George Richard Beymer Jr. is an American actor, filmmaker and author who rose to fame for his roles in the cult TV series ‘Twin Peaks’ and the blockbuster movie ‘West Side Story’. He began his career as a child actor on TV and continued acting for many years before his talent was recognized. His first notable appearance was in the hit movie ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, after which he became part of various hit movies. His most popular role till date is his portrayal of Tony in the musical film ‘West Side Story’, which catapulted him into the list of successful Hollywood actors. His next major role was on the David Lynch series ‘Twin Peaks’, where he essayed a leading character. The show went on to become a cult hit, in addition to serving as a career boost to Beymer, who began receiving more lucrative projects. His most notable TV roles include 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' and ‘The X-Files’. Despite a successful acting career, Beymer has ventured into other areas of filmmaking, such as cinematography, direction, and editing as well. He hopes to direct a full-length feature film soon.
Richard Beymer began his career in 1949 as a child actor in the TV series 'Sandy Dreams', in which he played a minor role. Over the next few years, he continued essaying small parts in movies and TV series, including 'Fourteen Hours' (1951), 'Indiscretion of an American Wife' (1953), 'So Big' (1953), 'Cavalcade of America' (TV show, 1954) 'Johnny Tremain' (1957), '26 Men' (TV show, 1957), and 'Zane Grey Theater' (TV show, 1957). He received his first recurring role on the TV series 'Make Room for Daddy' in 1956, where he was seen in two episodes. His career saw a similar trend for the next few years, and he kept appearing in single episodes on many series, including 'The Gray Ghost', 'Navy Log', 'Whirlybirds', 'Sky King' and 'Schlitz Playhouse.' In 1959, he starred as Peter Van Daan in the acclaimed adaptation of 'The Diary of Anne Frank'. The movie was a hit, and it helped establish Beymer as an actor. He also appeared as LeRoy Cadman in the anthology drama series 'Playhouse 90' in the same year.
In the 1960s, Beymer gravitated toward full-length movies and was seen in 'High Time' (1960), 'West Side Story' (1961), 'Bachelor Flat' (1961), 'Five Finger Exercise' (1962), 'Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man' (1962), 'The Longest Day' (1962) and 'The Stripper' (1963). His most notable role was as Tony in 'West Side Story'. The Oscar-winning movie brought him fame and popularity. He was also nominated for two ‘Golden Globe Awards’. With several hits to his credit, Beymer was in a comfortable position to come back to TV and play guest roles. For the rest of the decade, he was mostly seen on TV series, such as 'Kraft Suspense Theatre' (1965), 'The Virginian' (1965), 'Dr. Kildare' (1966), 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E' (1967) and 'Death Valley Days' (1958). After a hiatus from acting in the early 1970s, he returned to the small screen with the TV series 'Insight', where he played various characters in four episodes. He was also seen in the movies 'The Innerview' (1973) and 'Cross Country' (1983). Released in June 1973, 'The Innerview' was also written and directed by him.
In 1984, Beymer was roped in to play the leading role of David Fenton on the TV series 'Paper Dolls'. Though the series was successful, it aired only for one season. Over the next few years, he made sporadic appearances in TV productions like 'Generation' (1985), 'Moonlighting' (1986), 'Dallas' (1987), 'The Bronx Zoo' (1988) and 'Buck James' (1987). One of his most recognized performances came in 1989 when he was cast as Benjamin Horne in the Mark Frost and David Lynch TV-created series 'Twin Peaks', which went on to become a cult hit. He appeared in over 30 episodes from 1989 to 1991 and was nominated for the ‘Soap Opera Digest Award’ for his role. Since 'Twin Peaks', Beymer has played a number of diverse characters. He was also part of the ensemble cast of the popular TV series 'Murder, She Wrote' from 1987 to 1996.
In the 1990s, Beymer worked in projects like 'Blackbelt' (Movie, 1992), 'The Presence' (TV movie, 1992), 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' (TV series, 1993), 'Under Investigation' (Movie, 1993), 'My Girl 2' (Movie, 1994), and 'The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson' (Movie, 1996). HIs other notable portrayals include Dr. Jack Franklin in the TV series 'The X-Files' (1996) and Bob Haldeman in the TV movie 'Elvin Meets Nixon' (1997). In the 2000s, Beymer was first seen in the movie 'Home the Horror Story' and later, in the TV series 'Family Law' (2001). Following that, Beymer decided to focus on different aspects of filmmaking and rarely worked in front of the camera. His final appearance was as Benjamin Horne in the reprisal of ‘Twin Peaks’ in 2017. He currently works as a cinematographer and director who has made several short documentaries.
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Family & Personal Life
George Richard Beymer Jr. was born on February 20, 1938 in Avoca, Iowa to George Richard and Eunice Beymer. His family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1940. He was in a relationship with the Polish actress Alicia Darr in the 1950s, but the duo parted ways. In 1960, he started dating actress Tuesday Weld, but this relationship also didn’t last long. The couple broke up after three months of dating. His next relationship with actress Sharon Tate culminated in an engagement, however, it didn’t end in a marriage, as they broke up three years later. Beymer is currently unmarried and does not have any children. He lives in Fairfield, Iowa, and devotes most of his time to his hobbies.