Noah Beery, Sr.: American actor (1882-1946) (1882 - 1946) | Biography
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Noah Beery, Sr.
American actor

Noah Beery, Sr.

Noah Beery, Sr.
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
A.K.A. Noah Beery, Noah Nicholas Beery
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 17 January 1882, Kansas City, USA
Death 1 April 1946, Los Angeles, USA (aged 64 years)
Star sign Capricorn
Siblings: Wallace Beery
Children: Noah Beery Jr.
Noah Beery, Sr.
The details (from wikipedia)


Noah Nicholas Beery (January 17, 1882 – April 1, 1946) was an American actor who appeared in films from 1913 to 1945. He was the older brother of Academy Award-winning actor Wallace Beery and the father of character actor Noah Beery Jr. Beery was billed as either Noah Beery or Noah Beery Sr. depending upon the film.

Early life

Noah Nicholas Beery was born on a farm in Clay County, Missouri not far from Smithville. The Beery family left the farm in the 1890s and moved to nearby Kansas City, Missouri where the father was employed as a police officer. While still a young boy Beery got his first exposure to theatre, and at the same time showed budding entrepreneurship by selling lemon drops at the Gillis Theater in Kansas City.

Possessed of a deep, rich voice even in his early teens, several of the actors at the Gillis Theater encouraged Beery to take singing lessons and consider a career as a performer. A summer of singing at Kansas City's Electric Park amusement park led to Beery leaving for New York City while just sixteen years old.


Noah Beery (l.) in 1930
Noah Beery and son Noah Beery Jr. in 1922
Beery and Tom Kennedy in Man of the Forest (1933)

Noah Beery found work in vaudeville and in the chorus of musical comedies during his early years in New York. Soon though he would turn his attention to acting in melodramas of the period, often under the direction of William A. Brady.

After a dozen years on the stage, he joined his brother Wallace in Hollywood in 1915 to make motion pictures. He became a respected character actor, adept at playing the villain. One of his most memorable characterizations was as Sergeant Gonzales in The Mark of Zorro (1920) opposite Douglas Fairbanks. The tagline on the poster for Stormswept (1923) proclaimed "Wallace and Noah Beery, The Two Greatest Character Actors on the American Screen".

Beery acted through the silent film era, and successfully made the transition to "talkies". He appeared in lavish early Technicolor musicals, such as The Show of Shows (1929), the widescreen musical Song of the Flame (1930; the movie's poster noted that "Noah Beery will thrill you with his wonderful bass voice, twice as low as any ever recorded"), Bright Lights (1930), Under a Texas Moon (1930) and Golden Dawn (1930; in which he wore blackface as an African native).

He reached his peak in popularity in 1930, even recording a phonograph record for Brunswick Records with songs from two of his films. However, his popularity gradually declined while his brother Wallace became the highest-paid actor in the world, winning an Oscar and arranging a contract with MGM in which he would be paid $1 more than any other actor on their roster. Noah Beery Sr. played the flamboyant supporting role of Mae West's bar-owning lover until she leaves him for Cary Grant in She Done Him Wrong (1933), while his brother Wallace performed in an extremely similar part, as the top-billed lead, later the same year in The Bowery.

At the height of his career, Noah Beery began billing himself as "Noah Beery Sr." in anticipation of his son's presence in films. After his death, his son dropped the "Junior" and became simply Noah Beery. Among other films, Noah Beery Sr. and Noah Beery Jr. appeared together in The Trail Beyond (1934) with John Wayne; Beery's son Noah Jr. later became best known as James Garner's character's father in the 1970s television series The Rockford Files. Noah Beery Sr. appeared in nearly 200 films during his career and in 1945 returned to New York City to star in the Mike Todd Broadway production of Up in Central Park.

Personal life

Noah Beery Sr. married fellow actor Marguerite Walker Lindsey in 1910. Their first child died in infancy. Their second child, actor Noah Lindsey Beery (stage name Noah Beery Jr.), was born in 1913 and was seriously ill in early childhood, prompting a brief move to Florida on the advice of doctors.


Beery died on April 1, 1946 after suffering a heart attack at the Beverly Hills home of his brother Wallace Beery. It was Wallace's birthday and, in addition to celebrating the event, the brothers were rehearsing a radio drama they were scheduled to perform later in the evening.

He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.

