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Beverly Tyler: MGM Actress Dies

Beverly Tyler actressBeverly Tyler.

Beverly Tyler dies: Minor MGM leading lady of the '40s

Beverly Tyler, a leading lady in a handful of mostly B movies of the 1940s and 1950s, died of pulmonary embolism in Reno, Nevada, on Nov. 23, '05. Tyler was 78. (Image: Beverly Tyler in the mid-'40s.)

Born as Beverly Jean Saul on July 5, 1927, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Beverly Tyler landed an MGM contract in the early '40s. But despite her singing skills and radio experience, Tyler was relegated to just a few supporting and decorative leading-lady roles before she and the studio parted ways.

Her two most prestigious film appearances during her brief MGM tenure were those in Victor Saville's family drama The Green Years (1946), starring Charles Coburn and Tom Drake; and in Norman Taurog's The Beginning or the End (1947), a melodrama about the first A-bomb, with Drake, Robert Walker, and Brian Donlevy.

Apart from three bits in her first couple of years at the studio, Tyler's only other MGM movie role was in Fred Zinnemann's unlikely comedy My Brother Talks to Horses (1947), toplining Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins, Peter Lawford, and Edward Arnold.

Beverly Tyler: Post-MGM career

Beverly Tyler's MGM career came to an abrupt halt in 1947, when she lost the female lead in The Romance of Rosy Ridge to newcomer Janet Leigh. According to Leigh, MGM head Louis B. Mayer felt Tyler was “was a little too sophisticated to play a farm girl. They wanted a more naïve type, and they sure got her.”

Beverly Tyler would return to the big screen three years later, but in B movies at various studios. Among those were The Fireball (1950), with former MGM superstar Mickey Rooney; the B Western The Battle at Apache Pass (1952), with John Lund and Jeff Chandler; Voodoo Island (1957), opposite Boris Karloff; and, further down the cast list, Chicago Confidential (1957), with Brian Keith and Beverly Garland. Her last film role was in Edward L. Cahn's B thriller Hong Kong Confidential (1958), opposite Gene Barry.

In the mid-'50s, Beverly Tyler was featured in the TV series Big Town. She later guested in several other series (Mike Hammer, Bonanza, Hazel) before retiring in 1961.

The following year, she married TV director Jim Jordan, with whom she eventually settled in Reno. Jordan died in 1998.

 

Janet Leigh quote re: Beverly Tyler and The Romance of Rosy Ridge: The Independent.

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4 Comments to Beverly Tyler: MGM Actress Dies

  1. D Castillo

    The reason I looked up Beverly Tyler was because I just watched “The Cimarron Kid” with Audie Murphy and Beverly Tyler. She looked familiar to me, but checking all the movie titles that she is in, I have never seen any of them. There's no mention of this film on here. I also noticed that she quit films too early and was wondering why. I've also sadly noticed that way too many actresses died way too young, before reaching 50 and some didn't even live to 40. But Beverly had a long enough life and for that makes me feel good.

  2. Earline

    I admire people who can make a “snap decision” and stick with it without alot of looking back and regretting. I don't know for certain if BEVERLY TYLER was one of those people. But she did successfully leave Hollywood and never returned, after her marriage to Director Jim Jordan. The first and only time I recall seeing her was on the show “HAZEL”, Episode: “EVERYBODY'S THANKFUL BUT US TURKEYS”. This is one of my favorite episodes. I understand that she is in an ESTHER WILLIAMS MOVIE: “BATHING BEAUTY”, though I haven't spotted her. And she is also in the movie: “BEST FOOT FORWARD”, which I haven't seen either. Beverly Tyler was one of those Actresses who deserved more than what she got but was passed over for some reason. The only other Actress I can think of who successfully walked away from Hollywood was DEANNA DURBIN. The difference though was: BEVERLY took some Acting Projects, though they were in “RENO, NEVADA”. DEANNA DURBIN never returned to Acting in any way at all, to the best of my knowledge. BEVERLY was nearly a year and a half younger than ACTRESS WHITNEY BLAKE, who had third billing on “HAZEL”, who longed to be a star. She always wanted to be the leading lady but as talented as she was she too was always further down the cast list. Eventhough she was successful in her own right, having Co-Created the show: “ONE DAY AT A TIME”, she was angry when a younger Actress: “BONNIE FRANKLIN” was cast to play the LEADING LADY. Once again she was overlooked. I wish Beverly had been on Season 5 of “HAZEL” instead of LYNN BORDEN. To me it would have made more sense to bring back characters whom the audience had already seen as Relatives of HAROLD instead of trying to create characters supposedly for a younger audience. Beverly whose character name was “PHYLLIS”, and her Husband “BOB”, played by ACTOR “CHARLES COOPER”, could have come back as HAROLD'S AUNT AND UNCLE with “HAZEL”, and I think that that would have sufficed. Of course by the time “HAZEL” was in its fifth season, BEVERLY TYLER had gotten married, had a baby and moved on with her life. But I can't help but to wonder if she could have been enticed back, even if she would have been second or third in the cast?! At least no one would have been commenting that there was never a Brother of “GEORGE” mentioned, named “STEVE” with a wife name “BARBARA”. And “PHYLLIS” would have finally learned how to cook by the end of the season/show.

  3. S. Brown

    In The Green Years I was sure someone was singing for Ms. Tyler. Now that I realize it was her own voice, I'm even more surprised to realize that MGM dropped her. This was a very talented actress. Perhaps it was felt she lacked raw physical appeal, and wouldn't make it in sophisticated adult dramas — something that Janet Leigh was able to do. At any rate, when I saw Green Years I wondered why I'd never heard of her, and I think MGM made a mistake.

  4. Walt Ramsey

    I have just watched “The Green Years” and I'm sure that I never saw it as a youngster when it first played the movie theaters. As a film buff I don't think I ever saw it listed on TV before. It was a very heart - warming film with a marvelous performance by Charles Coburn, but I was particularly captured by the beauty of Beverly Tyler. Apparently somebody dropped the ball back at MGM in the old days, or maybe she twisted somebody's knickers, because they certainly missed out on the talent that this young woman demonstrated in that film. A very belated RIP Beverly.