John Beasley, character actor who starred in ‘Everwood,’ ‘The Soul Man,’ dies at 79

Character actor John Beasley, who played the school bus driver Irv Harper on The WB drama “Everwood,” died Tuesday, according to People.

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Beasley was 79.

No cause of death was given, though his son said the actor had been undergoing tests on his liver.

Beasley, who was born in Omaha, Nebraska, had a long resume that included television, movie and stage appearances.

Among his many acting credits, Beasley played Cedric the Entertainer’s father in “The Soul Man,” an assistant coach in “Rudy” and a retired minister in “The Apostle.”

According to IMDb, he also appeared in “V.I. Warshawski,” “The Mighty Ducks,” “Untamed Heart,” “Losing Isaiah,” “Little Big League,” “Crazy in Alabama,” “The General’s Daughter,” “The Sum of All Fears” and numerous other roles.

Beasley had been starring in a musical adaptation of “The Notebook,” based on the 1996 Nicholas Sparks novel. The novel spawned a movie that starred James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Beasley was playing the Garner role, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

His son, Michael, wrote Tuesday on Facebook: “I lost my best friend today. They say you shouldn’t ever meet your heroes because they don’t turn out to be who you thought they were. That is so wrong. My hero was my father. Thank you for everything.”

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Judy; sons Michael and Tyrone; daughter-in-law Katie; and grandchildren Evan, Miles, Olivia, Mika, Darius and Malik Beasley. Malik Beasley plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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