Selected filmography

  • The Influence of a Child (1913, Short) as Jim Cooper - a Crook
  • The Social Highwayman (1916) as Hugh Jaffray
  • The Human Orchid (1916)
  • The Spirit of '76 (1917) as George Washington
  • A Mormon Maid (1917) as Darius Burr
  • Sacrifice (1917) as Count Wenzel
  • The Chosen Prince, or The Friendship of David and Jonathan (1917) as Saul
  • The Hostage (1917) as Boyadi
  • The Clever Mrs. Carfax (1917) as Adrian Graw
  • Molly Entangled (1917) as Shawn, the Smithy
  • His Robe of Honor (1918) as 'Boss' Nordhoff
  • The Hidden Pearls (1918) as Teariki
  • The Whispering Chorus (1918) as Longshoreman
  • The White Man's Law (1918) as Dr. Robinson
  • Old Wives for New (1918) as Doctor (uncredited)
  • Social Ambition (1918) as Big Dan Johnson
  • Believe Me, Xantippe (1918) as Sheriff Kamman
  • Less Than Kin (1918) as Senor Cortez
  • The Source (1918) as John Nord
  • The Goat (1918) as Cowboy (uncredited)
  • Too Many Millions (1918) as R.A. Bass
  • The Squaw Man (1918) as Tabywana
  • Under the Top (1919) as Prof. De Como
  • Johnny Get Your Gun (1919) as Town Marshal
  • The Red Lantern (1919) as Dr. Sam Wang
  • The Woman Next Door (1919) as Randolph Schuyler
  • A Very Good Young Man (1919) as Blood
  • Louisiana (1919) as Lem Rogers
  • The Valley of the Giants (1919) as Black Minorca
  • In Mizzoura (1919) as Jo Vernon
  • Everywoman (1919) as Bluff
  • The Sagebrusher (1920) as Sim Gage
  • The Fighting Shepherdess (1920) as Mormon Joe
  • The Sea Wolf (1920) as 'Wolf' Larsen, the Sea Wolf
  • Go and Get It (1920) as Dr. Ord
  • Love Madness (1920) as Jack Frost
  • The Scoffer (1920) as Boorman
  • The Mutiny of the Elsinore (1920) as Andreas Mellzire
  • Dinty (1920) as Wong Tai
  • The Mark of Zorro (1920) as Sergeant Pedro Gonzales
  • Why Tell? (1921)
  • Bob Hampton of Placer (1921) as Red Slavin
  • Beach of Dreams (1921) as Jack Raft
  • Bits of Life (1921) as Hindoo
  • The Call of the North (1921) as Galen Albret
  • Lotus Blossom (1921) as Tartar Chief
  • Tillie (1922) as Jacob Getz
  • Wild Honey (1922) as Henry Porthen
  • Belle of Alaska (1922) as Wade Harkin
  • The Lying Truth (1922) as Lawrence De Muidde
  • The Heart Specialist (1922) as Dr. Thomas Fitch
  • The Crossroads of New York (1922) as James Flint
  • I Am the Law (1922) (with Wallace Beery) as Sgt. Georges Mordeaux
  • Flesh and Blood (1922) as Li Fang
  • The Power of Love (1922) as Don Almeda
  • Youth to Youth (1922) as Brutus Tawney
  • Good Men and True (1922) as S.S. Thorpe
  • Ebb Tide (1922) as Richard Attwater
  • Omar the Tentmaker (1922) (with Boris Karloff) as The shah of shahs
  • Dangerous Trails (1923) as Insp. Criswell
  • The Spider and the Rose (1923) as Maître Renaud
  • Stormswept (1923) (with Wallace Beery) as Shark Moran
  • Quicksands (1923) as 'Silent' Krupz
  • Main Street (1923) as Adolph Valborg
  • Soul of the Beast (1923) as Caesar Durand
  • Wandering Daughters (1923) as Charle Horton
  • Forbidden Lover (1923)
  • The Spoilers (1923) (with Milton Sills and Anna Q. Nilsson) as Alex McNamara
  • Tipped Off (1923) as Chang Wo
  • Hollywood (1923, Cameo) as Himself
  • Destroying Angel (1923) as Curtis Drummond
  • To the Last Man (1923) as Colter
  • His Last Race (1923) as Packy Sloane
  • When Law Comes to Hades (1923)
  • Desire (1923) as Hop Lee
  • Stephen Steps Out (1923) as Muley Pasha
  • The Call of the Canyon (1923) as Haze Ruff
  • The Heritage of the Desert (1924) as Holderness
  • The Fighting Coward (1924) as Capt. Blackie
  • Wanderer of the Wasteland (1924) as Dismukes
  • Welcome Stranger (1924) as Icabod Whitson
  • Lily of the Dust (1924) (with Pola Negri and Ben Lyon) as Col. Mertzbach
  • The Female (1924) (with Betty Compson and Warner Baxter) as Barend de Beer
  • North of 36 (1924) (with Jack Holt and Lois Wilson) as Slim Rudabaugh
  • The Spaniard (1925) as Gómez
  • East of Suez (1925) as British Consul
  • Folly of Youth (1925) as Lee Haynes
  • Contraband (1925) (with Lois Wilson) as Deputy Jenney
