Actor John Beal was playing boyish, sensitive Jimmy Stewart types long before there was a Jimmy Stewart (in Hollywood, at least). After stage work, Beal was brought to Hollywood to appear in the screen version of Rose Franken's stage play Another Language (1933). The best of his early film assignments was in the title role of The Little Minister (1934), in which his easily outraged Scottish piety didn't stand a chance opposite hoydenish Katharine Hepburn. Beal continued appearing in films during the war years while serving in Special Services as actor and director of Army Air Force camp shows and training films. After the war, Beal concentrated on theatrical work, though he kept showing up in films as late as 1983's Amityville 3-D. John Beal was also a regular on the TV soap operas The Nurses (1962-67) and Another World (1964). Beal passed away at age 87 in his Santa Cruz, California two years after suffering a debilatating stroke.
photo credit: Columbia Pictures
by Hal Erickson biography