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Richard Beymer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 21 February 1939Avoca, Iowa, USA
Birth NameGeorge Richard Beymer Jr.
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Born in Avoca, Iowa and moved with his parents to Hollywood, California in the late 1940s, Richard Beymer acted in various films while attending North Hollywood High School. He enjoys making his own films and has a film used in a PBS series on the civil rights movement.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <pataygs@voicenet.com>

Iowa-born Richard Beymer's most famous role may have been Tony in West Side Story (1961) , but he has given good performances both before and since that film in his more than 50-year career. His debut was in Indiscretion of an American Wife (1953) (US title: "The Indiscretion of an American Wife) by famed Italian director Vittorio De Sica and he worked steadily, if unspectacularly, up until his big break in West Side Story (1961) . The next year he had a showy role in the WW II epic The Longest Day (1962) which garnered very good reviews. A stint at the Actors Studio in New York was interrupted by his decision to travel to the South as part of the Civil Rights movement's struggle to register black voters in that region, which led to his making an award-winning documentary. Beymer's film roles have been somewhat sporadic since the 1960s, but he has kept busy with a spate of guest-starring roles on TV series, and landed a part in the cult series Twin Peaks (1990). In the late 1980s and early 1990s he got back into film work and has worked pretty steadily in both films and television since then.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Trivia (8)

Is probably best remembered for playing Tony in West Side Story (1961).
February 1977 - One time roommate of Andy Kaufman, he originated on stage at the Improv at 2:30 am the "has-been corner" bit Kaufman used in his TV specials.
He has played the love interest of both Natalie Wood and her sister Lana Wood in 2 separate films: Tony opposite Natalie's Maria in West Side Story (1961), and Dean opposite Lana's Karen in Scream Free! (1969) (aka Free Grass).
While in Italy filming Barabbas (1961) in 1961, Richard Beymer became captivated by a beautiful high school girl who had been doing extra work in the movie. The following year when he was back in California and the girl too had moved back to the United States, the two renewed communication and he encouraged her to pursue a career in film, which she did. They saw quite a lot of each other for over a year, and remained on friendly terms thereafter. The girl's name was Sharon Tate.
He hated his performance in West Side Story (1961) and left the London premiere half way through the film's screening, before he could be presented to Queen Elizabeth II.
In West Side Story (1961) his singing was dubbed by Jimmy Bryant.
Currently resides in Iowa [October 2008]
In 1964, Beymer traveled to Mississippi to volunteer in the civil rights movement (that summer was later dubbed "Freedom Summer"). Beymer took a Bolex camera with him; he later edited his footage into a documentary titled "A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer." Beymer's footage has also been edited into many other documentaries on the civil rights era, including Eyes on the Prize and Freedom Summer.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on seeing West Side Story (1961) for the first time]: "I was sort of caught up in my own web of illusion."
[on his attitude towards Natalie Wood on the set of West Side Story (1961) and at a later date]: "I think there was a residue of animosity toward Natalie because of that test for Rebel [Without a Cause], and it contributed to our situation. But a few years later we caught sight of each other at a nightclub on Sunset Strip. Natalie waved, came over to my table, and we talked for a few moments. She was incredibly sweet, left me thinking what a lovely person she was, and I felt genuinely attracted to her."

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