‘Rudy’ and ‘The Soul Man’ Actor Was 79

John Beasley, a character actor with roles in more than 60 films and television shows, died Tuesday in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. He was 79.

Beasley passed away at a hospital where he was undergoing tests on his liver, his son Tyrone Beasley told The Hollywood Reporter.

The actor’s son Mike W. Beasley shared a heartfelt tribute to his dad on Facebook.

“Man…you know this is a part of life…but that doesn’t make it any easier,” Mike began. “I lost my best friend today. They say you shouldn’t ever meet your heroes because they don’t turn out to be who you thought they were. That is so wrong. My hero was my father. Thank you for everything. I hope I made you proud. Love you more.”

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John Beasley was born in Omaha on June 26, 1943, according to his IMDb page.

He attended college, worked at Union Pacific Railroad and in local TV before becoming an actor in the 1980s.

He found work on Broadway and had memorable roles in the films Rudy (1993) as Coach Warren, and General Lasseter in The Sum of All Fears (2002). His other movie credits included V.I. Warshawski (1991), The Mighty Ducks (1992), Untamed Heart (1993),  Losing Isaiah (1993), Little Big League (1994), The Apostle (1997) Crazy in Alabama (1999), The General’s Daughter (1999), the 2004 remake of Walking Tall, The Purge: Anarchy (2014), and Firestarter (2022).

On TV, he played Mr. Willie on the short-lived 1990 Oprah Winfrey-led series Brewster Place. Beasley also portrayed Irv on Everwood from 2002-06, and Barton on The Soul Man from 2012-16.

The actor founded the John Beasley Theater and Workshop in Omaha where he taught classes to up-and-coming talent.

Beasley is shown above in an image from the short film Second Words taken from IMDb.

‘Rudy’ and ‘The Soul Man’ Actor Was 79

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