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 80)
Avoca, Iowa, U.S.
Residence Fairfield, Iowa
Occupation Actor, painter, sculptor, novelist
Years active 1949–present
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)

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

Early life[edit]

Beymer was born in Avoca, Iowa, to George Richard Beymer, a printer, and his wife, Eunice (née Goss).[1] He and his family moved in 1940 to Los Angeles, California.

Acting career[edit]

In 1949 Beymer began acting in television in the TV series Sandy Dreams.[2]

Beymer made his feature-film debut in Vittorio De Sica's Stazione Termini, released in 1953.[3] 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).[3]

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.[4]

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).[5]

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.[6] 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 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.[6] Beymer reprised his role as Ben Horne in the third season of Twin Peaks in 2017.[7]


Beymer enrolled in New York's Actors Studio in 1963,[3][8] but in 1964 became involved in Freedom Summer in Mississippi. [9] During this time, he filmed the award-winning documentary A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer, documenting the efforts of volunteers registering African-Americans to vote.[10]

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.[11] In April 2014 his film of a trip to India with David Lynch, It’s a Beautiful World, was released.[12]


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.[13]

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.[11]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2010, Beymer resided in Fairfield, Iowa, where he continued to make films and to write, sculpt, and paint.[11] He practices Transcendental Meditation, to "cool out".[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1951 Fourteen Hours Uncredited
1953 Terminal Station Paul Stevens
1953 So Big Roelf (Age 12-16)
1957 Johnny Tremain Rab Silsbee
1959 The Diary of Anne Frank Peter Van Daan
1960 High Time Bob Bannerman
1961 West Side Story Tony Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1961 Bachelor Flat Mike Pulaski
1962 Five Finger Exercise Philip Harrington
1962 Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man Nick Adams
1962 The Longest Day Pvt. Dutch Schultz
1963 The Stripper Kenny Baird
1964 A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer Documentary short; director and writer
1969 Scream Free! Dean
1973 The Innerview Also director, writer, producer, editor and cinematographer
1983 Cross Country Evan Bley
1989 Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! Dr. Newbury Direct-to-video
1992 Blackbelt Eddie Deangelo
1993 Under Investigation Dr. Jerry Parsons
1994 My Girl 2 Peter Webb
1996 The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson Chad Leary
1996 Foxfire Mr. Parks
1998 Playing Patti
2000 Home the Horror Story Bob Parkinson
2008 Sadie's Waltz Garvus Short film
2010 The Passing of a Saint Documentary; director, editor and cinematographer
2014 It's a Beautiful World Documentary; director, editor and cinematographer
2016 Richard Beymer's Before the Big Bang Documentary; director, editor and cinematographer
2017 I Had Bad Milk in Dehradun Documentary short; director, editor and cinematographer
2017 Behind the Red Curtain Documentary short; director, editor and cinematographer


Year Title Role Notes
1954 Cavalcade of America Episode: "Gentle Conqueror"
1956–1957 Make Room for Daddy The Boyfriend / Freddie Baxter 2 episodes
1957 The Gray Ghost Luke Burnette Episode: "An Eye for an Eye"
1957 26 Men Tod Devers Episode: "Dead Man in Tucson"
1957 Zane Grey Theater Shep Jolland Episode: "The Bitter Land"
1958 Navy Log Ennis Thompson Episode: "The Soapbox Kid"
1958 Whirlybirds John Thompson Episode: "The Brothers"
1958 Sky King Joe Belden Episode: "Man Hunt"
1958 Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre Mark Episode: "On the Brink"
1958, 1968 Death Valley Days John Owens / Zeb Fallon 2 episodes
1959 Schlitz Playhouse Episode: "On the Brink"
1959 Playhouse 90 LeRoy Cadman Episode: "Dark December"
1965 Kraft Suspense Theatre Werner Schiff Episode: "The East Breach"
1965 The Virginian Mark Shannon / Frank Colter 2 episodes
1966 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Ralph Belmonte Episode: "Guilty or Not Guilty"
1966 Dr. Kildare Reverend Jack Elder 3 episodes
1967 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Harry Williams Episode: "The Survival School Affair"
1975, 1980 Insight Train Conductor / Josh / God 3 episodes
1981 The Girl on the Edge of Town Television film; cinematographer
1982 The Juggler of Notre Dame Television film; cinematographer
1984 Paper Dolls David Fenton 13 episodes
1985 Generation Allan Breed Television film
1986 Moonlighting Ray Adamson Episode: "All Creatures Great... and Not So Great"
1987, 1991
1993, 1996
Murder, She Wrote Various roles 6 episodes
1987–1988 Buck James Max 2 episodes
1987 Dallas Jeff Larkin Episode: "Bedtime Stories"
1988 The Bronx Zoo Mr. Locke Episode: "The Gospel Truth"
1990–1991 Twin Peaks Benjamin Horne 30 episodes
1992 Danger Island Ben Television film
1993 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Li Nalas 3 episodes
1994 State of Emergency Dr. Ronald Frames Television film
1996 A Face to Die For Dr. Matthew Sheridan Television film
1996 Flipper Andrew Cantrell Episode: "Sharks"
1996 The X-Files Dr. Jack Franklin Episode: "Sanguinarium"
1997 Elvis Meets Nixon Bob Haldeman Television film
1998 Vengeance Unlimited Douglas Bradford Episode: "Noir"
1999 Profiler Martin Fizer Episode: "Ceremony of Innocence"
2001 Family Law Richard Collins Episode: "Against All Odds"
2017 Twin Peaks Benjamin Horne 6 episodes


  1. ^ a b Breymer profile,; accessed 27 June 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Brennan, Sandra. "Full Biography". Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  4. ^ King, Greg. Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders. 2000. Barricade Books; ISBN 1-56980-157-6. pp 5, 10–11.
  5. ^ Watson, Bruce (2010). Freedom Summer. New York, New York: Viking Penguin. p. 328. ISBN 978-1-101-19018-0. 
  6. ^ a b Richard Beymer on IMDb
  7. ^ Richard Beymer on Twin Peaks,; accessed June 22, 2015.
  8. ^ Richard Beymer Is Daily Student at Actors' Studio Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif], March 22, 1963, p. D12
  9. ^ Richard Beymer's South Side Story: ART SEIDENBAUM SEIDENBAUM, ART. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif], October 5, 1964, pg. D1
  10. ^ Profile,; accessed June 28, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c Moore, James (March 2010). "Richard Beymer's Tribute to Maharishi – The Passing of a Saint". The Iowa Source. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Richard Beymer novel,; accessed June 28, 2014.

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]