Beasley died Tuesday in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. His son tells The Hollywood Reporter that he’d been undergoing tests on his liver before he took an unexpected turn for the worst.
His acting career began at the age of 45, with a recurring role on the short-lived ABC drama Brewster’s Place, opposite Oprah Winfrey. That was followed by guest turns on Early Edition, Millennium, Judging Amy and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
In 2002, he booked his first series-regular gig as the aforementioned Irv Harper on Everwood, which ran for four seasons and ended in 2006. In addition to his on-screen duties, Beasley served as the series’ narrator.
Later on, he starred opposite Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash on the TV Land sitcom The Soul Man, which wrapped its five-season run in 2016.
Additional TV credits included Boston Legal, CSI: Miami, Detroit 1-8-7, Harry’s Law, NCIS, The Resident, Treme and Your Honor. On the big screen, he appeared in such films as The Mighty Ducks, Rudy, The Sum of All Fears, Walking Tall and The Purge: Anarchy.
He made his final acting appearance in 2022’s Firestarter remake.