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John Beasley

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Information about John Beasley

Profile image of John Beasley

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor
Theater Chief Executive
Stage Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Meatloaf, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Vancouver, British Columbia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/26/1943
Birth Location:
Omaha, Nebraska

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor
Theater Chief Executive
Stage Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Meatloaf, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Vancouver, British Columbia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/26/1943
Birth Location:
Omaha
See how John Beasley is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Actor and theater founder John Beasley was born on June 26, 1943, in North Omaha, Nebraska, to Grace Virginia, Triplett and John Wilfred Beasley. Beasley’s neighbors included athletes Bob Gibson, Marlon Briscoe, Gale Sayers, Roger Sayers and Bob Boozer. Beasley’s maternal grandfather invented the brick of chili for Cuttahee Packing House. His parents separated and his father, an electrical contractor, moved to Chicago, Illinois. Beasley grew up at 24th and Lake near the Ritz Theatre and the Hotel Callahan. Beasley played football and was popular at Omaha Technical High School. He attended the University of Omaha from 1964 to 1968.

Beasley moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and after starting in the mailroom of WFIL-TV, he became assistant producer for a local children’s program called The World Around Us. Beasley worked on the waterfront, like Omaha’s Marlon Brando did in the movie of the same name. A small part in Germantown Theatre’s production of As You Like It started Beasley’s acting itch. From time to time, he studied and took classes and completed an internship in Minnesota with Don Cheadle. Beasley was cast in August Wilson’s early Goodman Theatre productions in Chicago; however, Beasley worked as a Union Pacific Railroad clerk for seven years before he decided to pursue acting as a full-time career. In his first year, Beasley’s dream to become an actor came true when he was cast alongside Oprah Winfrey in the short lived television series Brewster Place, and his career took off from there. Beasley’s other film and television credits include The Apostle, Rudy, The General’s Daughter, The Sum of All Fears and Everwood.

Still living in his hometown of Omaha, Beasley enjoys teaching and directing at his newly established theater, The John Beasley Workshop at Center Stage. Beasley also keeps busy with junior golf and tennis programs and fundraisers for the American Heart Association. He and his wife have been married for over forty years and have two grown sons who are aspiring actors.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Beasley's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Beasley lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Beasley describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Beasley describes his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Beasley describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Beasley remembers his parents' separation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Beasley describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Beasley describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Beasley remembers his neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Beasley describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Beasley recalls his early activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Beasley recalls the television programs of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Beasley recalls his decision to play football
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Beasley recalls playing football at Omaha University in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Beasley remembers his teammate, Marlin Briscoe
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Beasley remembers Howard Kennedy Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Beasley describes his early aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Beasley recalls the Ritz Theater in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Beasley recalls the music of his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Beasley remembers Technical High School in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Beasley recalls his introduction to the arts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Beasley remembers the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Beasley recalls his theater involvement at Technical High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Beasley describes his decision to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Beasley remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Beasley talks about his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John Beasley recalls moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Beasley recalls his introduction to screen acting
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Beasley describes his training as an actor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Beasley recalls his first opportunity to sign with an agent
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Beasley talks about his early acting career in the Midwest
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Beasley recalls working with Oprah Winfrey on 'Brewster Place'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Beasley talks about his film and stage acting roles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Beasley talks about acting in August Wilson's plays
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Beasley talks about the challenges of acting in the Midwest
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Beasley remembers acting in 'The Apostle' with Robert Duvall
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Beasley recalls the success of 'The Apostle'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Beasley recalls his transition to acting in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Beasley talks about being a character actor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Beasley describes the John Beasley Theater and Workshop in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Beasley describes the acting community in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Beasley talks about African American theater companies
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Beasley describes his plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Beasley describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Beasley reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Beasley reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Beasley talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John Beasley talks about his favorite acting roles
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John Beasley describes how he would like to be remembered