Farewell to James Alexander Bliedung -- better known as actor John Beal, who died April 26 at age 87 after a long illness.
Beal, who had a 60-year career in theatre and film, starred on Broadway in 1932's Another Language, filmed in Hollywood with the actor the following year. Other Broadway roles included The Voice Of The Turtle (1946), The Teahouse Of The August Moon (1956), Take Her She's Mine (1963), and 1959 and 1969 revivals of Thornton Wilder's Our Town.
Beal also appeared in several National Actors Theatre shows including The Crucible, A Little Hotel On The Side, The Master Builder, and Three Men On A Horse. In a sad irony, both Beal and comic actor Joey Faye appeared in Horse, and both died on the same day, April 26. It was the last show either would appear in.
Said N.A.T. spokesperson Gary Springer, "John Beal was one of the nicest people who ever lived. My father knew him for years. When my son was born, we named him Nick (it would've been Nora if she'd been a girl), and Beal sent us -- I'd only met him once or twice -- a little stuffed dog named Asta, and a beautiful poem. He was a really, really sweet man."
--By David Lefkowitz