Richard Beymer

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Richard Beymer
Born George Richard Beymer, Jr.
(1939-02-21) February 21, 1939 (age 75)
Avoca, Iowa, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1949–2008
Height 6' 2"

George Richard Beymer, Jr.[1] (born February 20, 1939)[2] is an American actor who is best known for playing the role of Tony in the 1961 film version of West Side Story, for his performance as Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank, as Ben Horne on the 1990 television series Twin Peaks, and in the 1962 comedy film "Bachelor Flat" as Mike Pulaski.

Personal life[edit]

Beymer was born in Avoca, in Pottawattamie County in southwestern Iowa, the son of Eunice (née Goss) and George Richard Beymer, a printer.[1] He and his family moved in 1940 to Los Angeles, California. In 1961, Beymer began a brief relationship with Sharon Tate, who was working as an extra on his film, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man. Beymer encouraged Tate to pursue an acting career, and after she was introduced to his agent, Tate signed a contract with Filmways.[3] In 1964, he became involved in Freedom Summer in Mississippi. During this time, he filmed an award-winning documentary. Beymer currently resides in Fairfield, Iowa, where he continues to make movies, to write, sculpt, and paint.[4]


In the 1950s he began appearing in films and achieved success in So Big (1953), Johnny Tremain (1957), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), and West Side Story (1961) before sharing a 1962 Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor with Bobby Darin and Warren Beatty. Beymer achieved a notable success in the film The Longest Day (1962).


In 1949 Beymer began acting in television. In 1957 he appeared on the syndicated American Civil War drama Gray Ghost in the episode "An Eye for an Eye". In 1958 he was cast as Joe Belden in the episode "Man Hunt" of the western aviation series, Sky King, with Kirby Grant and Gloria Winters. Gary Conway was cast in the same episode as Jack Beal.

Beymer has appeared in many guest roles in television series. These include three appearances on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Li Nalas in the episodes "The Homecoming", "The Circle", and "The Siege". Beymer appeared as Dr. Matthew Sheridan with Yasmine Bleeth in 1996 in the made-for-TV movie The Face, which was also known as A Face to Die For. In 1984 he played the role of David Fenton, the husband of Mimi Rogers's character on the short-lived show Paper Dolls. He had a featured role in the television series Twin Peaks in 1990, playing Ben Horne.


In 1961 Beymer appeared in The Longest Day as Pvt. Dutch Schultz, who won $2500 in a crap game. In 1964 he became involved in Freedom Summer in Mississippi. During this time, he filmed the award-winning documentary A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer, documenting the efforts of volunteers registering African Americans to vote. The avant-garde film The Innerview, which he directed/produced/wrote the screenplay for/edited, won the Josef von Sternberg Award at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival in 1974.


In 2007 Beymer completed his first book, the self-published novel, Impostor: Or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer?, a semi-autobiographical account of a young actor's struggle to find himself amidst murder, mystery and mayhem.

As visual artist[edit]

Beymer's photographs of Twin Peaks cast and crew were featured in the gallery of behind the scenes photos on the Twin Peaks Definitive Gold Box Edition that was released on October 30, 2007. He is also a painter and sculptor.[5]


  1. ^ a b Breymer's bio at Film Reference
  2. ^ Some sources say 20 February 1938
  3. ^ King, Greg. Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders. 2000. Barricade Books. ISBN 1-56980-157-6. pp 5, 10–11.
  4. ^ Moore, James. "Richard Beymer's Tribute to Maharishi - "The Passing of a Saint" Mixes Reverence & Realism". The Iowa Source. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Richard Beymer's Tribute to Maharishi - "The Passing of a Saint" Mixes Reverence & Realism" The Iowa Source

External links[edit]