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Character Profiles > Beverly Marshall Lisa Armytage, Shaunna O'Grady

Dr. Beverly Robinson (née Marshall) 1987-1990
Lived: 26 Ramsay Street
Parent: Rhys Marshall
Marital Status: Jim Robinson (1988-1990; divorced)
Siblings: Annette
Family Tree: Robinson/Marshall
Occupation: Doctor at Erinsborough & District Hospital, G.P.

Dr. Beverly Marshall grew up in Adelaide, the younger of two girls. While her sister Annette was content to marry and have children, Beverly concentrated on her dream of becoming a doctor. It was at medical school that Beverly met Stephen Armstrong, a fellow med student. They fell in love but after a few years, Beverly ended the relationship when Stephen started hitting her.

When Beverly accepted an invitation from her friend, Hilary Robinson, to visit Erinsborough, she quickly realised Hilary was playing cupid between her and Hilary's cousin, Jim Robinson. At first the two did not see eye to eye but as time passed, Beverly found herself falling for Jim - and the tight-knit community of Erinsborough. With a vacant medical practice after the departure of Clive Gibbons, Beverly decided to move to Erinsborough permanently and start her own surgery.

Her relationship with Jim was never plain sailing. When the two went on a picnic in the bush with Des Clarke and his heavily pregnant wife Daphne, they spent most of the afternoon bickering until they had to deliver Daphne's baby. More problems arose for the couple when Stephen Armstrong re-entered Beverly's life. Unable to say no to his charms, Beverly chose Stephen over Jim and he moved in with her. But when he started getting aggressive and violent again, Beverly quickly threw him out and begged Jim to take her back. Jim went one step further - he proposed.

Beverly and Jim married at Jim's house on Ramsay Street on St. Valentine's Day 1988, but their plans for a honeymoon were upset when Bev's nephew and niece, Todd and Katie Landers - Annette's children - ran away after the service. After they were found, they revealed to Beverly that Annette and their abusive father Bob were having marital problems and they couldn't face going back to them in Adelaide. Beverly and Jim opted to forfeit their honeymoon altogether, and flew to Adelaide instead, to try and help work out the problems Annette and Bob were going through. However, after seeing how bad things were between the couple, Beverly and Jim decided Todd and Katie should stay with them while Bob and Annette tried to reconcile their differences. Todd and Katie settled in seamlessly into the Robinson household, while Beverly found the transition a little harder. Helen Daniels, the mother of Jim's deceased first wife, lived with the Robinsons, and Beverly was anxious about how her presence would be received by Helen. But Helen was delighted that Jim had finally found someone else after so many years as a widower, and she assured Beverly that she was more than welcome into the household. In fact, Helen even moved out into a nearby flat such was her desire not to make Beverly feel uncomfortable at No. 26. However, Beverly quickly found the stresses of looking after a household and running her medical practice too much to cope with and she invited a delighted Helen to return to the Robinson house.

Todd and Katie's stay with Beverly and Jim was extended after Annette had a nervous breakdown and Bob ran away. Beverly's maternal instincts began to emerge as she got to spend more and more time with the kids, and she pleaded with Jim to try for a baby. Jim was reluctant, however, having already raised four children of his own who were all now grown up. But seeing how much it meant to his wife, he agreed and soon after, Beverly discovered she was pregnant. She was heartbroken when she suffered a miscarriage and the Robinson's feared for Beverly's safety when they found her car abandoned on the edge of a cliff. Luckily, she returned safely a few days later, and Jim helped her overcome the pain of losing her unborn child.

When Beverly returned to Ramsay Street after spending several weeks at a medical conference in Perth, she was shocked to walk in on Jim in the arms of another woman. Thinking Jim had been having an affair while she had been away, Beverly was devastated. But it transpired that the woman was Madeline Price, the subject of a story Jim's journalist son Scott was working on and Madeline had developed something of an obsession for Jim while she had been working with Scott. After realising that there had been nothing untoward going on from Jim's side, Beverly put the matter behind her and settled back into life at the Robinson household.

