Friday, August 24, 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON BEVERLY WASHBURN

Here is a great story on child actress Beverly Washburn. She played the daughter of Bing in 1951's Here Comes The Groom...

Beginning her career as a talented child actress, Beverly Washburn appeared in some classic 1950s films including “Hans Christian Andersen” (1952), “Shane” (1953) and “Old Yeller” (1957) as well as dozens of classic TV shows. She also worked alongside Hollywood’s most popular actors and her list of favorites is long (see www.beverlywashburn.com).

While she appeared in several “Wagon Train” episodes, her favorite was The Tobias Jones Story where Lou Costello plays a drunk accused of murder – not only a rare dramatic role for the comedian but one of his final acting appearances.


“I was a big Abbott & Costello fan, so it was a thrill to work with Lou,” said Washburn from Las Vegas where she has lived for over 20 years. “I just loved him, he was such as sweet man. But he was so used to ad-libbing in the comedy routines that he actually found it hard to stick to the script. When he forgot a line, he would look into the camera and say, ‘So how are ya?’ which always made me giggle.”


Washburn recalls rehearsing a scene where she had to push Costello’s intoxicated character into a wagon. “He leaned back and said ‘push my biscuits’ (buttocks) into the wagon as hard as I could. I’d never heard that expression before! While he was a joy to work with, I do remember there was a kind of sadness about him which I only later realized was because he never really got over his young son drowning." Costello died a few months after filming.


In Here Comes the Groom (1951), Washburn plays Bing Crosby’s adopted daughter. “People always ask me was he mean because of the bad wrap he got over the years from the stories told by his son from his first marriage,” she said. “But he was so kind to me. He gave me a beautiful doll one Christmas and I was on his Christmas card list for years. He signed a couple of photographs for me and wrote ‘For Beverly, hope to play in your next picture’ on one and ‘To my co-star Beverly’ on another. Those are mementos from my career that I still treasure.”

She also appeared in episodes of the Warner Bros. ABC detective series, 77 Sunset Strip and Hawaiian Eye. She appeared twice on the CBS western series, The Texan starring Rory Calhoun, as Henrietta Tovers in "No Tears for the Dead" (1958) and as Greta Banden in "Badman" (1960). She appeared in the debut episode of NBC's Wagon Train but not in the lead role. Her episodes included the episodes "The Willy Moran Story" (1957), "The Tobias Jones Story" (1958), and as Milly Sharp "The Cassie Vance Story" (1963).


In the 1970s, she appeared in three episodes of Quinn Martin's The Streets of San Francisco crime drama with Karl Malden': "Most Feared in the Jungle" (1973), "Letters from the Grave" (1975), and as Michelle Rhodes in "Let's Pretend We're Strangers" (1977). One of her later television appearances was in the 1984 episode "Remembrance of Things Past" of CBS's Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Her most recent role was that of the character Brenda in the 2007 film Hard Four, which also features Ed Asner, Paula Prentiss, Dabney Coleman, and Ed Begley, Jr. In 2015, she appeared as Reyna Belasco Rosenthal in R. Christian Anderson's feature film When the World Came to San Francisco.

In her book, “Reel Tears: The Beverly Washburn Story, Take Two” re-released in 2013 by BearManor Media, Beverly shares many more stories from her career. She says she has been “blessed to work with so many wonderful people in the entertainment business.”

“It hasn’t all be roses, as I talk about in my book,” she adds, “but I have a lot of fond memories for sure.”



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