Henry Beckman

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Henry Beckman
Henry Beckman as Commander Paul Richards in Flash Gordon.jpg
Henry Beckman as Commander Paul Richards in Flash Gordon
Born (1921-11-26)26 November 1921
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died 17 June 2008(2008-06-17) (aged 86)
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Occupation Actor
Years active 1951–2002
Spouse(s) Cheryl Maxwell
(1955-1998) (her death)
Hillary Beckman
(1999-2008; his death)

Henry Beckman (26 November 1921[1] – 17 June 2008) was a Canadian stage, film and television actor. He appeared in well over 100 productions in the United States and Canada, including recurring roles as Commander Paul Richards in the 1954 Flash Gordon space opera television series, Bob Mulligan in the ABC sitcom I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, George Anderson in the television adaptation of Peyton Place, Captain Clancey in the Western comedy-drama Here Come the Brides, and conniving U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Harrigan in McHale's Navy and Colonel Platt in the movie McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force. He made four guest appearances on the CBS court drama series Perry Mason, including the role of David the murderer in the 1960 episode, "The Case of the Flighty Father." He appeared in the Gunsmoke episode, Uncle Sunday. In the 1970s Beckman guest-starred on many TV series including Columbo, Barney Miller, Happy Days, The Rockford Files, and four appearances on Quincy, M.E.. In the 1980s he played security guard Alf on the Don Adams sitcom Check It Out!, and was also a non-celebrity contestant on the TV game show Scrabble. He continued to act through his late 70s on shows like The Commish, MacGyver, The X-Files and many others. He also won two Canadian Etrog Awards, now known as the Genie Award, his last one in 1978 for Blood and Guts.

With his first wife and fellow actor Cheryl Maxwell, Beckman founded the Dukes Oak Theater in Cooperstown, New York, and served as the theater company's producer.[2]

Beckman was the author of How to Sell your Film Project, a how-to guide on getting independent films produced, and Hollywood With its Pants Down, a witty look at some of actors he worked with over the years. Henry is the father of respected astrophysicist and software engineer, Dr. Brian Beckman, who currently works at Microsoft as well as several online projects.[3]

He died in Barcelona, Spain on 17 June 2008 with his second wife Hillary at his side.[4]


  1. ^ some sources cite 1920, others 1925
  2. ^ de Pjanje, Bob (1958-06-13). "Viewing & Listening". Oneonta Star. p. 14. 
  3. ^ Brian Beckman: On Analog Computing, Some Beckman History, and Life in the Universe, retrieved 2010-03-12 
  4. ^ "Actor Henry Beckman dies at 86". Variety. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 

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