The star passed away on Saturday (12Feb11), a day after she was admitted to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles with heart problems.
Garrett began her career in the 1930s and established herself as a star with a stint in Broadway play Call Me Mister.
The stage performance led her to Hollywood, where she landed roles as Frank Sinatra's love interest in 1949's movie musicals Take Me Out to the Ballgame and On the Town.
But her screen ambitions were cut short after her husband, actor Larry Parks, was blacklisted by Hollywood's top executives for his early membership in the Communist Party.
Garrett managed to revive her career a few years later and starred in 1955 musical My Sister Eileen, and eventually moved into the TV industry, appearing in popular 1970s series All in the Family and Laverne and Shirley.
More recently, she made a cameo in Ted Danson's sitcom Becker, a performance which landed her an Emmy nomination in 2003.
She is survived by her two sons, composer Garrett Parks and actor Andrew Parks.