Richard Beymer

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Richard Beymer
The Stripper trailer screenshot.jpg
Richard Beymer and Joanne Woodward in The Stripper (1963)
Born George Richard Beymer, Jr.
(1938-02-20) February 20, 1938 (age 78)
Avoca, Iowa, U.S.
Occupation Actor, painter, sculptor, novelist
Years active 1949–present
Height 6'2"

George Richard Beymer, Jr.[1] (born February 20, 1938) is an American actor who is best known for playing the roles of Tony in the 1961 film version of West Side Story, Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and Ben Horne on the 1990 television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991, 2017).


Beymer made his feature-film debut in Vittorio De Sica's Stazione Termini, released in 1953.[2] He played in So Big (1953) and Johnny Tremain (1957), and achieved success in 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. He had a significant role in the film The Longest Day (1962).[2]


In 1949 Beymer began acting in television in the TV series Sandy Dreams.[3] 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.[4] He 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". In 1984 he played 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. He later played Dr. Matthew Sheridan in the 1996 made-for-TV movie "A Face To Die For".[4] In 2014, Beymer announced he would reprise his role as Ben Horne in the third season of Twin Peaks, scheduled for a 2017 release.[5]


Beymer enrolled in New York's Actors Studio in 1963,[2][6] but in 1964 became involved in Freedom Summer in Mississippi. [7] During this time, he filmed the award-winning documentary A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer, documenting the efforts of volunteers registering African-Americans to vote.[8]

The avant-garde film The Innerview, which he directed, produced, wrote the screenplay for and edited, won the Josef von Sternberg Award at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival in 1974. His 2010 film, The Passing of a Saint, chronicles the funeral rites of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.[9] In April 2014 his film of a trip to India with David Lynch, It’s a Beautiful World, was released.[10]


In 2007 Beymer completed his first book, a self-published novel, Impostor: Or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer?, a semi-autobiographical account of a young actor's struggle to find himself.[11]

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 Definitive Gold Box Edition for Twin Peaks, released on October 30, 2007. He is also a painter and sculptor.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Beymer was born in Avoca, Iowa, to Eunice (née Goss) and George Richard Beymer, a printer.[1] He and his family moved in 1940 to Los Angeles, California. In 1961, he began a friendship with a then unknown Sharon Tate, who was working as an extra on a film he was starring in, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man. Beymer encouraged her to pursue an acting career, and after she was introduced to his agent, Tate signed a contract with Filmways.[12]

He took a summer away from Hollywood to volunteer in Mississippi for Freedom Summer canvassing for voter registration. He assisted Barney Frank in rescuing Freedom Democrat forms in a rental truck that had been confiscated from arrested Freedom volunteers in Canton, Mississippi on Freedom Day (July 16, 1964).[13]

As of 2010, Beymer resided in Fairfield, Iowa, where he continued to make films and to write, sculpt, and paint.[9] He practices Transcendental Meditation, to "cool out".[10]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Breymer profile,; accessed 27 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Brennan, Sandra. "Full Biography". Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Richard Beymer at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ Richard Beymer on Twin Peaks,; accessed June 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Richard Beymer Is Daily Student at Actors' Studio Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif], March 22, 1963, p. D12
  7. ^ Richard Beymer's South Side Story: ART SEIDENBAUM SEIDENBAUM, ART. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif], October 5, 1964, pg. D1
  8. ^ Profile,; accessed June 28, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Moore, James (March 2010). "Richard Beymer's Tribute to Maharishi – The Passing of a Saint". The Iowa Source. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Richard Beymer talks "It's a Beautiful World" and more". Archived from the original on 2014-05-24. Retrieved 24 May 2014. There is a TM center here in Fairfield, Iowa, so I would come here for two or three weeks and cool out. 
  11. ^ Richard Beymer novel,; accessed June 28, 2014.
  12. ^ King, Greg. Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders. 2000. Barricade Books; ISBN 1-56980-157-6. pp 5, 10–11.
  13. ^ Watson, Bruce (2010). Freedom Summer. New York, New York: Viking Penguin. p. 328. ISBN 978-1-101-19018-0. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 18.

External links[edit]