John Beasley, well known for his work on the WB’s “Everwood” and TV Land’s “The Soul Man,” has passed away. He was 79. Beasley passed away on Tuesday in an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital following a “brief and unexpected illness,” according to his manager Don Spradlin.
In a previous role, Beasley played Terry Hall’s father, Jesse, in the 1992 film “The Mighty Ducks.” In the 2004 version of “Walking Tall,” he also played Chris Vaughn Sr., the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character. Beasley is most known for playing the lovable bus driver Irv Harper on Greg Berlanti’s “Everwood” for four seasons.
In the sitcom “The Soul Man,” he also starred as Barton Moses Ballentine, the father of the Rev. Sherman Boyce played by Cedric the Entertainer. Beasley began acting in his mid-forties. He had previously worked for Union Pacific Railroad. Late last year, he told American Theatre, “I knew those things would come, even when I was in college.”
“I left school early because I didn’t think a college education was truly necessary to pursue what I wanted to do in life. In the end, I was employed. In the Broadway-bound musical theatre rendition of “The Notebook” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater last year, Beasley played the older Noah Calhoun. The character was portrayed by James Garner in the 2004 movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ 1996 book.
The role of Calhoun, in Beasley’s opinion, was “the role of his life.” “To be a working artist is the highest calling, and I appreciate wherever it takes me,” he said to American Theatre. Even if I never made it to Broadway, I would still consider my career to have been fairly successful.
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Beasley has performed in almost 70 different roles. To support live theatre in Omaha, he established the John Beasley Theater & Workshop in 2002. Most recently, he had brief parts in the Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” and the Bryan Cranston-starring Showtime drama “Your Honor.”
Man, you understand that this is a part of life. but that doesn’t make it any simpler,” Mike Beasley, Beasley’s son, wrote in a Facebook tribute to his father on Tuesday. “Today, I lost my best friend. They advise against ever meeting your heroes since they often don’t turn out to be what you expected. Such a mistake.
My father was a hero to me. I appreciate everything. I hope I pleased you. I adore you more. Michael Beasley is a well-known actor with a long resume. Among his most recent performances are those of Colonel Cheesesteak in “Shazam Fury of the Gods,” Uncle Calvin in “Rap S—” by Max, and Mr Marksby in the Apple+ drama “Swagger.”
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Judy, his wife of 58 years, his two sons, Michael and Tyrone, and six grandchildren, including Malik Beasley, a basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, remain in his life. In a courtside video from the Lakers game earlier this month, “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Chris Pratt called out John Beasley for something he had said decades earlier.
‘Hey Beasley, Right now, while I’m watching your grandson Malik from courtside, I’m reminded of the day you told me on “Everwood” when he was 4 years old, “My grandson is going to play in the NBA.” What’s up Grandpa, I love you, Malik says as he approaches in his Lakers uniform, Pratt remarked, directing the camera toward Malik.
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