In a career which spanned half a century, Garland achieved cult status as the star of many low budget noir and horror films, including It Conquered the World and The Alligator People. Her long television career included an Emmy nomination in the 50s (Medic, in which she played a leukemia patient) and what many consider a history-making role, that of Decoy, the first dramatic series with a woman in the title role. In the show, Garland portrayed the first female police officer ever to be seen on television.
She is largely remembered today as a comedic presence on the small screen, including the final three years of My Three Sons, in which she played Fred MacMurray's second wife. Earlier, she worked on Bing Crosby's 60s sitcom, playing his wife as well.
Later in her career, she maintained a presence on television, playing the mothers of Stephanie Zimbalist (Remington Steele), Kate Jackson (Scarecrow and Mrs. King) and Teri Hatcher (Lois and Clark). Her third husband, a real estate developer, built a resort hotel in her honor; the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in North Hollywood, CA, is still operated by Garland's family.