  • The Thundering Herd (1925) (with Jack Holt, Charles Ogle and Tim McCoy) as Randall Jett
  • Old Shoes (1925) as The Stepfather
  • The Light of Western Stars (1925) as Brand
  • Wild Horse Mesa (1925) as Bud McPherson
  • The Coming of Amos (1925) as Ramón Garcia
  • The Vanishing American (1925) (with Richard Dix) as Booker
  • Lord Jim (1925) (with Raymond Hatton) as Captain Brown
  • The Enchanted Hill (1926) as Jake Dort
  • The Crown of Lies (1926) as Count Mirko
  • Padlocked (1926) as Henry Gilbert
  • Beau Geste (1926) (with Ronald Colman, William Powell, and Victor McLaglen) as Sgt. Lejaune
  • Paradise (1926) as Quex
  • Evening Clothes (1927) as Lazarre
  • The Rough Riders (1927) (with George Bancroft and Mary Astor) as Hell's Bells
  • The Love Mart (1927) (with Boris Karloff) as Capt. Remy
  • The Dove (1927) as Don José María y Sandoval
  • Beau Sabreur (1928) as Sheikh El Hammel
  • Two Lovers (1928) as The Duke of Azar
  • Hellship Bronson (1928) as Capt. Ira Bronson
  • The Godless Girl (1928) as The Brute
  • The Passion Song (1928) as John Van Ryn
  • Noah's Ark (1928) as Nickoloff / King Nephiliu
  • Dreary House (1928)
  • Love in the Desert (1929) as Abdullah
  • Linda (1929) as Armstrong Decker
  • False Fathers (1929) as Parson
  • Careers (1929) as The President
  • The Four Feathers (1929) as Slave Trader
  • The Isle of Lost Ships (1929) as Captain Peter Forbes
  • Two O'Clock in the Morning (1929)
  • The Show of Shows (1929) (with John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Myrna Loy and Loretta Young) as Performer in "The Pirate" Number / Soldier (segment "Rifle Execution")
  • Glorifying the American Girl (1929) as Himself (uncredited)
  • Isle of Escape (1930) as Shane
  • Under a Texas Moon (1930) as Jed Parker
  • Murder Will Out (1930) as Lt. Concon
  • Show Girl in Hollywood (1930) as Himself at Premiere (uncredited)
  • Song of the Flame (1930) as Konstantin
  • Golden Dawn (1930) as Shep Keyes
  • Oh, Sailor Behave! (1930) as Romanian General
  • The Way of All Men (1930) as Stratton
  • Big Boy (1930) as Bagby
  • Bright Lights (1930) as Miguel Parada
  • The Love Trader (1930) as Captain Morton
  • Renegades (1930) as Thurman Machwurth
  • A Soldier's Plaything (1930) as Capt. Plover
  • Tol'able David (1930) as Luke
  • The Millionaire (1931) as Peterson
  • Honeymoon Lane (1931) as Tom Baggott
  • The Homicide Squad (1931) as Captain Buckley
  • Shanghaied Love (1931) as Captain 'Black Yankee' angus Swope
  • Riders of the Purple Sage (1931) (with George O'Brien and Marguerite Churchill) as Judge Dyer
  • In Line of Duty (1931) as Jean Duchene
  • The Drifter (1932) (with William Farnum) as John McNary
  • The Stoker (1932) as Santini
  • Stranger in Town (1932) as J.B. Hilliker
  • Cornered (1932) as Laughing Red Slavens
  • No Living Witness (1932) as Clyde Corbin
  • Out of Singapore (1932) as 1st Mate Woolf Barstow
  • The Big Stampede (1932) (with John Wayne) as Sam Crew
  • The Devil Horse (1932, Serial) as Canfield
  • The Kid from Spain (1932) as Alonzo Gomez
  • Long Loop Laramie (1932)
  • She Done Him Wrong (1933) (with Mae West and Cary Grant) as Gus Jordan
  • The Thundering Herd (1933) (with Randolph Scott, Buster Crabbe and Harry Carey) as Randall Jett
  • The Flaming Signal (1933) as Otto Von Krantz
  • Sunset Pass (1933) as Marshal Blake
  • The Woman I Stole (1933) as Gen. Rayon
  • Easy Millions (1933)
  • Fighting with Kit Carson (1933, Serial) as Cyrus Kraft
  • Laughing at Life (1933) as Hauseman
  • Man of the Forest (1933) (with Randolph Scott, Harry Carey and Buster Crabbe) as Clint Beasley
  • To the Last Man (1933) (with Randolph Scott, Esther Ralston and Buster Crabbe) as Jed Colby
  • Caravan (1934) as Innkeeper
  • Madame Spy (1934) as General Philipow
  • David Harum (1934) as General Woolsey
  • Mystery Liner (1934) as Capt. John Holling
  • Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934) as Baron Moxford
  • Happy Landing (1934) as Capt. Terris
