"I want to run towards something, not away."
Beverly "Bev" Marsh is one of the seven members of The Losers' Club in Stephen King's 1986 novel IT. She is the only female member of the group which consist of Bill Denbrough, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Mike Hanlon, Stan Uris, and Ben Hanscom. Beverly has a crush on Bill Denbrough, but as an adult and towards the end of book, she lets go of her feelings for Bill and falls in love with Ben Hanscom.
Beverly is an 11 to 12 year old girl. In the book, she is described as being very pretty despite her lower class upbringing. Beverly has reddish auburn hair that reaches her shoulder blades, lovely gray-green eyes and milky skin with a spray of freckles. In the 1990 television mini-series, she has very long wavy brunette hair with no freckles. In the 2017 film adaption, she has reddish auburn hair with some freckles and her appearance in the film version is the closest to the description in Stephen King's novel.
Heart Burns There Too - Ben Hanscom (movie)
In the book, Ben Hanscom wrote the haiku on a postcard and mailed it to Beverly. Ben has a crush on Beverly that spans the period in their childhoods and is renewed in adulthood during the second battle with IT.
The Curse Of Derry (in the film)
At one point in her childhood, Beverly was sexually assaulted by Henry and the Bowers Gang.
When Beverly was coming home from school, Henry Bowers, Victor "Vic" Criss and Reginald "Belch" Huggins saw the opportunity to attack her. One of Henry's friends caressed her and the other held a knife near her neck and Henry held her close, kissing her face while playing with her hair. Beverly, frightened, saw one of the neighbors, an old man raking his lawn. Seeing that he saw what was happening to Beverly and thought he was going to help her, but, due to IT hypnotizing most of the residents of Derry over the years, the old man just stopped raking. He took one look at Beverly and went back into his house like nothing had happened, which is absolutely monstrous.
However, her father came home early from work, making Henry Bowers and his gang leave. In 1985, Beverly revealed to the Losers' that was the only time she was ever really happy to see her father.
The Apocalyptic Rockfight
While the Losers are discussing about how powerful It is, a black boy named Mike Hanlon is being racially persecuted by Henry Bowers. When Mike heads over to where the Losers are, he hides behind them. Henry and his friends, Vic Criss, Belch Huggins, Moose Sadler, Peter Gordon, Gard Jagermeyer and Patrick Hockstetter come face-to-face with the Losers. The two groups engage in a rockfight. After everyone (except Mike) is wounded but alive, Henry is the last one standing, with his friends fleeing from the fight. Henry swears vengeance on the Losers on intending to kill them all. Mike thanks the Losers and he joins them as the seventh and final member.
Beverly experiences her first encounter with It in the bathroom of her own home. She hears voices rising from the drain of the sink and when she approaches it, she learns that they are the voices of children long dead. They were all supposedly killed by Pennywise. However, It shows its true colors when It changes the voices to Pennywise own and threatens Beverly, using his "We all float down here!" mantra. A red, balloon-like object rises from the sink and when It "leaves" the balloon explodes, flinging blood all over the bathroom.
As would be expected, Beverly begins screaming and attracts the attention of her father. He comes in, believing that a peeping tom was looking in on his precious daughter, and ends up hitting her across the face. (He "worries" about her, he worries a lot. He's actually a monster.) She realizes that he cannot see the blood that covers the bathroom and decides to tell him instead of the blood that she saw a big spider. He leaves after checking out the drain, much to the horror of Beverly as he covers his own hands in the mysterious blood.
The blood does not disappear, and she shows it to her friends a day or so later. The Losers' Club helps clean it up when her father is gone one day.
The Sewers (novel)
In Chapter 22 section 12 "Love and Desire", Beverly recalls the memory of her first sexual experience which occurs with the other six Losers. It happens after the First Ritual of Chüd and the groups' regression into normal childhood. The group becomes lost in the pitch black sewers while trying to find their way out, and the boys start to panic. To stop this, Beverly offers herself in order to seal a bond of love that would last "forever." Reluctantly, the boys agree, and one by one they take turns having intercourse. Since this is recalled from Beverly's perspective, King provides her introspect during the event as she breaks through several epistemological barriers. She rids herself of the shame of sex which her father and community instilled. She gains a feeling of empowerment and triumph which she likens to the act of flying; and, as she approaches her first orgasm, King repeatedly draws a metaphorical parallel between sexual fear, confusion and ignorance and the monster "It." King also singularly uses the word "lifelight" when describing the tandem climax between her and Ben. After all have finished, the boys regain their composure and are suddenly able to easily determine which way leads out of the sewers.
Beverly makes a brief cameo appearance a few months after the 1958 events of IT in 11/22/63. Sometime in October, she is seen along with Richie and both are dancing the "Hellzapoppin" and mastering the art of "Lindy Hopping". They are in a picnic area not far from the Barrens, practicing for a talent show. They are approached by the time-travelling Jake Epping. He enquires about the Dunning family, dropping some small hints about the nature of his task, which the two take for being of the same supernatural nature of things they had experienced. Afterwards, he teaches them the right way to dance, and leaves them both. Their meeting does eventually become erased when Jake removes his mark on the past at the end of the novel.
