Aug. 12th, 1950
Laramie, Wyoming, USA
Jim Beaver's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
James Norman "Jim" Beaver, Jr. (born August 12, 1950) is an American stage, film, and television actor, playwright, screenwriter, director, and film historian. He is perhaps most familiar to worldwide audiences as the gruff but tenderhearted prospector Whitney Ellsworth on the HBO Western drama series Deadwood, a starring role which brought him acclaim and a Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination for Ensemble Acting after three decades of supporting work in films and TV. He portrays Bobby Singer in the CW television series Supernatural and Sheriff Shelby Parlow on the FX series Justified. His memoir Life's That Way was published in April 2009.
Beaver was born in Laramie, Wyoming, the son of Dorothy Adell (née Crawford) and James Norman Beaver, Sr. (1924–2004), a minister. His father was of French and English heritage (the family name was originally de Beauvoir, and Beaver is a distant cousin of author and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir and Pennsylvania governor General James A. Beaver), and his mother is Scottish-German-Cherokee and a descendant of senator, governor, and three-time U.S. Attorney General John J. Crittenden. Although his parents' families had both been long in Texas, Beaver was born in Laramie while his father was doing graduate work in accounting at the University of Wyoming. Returning to Texas, Beaver Sr. worked as an accountant and as a minister for the Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas; Crowley, Texas; Dallas, Texas; and Grapevine, Texas. For most of Jim Beaver's youth, his family lived in Irving, Texas, even while his father preached in surrounding communities. He and his three younger sisters (Denise, Reneé, and Teddlie) all attended Irving High School (where he was a classmate of ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard), but he transferred in his senior year to Fort Worth Christian Academy, from which he graduated in 1968. He also took courses at Fort Worth Christian College. Despite having appeared in some elementary-school plays, he showed no particular interest in an acting career, but immersed himself in film history and expressed a desire for a career as a writer, publishing a few short stories in his high school anthology
Less than two months after his graduation from high school, Beaver followed several of his close friends into the USMC. Following basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Beaver was trained there as a microwave radio relay technician. He served at the Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms and at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton before being transferred to the 1st Marine Division near Da Nang, South Vietnam in 1970. He served as a radio operator at an outlying detachment of the 1st Marine Regiment, then as supply chief for the division communications company. He returned to the U.S. in 1971 and was discharged as Corporal (E-4), though he remained active in the Marine Reserve until 1976.Upon his release from active duty in 1971, he returned to Irving, Texas, and worked briefly for Frito-Lay as a corn-chip dough mixer. He entered what is now Oklahoma Christian University, where he became interested in theatre. He made his true theatrical debut in a small part in The Miracle Worker. The following year, he transferred to Central State University (now known as the University of Central Oklahoma). He performed in numerous plays in college and supported himself as a cabdriver, a movie projectionist, a tennis-club maintenance man, and an amusement-park stuntman at Frontier City. He also worked as a newscaster and hosted jazz and classical music programs on radio station KCSC. During his college days, he also began to write, completing several plays and also his first book, on actor John Garfield, while still a student. Beaver graduated with a degree in Oral Communications in 1975. He briefly pursued graduate studies, but soon returned to Irving, Texas.
His achievements are so great they would never fit into 5000 words. He as written plays, directed and stared in may things.
During college, Beaver married a fellow student, Debbie Young, in August 1973, but the couple separated four months later (though divorce did not occur until 1976). For several years after his move to California, Beaver shared a house with character actor Hank Worden, who had been a friend since Beaver's childhood. In 1989, following a four-year courtship, Beaver married actress/casting director Cecily Adams, daughter of Get Smart star Don Adams. Their daughter Madeline was born in 2001. Cecily Adams died of lung cancer March 3, 2004.
- (19 August 2001) Daughter Madeline Rose Beaver born.
- At this writing (2006) is preparing a definitive biography of Superman actor 'George Reeves (I)' (qv). He recently served as historical consultant on the film about Reeves life, _Hollywoodland (2006)_ (qv).
- Plays a character on _"Deadwood" (2004)_ (qv) named 'Whitney Ellsworth' (qv), which was the name of the producer of _"Adventures of Superman" (1952)_ (qv), which starred 'George Reeves (I)' (qv). Beaver wrote a biography of Reeves.
- His _"Enterprise" (2001)_ (qv) character, Admiral Leonard, was named after 'Leonard Nimoy' (qv).
- Studied acting with 'Clyde Ventura' (qv) and 'Maximilian Schell' (qv).
- Son-in-law of 'Don Adams (I)' (qv).
- The only actor ever to play two different characters in consecutive _"Gunsmoke" (1955)_ (qv) productions.
- Formerly married to Milwaukee radio personality Debbie Young.