  • The Trail Beyond (1934) (with John Wayne and Noah Beery Jr.) as George Newson
  • Kentucky Kernels (1934) as Colonel Wakefield
  • Sweet Adeline (1934) as Sultan in the Show (uncredited)
  • King of the Damned (1935) as Mooche
  • The Crimson Circle (1936) as Felix Marl
  • The Avenging Hand (1936) as Lee Barwell
  • Someone at the Door (1936) as Harry Capel
  • The Prisoner of Corbal (1936) as The Sergeant
  • Strangers on a Honeymoon (1936) as Redbeard
  • I Live Again (1936) as Morton Meredith
  • The Frog (1937) as Joshua Broad
  • Our Fighting Navy (1937) as The Presidente of Bianco
  • Zorro Rides Again (1937) as J. A. Marsden
  • The Bad Man of Brimstone (1937) (with Wallace Beery) as Ambrose Crocker
  • The Girl of the Golden West (1938) as The General
  • Panamint's Bad Man (1938) as King Gorman
  • Mexicali Rose (1939) as Pedro Valdez
  • Mutiny on the Blackhawk (1939) as Captain of the 'Blackhawk'
  • Pioneers of the West (1940) as Judge Platt
  • Grandpa Goes to Town (1940) as Sam
  • Adventures of Red Ryder (1940, Serial) (with Don 'Red' Barry) as Ace Hanlon
  • The Tulsa Kid (1940) as Montana Smith
  • A Little Bit of Heaven (1940) as Uncle Sherm
  • A Missouri Outlaw (1941) as Sheriff Ben Dixon
  • The Devil's Trail (1942) as Bull McQuade
  • Isle of Missing Men (1942) as Capt. Sanchez (uncredited)
  • Overland Mail (1942, Serial with Lon Chaney Jr. and Noah Beery Jr.) as Frank Chadwick
  • Outlaws of Pine Ridge (1942) as Honest John Hollister
  • Pardon My Gun (1942) as Judge W. B. Hackett (uncredited)
  • Tennessee Johnson (1942) (with Van Heflin) as Sheriff Cass
  • Carson City Cyclone (1943) as Judge Phalen
  • Clancy Street Boys (1943) as Pete Monahan
  • Salute to the Marines (1943, in color with Wallace Beery) as Adjutant
  • Mr. Muggs Steps Out (1943) as Judge
  • Million Dollar Kid (1944) as Captain Mathews
  • Block Busters (1944) as Judge
  • Barbary Coast Gent (1944 with Wallace Beery and Chill Wills) as Pete Hanibal
  • Gentle Annie (1944) as Hansen
  • This Man's Navy (1945 with Wallace Beery) as Joe Hodum
  • Sing Me a Song of Texas (1945) (with Tom Tyler) as Charley Bronson (final film role)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 27 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is Noah Beery, Sr.?
A: Noah Beery, Sr. was an American actor who was born on January 17, 1882, and passed away on April 1, 1946. He was best known for his role as the villain in silent films and as the father of actors Noah Beery Jr. and Wallace Beery.
Q: What are some famous films that Noah Beery, Sr. appeared in?
A: Noah Beery, Sr. had a long and successful career in the film industry. Some of his most famous films include "The Mark of Zorro" (1920), "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921), and "The Last of the Mohicans" (1920). He also appeared in several John Ford films, such as "Three Bad Men" (1926) and "Stagecoach" (1939).
Q: Did Noah Beery, Sr. have any famous family members?
A: Yes, Noah Beery, Sr. came from a family of actors. His younger brother, Wallace Beery, was also a well-known actor, and his son, Noah Beery Jr., followed in his footsteps and became a successful actor in his own right. Both Wallace Beery and Noah Beery Jr. had notable careers in Hollywood.
Q: What kind of roles did Noah Beery, Sr. usually play?
A: Noah Beery, Sr. was known for his versatility as an actor. He played a wide range of roles throughout his career, but he was particularly renowned for his portrayal of villains in silent films. His deep voice and menacing presence made him well-suited for these types of roles.
Q: What is Noah Beery, Sr.'s legacy in the film industry?
A: Noah Beery, Sr. made a significant impact on the film industry during the silent film era. He was highly regarded for his talent and his ability to bring depth and complexity to his characters. His contributions helped shape the early years of Hollywood, and his legacy continues to be celebrated by film enthusiasts to this day.
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