Noah Beery, Jr.
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|Noah Beery, Jr|
Beery in The Rockford Files ca. 1970s
|Born||Noah Lindsey Beery
August 10, 1913
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||November 1, 1994
Tehachapi, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California|
|Spouse(s)||Maxine Jones (1940–1966) (divorced) 3 children
Lisa Thorman (1968–1994, his death)
Noah Lindsey Beery (August 10, 1913 – November 1, 1994), known professionally as Noah Beery, Jr. or just Noah Beery, was an American actor specializing in warm, friendly character parts similar to the ones played by his uncle, Wallace Beery, although Noah Beery, Jr., unlike his uncle, seldom broke away from playing supporting roles.
His father, Noah Nicholas Beery (known professionally as Noah Beery or Noah Beery, Sr.), enjoyed a similarly lengthy film career as a supporting actor.
Life and career
Beery was born in New York City, New York, where his father was working as a stage actor. The family moved to California in 1915 when his father began acting in motion pictures. After attending school in Los Angeles, they moved to a ranch in the San Fernando Valley, a style of living he would maintain for the rest of his life.
At the age of seven, he appeared with his father in The Mark of Zorro and like his father, who immediately began billing himself as "Noah Beery, Sr.," he went on to become a respected character actor. His uncle, Oscar-winning screen phenomenon Wallace Beery, became the world's highest-paid actor by 1932, and while neither Noah nor his father ever approached that level, both had extremely long and memorable film careers. All three acting Beerys physically resembled each other rather closely, but Noah, Jr., lacked a thrillingly powerful voice like his father's and uncle's (which is ironic, since both older Beerys made major careers as supporting actors in silent movies).
Beery appeared in dozens of films, including a large early role as John Wayne's action partner in 1934's The Trail Beyond (Wayne was 27 years old and Beery was 21), 20 Mule Team with his uncle, and Red River with Wayne, but is best known for his role as Joseph "Rocky" Rockford, the father of Jim Rockford, James Garner's character on the popular television series The Rockford Files (1974–1980). Beery's television work also included a weekly stint as a clown in Circus Boy with Micky Dolenz in the mid-1950s.
In 1960, as the character Bill Blake, Beery replaced Burt Reynolds in the co-starring role in Riverboat, an NBC western series starring Darren McGavin. He appeared once on the religion anthology series Crossroads and on Walter Brennan's ABC sitcom, The Real McCoys. Three times he guest starred on the long-running NBC western series, The Virginian in the 1960s. In 1965, he made two guest appearances on Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr: he first played murderer Tony Claus in "The Case of the Golden Venom," then he played defendant Lucas Tolliver in "The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner."
Beery, Jr., died in 1994 in Tehachapi, California, of a cerebral thrombosis and his remains were interred in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery with those of his father and mother, Margarite Lindsey. His uncle Wallace Beery's remains are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Beery, Jr.'s first wife until 1966 was Maxine Jones, the only child of Western star Buck Jones. His second wife from 1968 until his death was Lisa Thorman. He was survived by his wife, Lisa; two daughters, Muffett and Melissa; a son, actor Bucklind Beery; and three step-children, Page, Sean, and Lorena. His television star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
- The Mark of Zorro (1920; uncredited) with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Noah Beery, Sr.
- Heroes of the West (1932)
- Fighting with Kit Carson (1933) with Noah Beery, Sr.
- The Three Musketeers (1933 serial) with John Wayne
- The Trail Beyond (1934) with John Wayne and Noah Beery, Sr.
- The cliff hanger series Ace Drummond (1936)
- Only Angels Have Wings (1939) with Cary Grant and Jean Arthur
- Of Mice and Men (1939) with Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr.
- 20 Mule Team (1940) with Wallace Beery and Anne Baxter
- Sergeant York (1941) with Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, and Joan Leslie
- Two in a Taxi (1941) with Anita Louise
- Overland Mail (1942) with Lon Chaney, Jr. and Noah Beery, Sr.
- Dudes are Pretty People (1942) with Jimmy Rogers
- Gung Ho: The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders (1943) with Randolph Scott and Robert Mitchum
- Follow the Boys (1944) with George Raft, Orson Welles, and Marlene Dietrich
- Red River (1948) with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift
- Rocketship X-M (1950) with Lloyd Bridges
- The Story of Will Rogers (1952) with Will Rogers, Jr. and Jane Wyman
- War Arrow (1953) with Maureen O'Hara and Jeff Chandler
- White Feather (1955) with Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter
- Circus Boy (1956 ~ 1958) Uncle Joey ~ The Clown
- The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) Dink Wells ~ Bank Robber
- Jubal (1956) Sam Horgan with Ernest Borgnine and Glenn Ford
- Decision at Sundown (1957) with Randolph Scott
- Inherit the Wind (1960) with Spencer Tracy and Fredric March
- Incident at Phantom Hill (1966)
- Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970) with Robert Redford, Michael J. Pollard, and Lauren Hutton
- Walking Tall (1973) with Joe Don Baker and Elizabeth Hartman
- The Spikes Gang (1974) with Lee Marvin and Gary Grimes
- The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) with Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton
- Waltz Across Texas (1982) with Anne Archer