This former teen actor, who after starring in a string of major films in the 1950s and early 60s ("The Diary of Anne Frank" 1959, "West Side Story" 1961, "Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man" 1962 and "The Stripper" 1963), never really made the transition to interesting adult roles and came under critical attack for his sometimes wooden performances.
Beymer left Hollywood in 1963 to try his hand at directing experimental films and documentaries and lensing TV features. He became involved in the 60s struggles for civil rights and directed and photographed the documentary, "A Regular Bouquet" (1964), which later aired on the PBS series, "Eyes on the Prize." He didn't return to acting (with the exception of starring in his own directed and produced independent film, "Innerview" 1973) until the 1980s with the thriller, "Cross Country" (1983). Beymer also made a TV appearance on "Paper Dolls" (ABC, 1984) and in the exploitation horror film, "Silent Night Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out" (1989).
Beymer scored a comeback of sorts in TV's "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91), as the wildly villainous entrepreneur, Ben Horne, giving a looser, funkier performance than any in his earlier career. In films, Beymer made brief appearances in the sequel "My Girl 2" and the erotic thriller "Under Investigation" (both 1994).
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Moved with family to Hollywood at age 10 (date approximate)
Debut as television performer on "Fantastic Studios Inc."
First film as actor, "Indiscretion of an American Wife"
Performance in "The Diary of Anne Frank" led to contract with 20th Century Fox
Filmmaking debut, "A Regular Bouquet" (documentary; later shown on PBS's "Eyes on the Prize" series on civil rights; Beymer directed and photographed)
Composed score for, photographed, edited, scripted and directed experimental film, "Innerview"; hiatus from acting
Debut as TV-movie cinematographer, "The Juggler of Notre Dame"
Returned to acting; featured in TV series, "Paper Dolls"
Starred in TV series, "Twin Peaks"