Attractive blonde minor film actress of the 1930s (notably as the lead in "Midshipman Jack" 1933 and as featured player in "The Magnificent Obsession" 1935) who became a household name in the 1950s as a model opening refrigerator doors for Westinghouse television commercials and uttering the familiar catch phrase "You can be sure. ..if it's Westinghouse".
In the 1960s Furness was apppointed President Johnson's Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs and brought a new high visibility to consumer rights and corporate responsibility. In 1973 she shifted her focus to local consumer affairs when she was named commissioner of New York City's Dpeartment of Consumer Affairs and functioned as chairwoman of New York State's Consumer Protection Board. She pioneered as one of the first consumer affairs reporters in TV broadcasting, serving as correspondent for NBC News from 1974 to 1992, covering issues ranging from the underreporting calories by food companies to faulty auto tires.