF THIS THE EARTH and IT CONQUERED THE WORLD. Oh! IT CONQUERED
THE WORLD! It was so ridiculous. Started off that Roger was so excited.
He said we're going out for lunch and see the monster. I saw it all
right. I said "You gotta be kidding!" They made these eloborate arms,
then they got run over with a truck! They had to wire up the arms. Oh
gosh, head like a long carrot.....it was hysterical. People ask about
CURUCU, BEAST OF THE AMAZON too. It got people's imagination running,
then fans were disappointed because it was a man in a monster suit,
not a REAL monster.
QUESTION: How about some
of your co-stars? What was it like working with Lon Chaney Jr. in THE
BEVERLY: He was a doll.
A great guy, I just loved him him. He scared the living hell out of
me! (Laughing). He was SO into it. He'd be telling me about his Dad.
How he taught him so much. I think he was after he time. He wanted so
much to have been doing his own make-ups. But, the unions, stopped that.
He was sad about that, really. I think he felt he could've been a great
make-up man, like his dad.
QUESTION: You seemed
to get roughed-up alot on screen(!), Chaney in ALLIGATOR PEOPLE, Edmond
O'Brien in DOA...did you ever really get hurt?
BEVERLY: No, well....I
think the first prison picture I did was tough. I've dealt with REAL
alligators, I fall out of a tree. I remember being told "He will catch
you, Beverly!" Oh, brother! Thank God I was caught, falling out of that
tree! In CURUCU I had two close calls. There was a snake. HUGE!, really
as long as your living room -- VERY BIG SNAKE. Three natives at each
end holding it from coiling on me. I'm screaming my head off. Siodmak
(the director) calls stop! Curt Siodmak says "Are you all right?" I
said, "It's a BIG snake, I'm suppose to be screaming, right?" Right.
He then tells me some 20 years later, that he has to give me credit!
He said he never told me that if those boys would have slipped and let
go of that snake, there's no way they could have saved me. He said "I
didn't want to tell you...I thought you were going to die!" I never
dreamed that really couldn've happened. (Gulp!) The village in that
film was made out of palms--the huts--the sun was beating down, no trailers,
no bathrooms. Really a tough shoot. Siodmak has three cameras going,
they light spears on fire and throw them into the village for the climax.
And EVERYTHING goes up! POP! Everything burns. I look at fellow actor
Bromfield, he runs. Okay, then. I guess its time to GO! I run; my eyelashes
are singed. HA! Falling off of horses. Oh, for Roger's (Corman) GUNSLINGER
I'm running out of a bar. Big fight on stage; real hair puling. So,
Roger says I'm to come ruinning down from the saloon, jump on the horse,
ride out town. Okay....just jump on the horse. THINK HIGH, Roger says.
I jump, go over and land right on other side. Ouch. So, I do it again
and turn my ankle. Roger wants to do it AGAIN. " I cannot run Roger!"
My boot won't go back on. My ankle is swolen and it hurt's so bad....put
it in hot water and it's 4000 times bigger than my other ankle. Okay,
he picks me up. The wardrobe lady, cuts my boot, cuts the levis, Roger
has a doctor with a huge needle look at my ankle, and give me 5 shots.
Don't know what that stuff was...but suddenly I can do anything...no
pain. Whoah! We did the scene, but I didn't walk for ten days after
working all day after that.
QUESTION: How about Ken
Tobey? What was it like working with him in the 1961 film STARK FEAR?
BEVERLY: I think Ken
Tobey and I became close friends almost immedately. We both agreed that
this was the most awful film either of us had ever done. Can you ever!
Oh! It was showing down in Fairfax. I thought I'd go to the theatre
and see it. I called. Are you showing STARK FEAR? There answer was,
we were, but nobody wanted to see it, so we took it off! Ken and I comiserated
together on that!
QUESTION: Which of the
Science Fiction/Horror films did you have the most fun making and why?
BEVERLY: Well, the most
fun was probably NOT OF THIS EARTH and I loved doing the ALLIGATOR PEOPLE.
I loved Chaney.
QUESTION: Anything else
you'd like to tell your many fans of those classic science fiction films?
BEVERLY: Well just that
it was such a fun career! No Academy Award, but most of all, thank God
the fans are out there. The fans make it fun and all worthwhile. If
it hadn't been for them, I'd be working at a drycleaner! HA! HA!
MONSTER BASH: Beverly,
thank you SO much for your time. We're looking forward to you being
our honored Guest at this Summer's MONSTER BASH saluting the films of
BEVERLY: Oh, thank you!
The Monster Bash Convention
P.O. Box 213 / Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: (724) 238-6436
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