In Chicago, Illinois, fashion designer Beverly Marsh receives word from her secretary that she has a call. Her partner and boyfriend, Tom Rogan, cuts in and says they're not to be interrupted. After a moment, Beverly agrees. After the secretary leaves, Tom notes that his girlfriend is scared, adjusts her hair, and tells her to get herself under control for a meeting with their Japanese investors. They kiss and start to go, and Tom tells Beverly never to contradict him again. In an act of defiance (behind Tom's back), Beverly returns her hair to its previous condition.
The meeting goes well and that night, Tom and Beverly celebrate in bed. Tom goes to get more champagne and the phone rings. It's Mike, and he tells her to brace herself. A minute later, Tom comes in and asks who was on the phone and finds Beverly packing. She explains she has to go to Maine and mentions Mike. Tom immediately slaps her and tells her to shut up, and says that she's forgotten his lessons. He takes a belt out of the wardrobe and prepares to beat her, and Beverly tells him to put it down and that there is trouble in Maine. When he orders her to unpack, Beverly starts throwing things from the dresser at him and finally hits him in the head with a jar of face cream. After threatening to kill him, should he ever appear before her eyes, she leaves and gets a taxi, and admits to the driver that the best friends she's ever had were in Maine.
Mrs. Kersh, The witch, and the abandoned house
Beverly arrives in town and goes to her old home. She sees her father's name on the doorbell, but when she rings it, an old woman comes out. She introduces herself as Mrs. Kersh, who tells Beverly that Alvin Marsh has been dead for five years. (Somewhat strange that Beverly would never have been informed of her own father's death). Beverly checks the doorbell and realizes that she apparently was mistaken and that the name is Kersh. She apologizes and Mrs. Kersh invites her in for tea. Beverly accepts and discovers that the place has been entirely redecorated. She freshens up in the bathroom and hastily plugs the drain. She runs a bit of water and then hesitates, and when Mrs. Kersh calls out to her, asking her what's taking her so long. Beverly realizes that the sink is now halfway full of water from the leaky faucet. She goes to have tea with Mrs. Kersh, who nastily slurps down her tea. Beverly realizes that the woman's teeth are rotting, and discovers that her tea has transformed into blood (in the novel...it's liquid shit). She drops the cup and realizes that it did say "Marsh" on the doorbell. As Mrs. Kersh picks up the pieces, she says that she wishes that Beverly would be wise to leave while she can. Transforming into the image of Beverly's dead father, "Mrs. Kersh" chases Beverly to the door. Beverly manages to get out into the street and turns to see Pennywise on the porch. Laughing, he goes inside and slams the door. Beverly narrowly avoids being hit by a passing truck, and turns to discover that the house is now boarded over and long abandoned. A balloon is floating next to her, and bounces down the street on its own.
The Losers Reunited
Beverly finally arrives at the Chinese restaurant they had all agreed to meet at, but then immediately collapses. When she wakes up, she explains that so many memories came back all at once, overwhelming her, and she wonders what they are getting into. She hugs Ben but then goes to Bill and kisses him. They admit that they all saw Pennywise and wonder if IT is afraid of them and chipping away at their resolve. When Beverly mentions the sewers, Eddie has a memory flash of confronting Pennywise in the sewers, using his asthma aspirator. He has an asthma attack and wonders what is going on, and then apologizes for his hysterical outburst. Bill reminds him that he saved Stan's life, and they wonder where Stan is. Mike figures he will be there soon. Bill wants to get down to business, but Richie suggests that they relax a bit and they share a toast to The Losers Club.
The five friends have dinner and talk about their lives and how none of them have children yet. They remember Henry Bowers, and Mike explains that Henry has been locked up in Juniper Hills Psychiatric prison since he confessed to the murders of all the children in 1958. They remember that they didn't say anything after Henry confessed, and Bill remembers stopping the real killer. Mike warns that they thought they did but they might be wrong.
The Losers finish their dinner and receive their fortune cookies. Beverly's fortune cookie sprays blood on her, Eddie finds a cricket in his fortune cookie, Richie's fortune cookie contains a living eyeball looking straight at him, Ben's fortune cookie grows claws, Mike's fortune cookie contains a small dying bird embryo and Bill's fortune cookie pulses ominously. Bill tells them to dummy up, since the waitress can't see what's going on. They tell her that Eddie had an asthma attack and that everything is fine. Once she leaves, they quickly run out.
