Veteran character actor John Beasley of Omaha died Tuesday in his hometown after a “brief and unexpected illness.” He was 79.
In the movies, Beasley played an assistant coach in the 1993 football film “Rudy” and a retired preacher in 1997’s “The Apostle,” directed by and co-starring Oscar winner Robert Duvall.
On TV, Beasley was the father of Cedric the Entertainer in the TV Land comedy “The Soul Man” and later spent 4 seasons as a kindly school bus driver in The WB’s “Everwood.”
Most recently, Beasley had small parts in the Showtime drama “Your Honor,” with Bryan Cranston, and “The Mandalorian,” the Star Wars offshoot on Disney-Plus
For more than a dozen years, he ran the John Beasley Theater and Workshop in Omaha, where he was born in 1943.
He told the publication American Theatre last year “To be a working artist is the highest calling, and I appreciate wherever it takes me.”
He is survived by Judy, his wife of 58 years; two sons, and six grandchildren, including NBA veteran Malik Beasley of the Los Angeles Lakers, who was drafted #19 by the Denver Nuggets in 2016..