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Everwood actor John Beasley dies aged 79

The Soul Man actor died from liver complications

Everwood actor John Beasley dies aged 79
Faye James
Faye JamesSenior Editor
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Acclaimed actor John Beasley, known for his memorable performances in shows like Everwood and The Soul Man, has sadly passed away at the age of 79.

The news broke on Tuesday that John had been hospitalized in his native Omaha, Nebraska, following complications with his liver. His health had taken an "unexpected turn for the worst," according to The Hollywood Reporter. His passing was poignantly announced on Facebook by his son, Mike Beasley, alongside a heartfelt photo.

Mike's tribute to his father was deeply moving. " know this is a part of life...but that doesn't make it any easier," he wrote. "I lost my best friend today. They say you shouldn't ever meet your heroes because they don't turn out to be who you thought they were. That is so wrong. My hero was my father. Thank you for everything. I hope I made you proud. Love you more."

 John Beasley of ''Everwood' has passed away aged 79© Frederick M. Brown
John Beasley of ''Everwood' has passed away aged 79

John's passion for acting was ignited from a young age when he began participating in theatre. His initial career was quite different, as he served as a railroad clerk for seven years at the Union Pacific railroad, according to IMDb. Nevertheless, in an interview with American Theatre, he revealed that he clung steadfastly to the belief that his dreams would come true. 

"I knew those things would come, even when I was in college," he shared, adding that he didn't feel the need for a college degree to pursue his ambitions. "Bottom line, I worked."

John's acting journey began in earnest with his first credit dating back to 1989's Rapid Fire. However, his career catapulted when he secured a recurring role in the Oprah Winfrey-led series Brewster Place. 

John's talent found expression in notable films such as 1992's The Mighty Ducks, 1997's Crazy in Alabama, and 1999's The General's Daughter.

John Beasley is survived by his wife Judy Beasley  © Bennett Raglin
John Beasley is survived by his wife Judy Beasley

John is perhaps best remembered for his role in the beloved TV series Everwood (2002-2006), where he portrayed Irv Harper, the husband of Debra Mooney's character, Edna Harper.

After Everwood, John continued to charm audiences alongside Cedric the Entertainer in the 2012 series, The Soul Man, where he played the character of Barton Ballentine, Cedric's character's father.

Even in the autumn of his life, John remained active in the theatre. He was part of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's musical adaptation of The Notebook in October, shortly before his passing.

John always maintained a deep respect for his craft. "To be a working artist is the highest calling, and I appreciate wherever it takes me," he once told American Theatre. "If I never got to Broadway, I would still feel I've had a pretty successful career."

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