The Losers go to the library and they see the blood from Richie's encounter with Pennywise and the balloons exploding with blood, and Beverly remembers cleaning the blood up in her bathroom. (In the film: Mike calls Stan's house to see if he is on his way to Derry and they get the sad and chilling news that Stan Uris had committed suicide right after Mike called him the first time to tell him to come back to Derry. Stunned, the rest of the Losers sit in the library and recall their last moments with him. Bill remembers that Stan was the last of them to see IT that summer. Eddie tells them that Stan saw IT's "dead lights" in the sewer. After this, one of the guys says they need a drink, Mike goes to the fridge to see what he has. Balloons float out and Mike bats them away, horrified. In the fridge is Stan's severed head. He begins to insult each Loser in turn until Stan's voice melts away into the horrible voice of Pennywise the Clown. "They all float! They all flooooaaat!" Angrily, Mike, who feels guilty for his part in causing Stan's death, slams the door shut. Suddenly, a dangerous wind whips through the library, books come flying off the shelves and rain starts pouring. The Losers form a quick circle and grab hands, using their power to fight off the "storm". Once it stops, Richie says he has had enough and can they please find somewhere else to talk? The others agree and Mike asks for help to clean up a bit. Suddenly, Bill realizes that the typewriter has typed out a page during the crazy indoor storm. He pulls the sheet of typed paper out and stares at it. Beverly asks him what it is. It's the rhyme that Bill used as a child to help with his stutter: "He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts." He can't work past his stutter to tell them, so Ben takes it from him and reads it for the others.
The Losers go to the Derry Inn Motel where they are staying, as Mike hands out newspaper clippings, explaining that every 30 years, there is a series of child killings that end in a major disaster or massacre, Beverly remembers a man, Mr. Ross, who ignored her when he saw Henry and his friends bothering her. It was only when her father came home that she was saved.
Ben explains how he lost weight in high school after he left Derry and returned to Texas, as Beverly remembers cleaning up the blood in her bathroom but more blood came up. She called over her friends, who confirmed that they could see the blood as well. Working together, they cleaned up the blood and assured her she wasn't insane. After that, the blood never came back.
IT's Disguise and Henry Bower's Death
Beverly goes to her room to find Ben alone and recites the haiku that he gave her in school. When he finishes it, she says that she knew it was him who sent it and kisses him. Ben wonders if she asked Bill first, and Beverly says that she knew it was him all along. She says that she's been waiting until they were both ready and they kiss. However, Ben looks in the mirror and realizes his face is covered in clown makeup, and "Beverly" is wearing baggy clown pants. (Film: He yanks back and Pennywise makes a kissing face at him and exclaims, "Kiss me, Fat boy!" Ben runs toward the door, and then turns, and sees that Pennywise has vanished.)
Meanwhile, Henry tries to finish off Mike, when Ben and Eddie hear the noise and break the door down. They grab Henry and in the struggle, he's stabbed in the chest and dies. Ben and Eddie call the others for help and they drive him to the hospital in Stan's car.
Heart of a Poet
The next morning, they wait for the doctor, and Ben and Beverly wait outside. When she starts to break down, Ben comforts her. Beverly admits that she dated a man who turned out to be just like her father and wonders how could she be so blind. Ben assures her that she's not blind anymore, and at least she fell in love with someone. She realizes that he wrote the haiku and repeats it, and Ben hastily retreats, wondering if it's her or Pennywise. Beverly grabs him and insists that it's her, and they hug as she finishes reciting the haiku. As they kiss, Eddie comes out and calls them in. The doctor tells them that Mike isn't out of the woods yet, but he's recovering and they can see him in a minute.
With Henry dead, It is prompted with the task of killing the Losers on its own. Meanwhile, Audra follows Bill to Derry but falls under the influence of It's dead lights and is made catatonic. As the five remaining "Losers" find their way to It's cave, they are greeted by a ghostly image of Pennywise and this time he reveals his true physical form: a massive, hideous spider-like creature. In the midst of the battle, Eddie is mortally wounded when he steps forward to save Ben, Richie, and Bill's lives. Once again, Beverly is able to use her slingshot on the creature; this time, the strike rings true and mortally wounds It. Ben, Beverly, Richie and Bill comfort the wounded Eddie, who dies in his friends' arms. In their rage, Ben, Richie, Bill and Beverly slaughter and dismember It, killing it for good. They are able to leave, taking Eddie's body and the catatonic Audra with them. They later bury Eddie in the Derry Cemetery.
In the aftermath, Mike marks his own fading memories of the past as a sign that It was truly destroyed that time, and the adult Losers Club can return to their lives as the memory of the traumatic events fades entirely. Richie gets a part in a movie and he partners up with a man who looks and sounds just like Eddie. Beverly and Ben leave Derry together and head west; one week later they are married and just weeks later Beverly is pregnant, making another curse broken. Audra, still catatonic from her encounter, is coaxed back to life aboard Bill's old bicycle "Silver" when he takes her to outrun It's fading influence the same way he did when the bike helped Bill while trying to save a young Stan who was frozen with fear. All as it was, they realize that they can now move on with their lives. As the film fades to black, Pennywise's evil laugh is heard one last time.
- "Which is it, Greta? Am I slut or a little shit? Make up your mind."
- ―Beverly to Greta
- "I hate that place. It always feels like it's watching me."
- ―Beverly to the Losers' about the Well House
- "Turn it off! TURN IT OFF!!"
- ―Beverly to the Losers to turn off the projector
- "I'm not afraid of you!"
- ―Beverly to IT
- "STOP! This is what it wants! To divide us!"
- ―Beverly when members of the losers club start fighting
- The 2017 remake implies Beverly had recently experienced her first period, given she was looking at tampons in the drug store.