Saturday, August 10, 2013

Remembering Noah Beery, Jr.


Noah Lindsey Beery, Jr. was born in New York City, New York on August 10, 1913. He was the son of actor Noah Beery, Sr. and nephew of actor Wallace Beery. He made his screen debut at age seven in "The Mark of Zorro" (1920) and continued to perform throughout his youth between stints at military academies. Unlike his father, an ace movie villain, and his tough-guy star uncle, Beery found his niche in genial supporting parts. He typically played the hero's buddy, such as Montgomery Clift's pal Buster in "Red River" (1948), and in B westerns starring Tom Mix, Johnny Mack Brown, and Buck Jones. He married Buck Jones' daughter in 1940.
 
Noah would go on to appear in over 100 films during his 65-year career. Some of Beery's best remembered films include "Of Mice and Men" (1939), "Only Angels Have Wings" (1939), "Sergeant York" (1941), "The Fastest Gun Alive" (1956), "The Spirit of St. Louis" (1957), "Inherit the Wind" (1960), "Walking Tall" (1973). He appeared in one Euro-western “The Spikes Gang” (1974 as Basset).
 
His first foray into television was with his own show, "The Adventures of Noah Beery, Jr." (1954), and he had largely settled into TV guest spots when he was cast as Joseph "Rocky" Rockford, the father of James Garner's character Jim Rockford, in "The Rockford Files" (1`974-1980) and received two Emmy nominations. His health began to fail forcing him to retire in 1985, though he attended occasional movie conventions until shortly before his death on November 1, 1994 in Tehachapi, California.
 
Today we remember Noah Beery, Jr. on what would have been his 100th birthday.

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