Beverly found herself the victim of unwanted attention when Jonathan Whiting, a patient she was treating, began to lavish her with expensive gifts. Jonathan's fixation annoyed Jim, leading Beverly to tell Jonathan she could no longer be his doctor. However, Beverly was quickly forgotten by Jonathan when he turned his attentions to a nurse at the hospital, and Jim realised he had caused no real threat to their marriage.

When Debra Turner, a young single mother who was a patient of Beverly's, left her child at Beverly's surgery and fled, Beverly took little Rhys home and grew so fond of him that she applied for legal guardianship. She was granted a temporary guardianship, and Beverly was thrilled. Soon, she was making plans to formally adopt Rhys, but trouble surfaced when Debra returned to town with Rhys' father Adam Delaney in tow, demanding Beverly pay them $1,000 not to apply to have their child returned to them. Desperate not to lose Rhys, Beverly wrote them a cheque, but more blackmail demands followed, and Jim realised what was going on after noticing substantial amounts of cash missing from their bank account. Beverly was forced to come clean to Jim and tell him about the extortion, and Jim insisted on calling the police. After the police caught Debra and Adam attempting to extort more money from Beverly, Debra retaliated by having Rhys put up for adoption. Beverly was horrified at the prospect of losing Rhys, and she was devastated when she was forced to say goodbye to him for the final time and hand him over to the adoption authorities.

Cracks began to show in Jim and Beverly's marriage as a result of this blow, and the arrival of an old flame from Beverly's med school days didn't help matters. Ewan O'Brien came to Erinsborough to ask Beverly to work on a research paper with him on the ageing process. Jim was suspicious that Beverly and Ewan were still attracted to each other, and became jealous. When Ewan wanted Beverly to attend a weekend conference with him, Jim quickly booked a weekend at a guesthouse up the coast for himself and Beverly in an attempt at keeping the pair apart. When Beverly discovered the real reason Jim had taken her away was to block her seeing Ewan, she was furious. The tensions between Beverly and Jim over Ewan eventually culminated in Beverly taking Todd (Katie had since returned to Annette) and moving to the flat above her surgery. However, Beverly then discovered she was pregnant again, and thrilled at this second chance to have a child of her own, she reconciled with Jim. But more heartbreak hit Beverly when she miscarried once again and was told she could never carry a child to full term. Her mental state suffered as a result, and Beverly lashed out at a patient, slapping her across the face. An enquiry by the Medical Board followed, although Beverly escaped with a warning once her miscarriage was taken into consideration.

The second miscarriage was the final nail in the coffin for Beverly and Jim's marriage and Beverly decided to leave Erinsborough when Ewan asked her to join him in a practice in Perth. Todd was less than pleased with Beverly's decision, since it meant he would have to return to Adelaide and leave his girlfriend and friends behind in Erinsborough. And Jim, too, gave Beverly a hard time in her final days in Ramsay Street. On the eve of her departure, Beverly suggested she and Jim keep in touch, but she was upset when Jim dismissed the idea and said they should just part completely. However, just before Beverly left, Jim apologised and assured her that he wanted to remain friends. They divorced a year later.

Trivia Notes
• Lisa Armytage originated the role of Beverly in July 1987 and remained on screen until February 1989. Six weeks later, Beverly returned with the role being taken over by blonde Shaunna O'Grady, who remained on screen until September 1990 and also played Beverly in her 2005 cameo appearance
• Shaunna O'Grady is married to regular Neighbours director Chris Adshead
• Click here to read our 2013 interview with Lisa Armytage
• Click here to read our 2006 interview with Shaunna O'Grady
• In 2005, Beverly made a cameo appearance in Annalise's 20th Anniversary Documentary

528-889, 919-1283, 4773

Magic Moments
Episode 661: Jim and Beverly's Wedding
Episode 889: Beverly's 1989 Departure
Episode 1283: Beverly's 1990 Departure

Biography by Steve