Jim is the son of a Church of Christ minister. He was raised in Irving, Texas.
James Norman "Jim" Beaver, Jr. (born August 12, 1950) is an stage, film and television actor, as well as a screenwriter and published author. He is perhaps mostknown as the gruff but tenderhearted prospector Whitney Ellsworth on the HBO Western drama series Deadwood,or as BobbySinger on Supernatural. His memoir Life's That Way was published in April 2009.
Beaver was born in Laramie, Wyoming, the son of Dorothy Adell (née Crawford) and James Norman Beaver, Sr. (1924–2004), a minister. He was raised in Irving, Texas, where his family returned to.He attended Irving High School (where he was a classmate of ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard). Hestudied film history andwanted to be a writer, even publishing a few short stories in his high school anthology.
Less than two months after his graduation from high school, Beaverjoined the United States Marine Corps. Beaver was trained there as a microwave radio relay technician. He transferred to the 1st Marine Division near Da Nang, South Vietnam in 1970. He returned to the U.S. in 1971 and was honorablydischarged as Corporal (E-4), though he remained active in the Marine Reserve until 1976.
Upon his return to the states, he attened Oklahoma Christian University, where he realized he loved acting. He made his acting debut in a small part in The Miracle Worker. In 1972, he transferred to Central State University. He performed in numerous plays in college and supported himself as a cabbie, a film projectionist, a stuntman, and other odd-jobs. During his college days, he also began to write, completing several plays and also his first book, on actor John Garfield. Beaver graduated with a degree in Oral Communications in 1975.He attended graduate school, but changedhis mind and soon returned to Irving, Texas, and did much theater work in the Dallas area.
In 1979, Beaver moved to New York City, worked in the theater regularly (both on stage and behind the scenes) and worked on several writing projects. In 1983, he moved to Los Angeles to continue researching his book on George Reeves. He became a television writer as well, winning awards (Cable Ace) for his work. When his writing career faltered, his acting career took off. In 1988, he was cast alongside Bruce Willis for the film In Country.He then appeared in many films and television shows in supporting roles. In 2002, he joined the show Deadwood, which really put him on the map as a well-known actor. In 2006, he joined the cast of Supernatural, and played on the HBO drama, John from Cincinatti, as well as the HBO drama, Big Love. He then joined the cast of Harper's Island, a murder mystery. The show lasted one season.
Beaver married Cecily Adams in 1989, and they were married until her death in 2004. Beaver published a book, Life's That Way, about his wife's cancer diagnosis, in 2009. His daughter, Madeline, was born in 2001.