Jim Beaver, who stars as Spencer on the CBS comedy B Positive, has a worldwide fan following for his roles as the gruff but tender prospector Ellsworth on HBO’s hit Western series Deadwood (SAG Award nominee) and as the beloved demon hunter Bobby Singer on all 15 seasons of Supernatural. He is also well known for playing Sheriff Shelby Parlow on Justified (Critics Choice nominee) and gun dealer Lawson on Breaking Bad and its prequel, Better Call Saul. He starred in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak (2015) and the recent Nightmare Alley (2021). He has played continuing roles on Amazon’s The Boys, Netflix’s The Ranch, and over 500 other episodes of television, making him one of Hollywood’s busiest and most popular character actors. He starred in acclaimed independent films such as The Frontier (2015), Hospitality (2018), and Blindfire (2020). He previously starred as Sheriff Charlie Mills on CBS’s Harper’s Island and as “Uncle” Nick Vukovic on ABC’s Day Break. Before that, he starred as quirky Vietnam Joe on HBO’s series John from Cincinnati, while simultaneously playing Carter Reese on HBO’s Big Love.
A Vietnam veteran, Jim first came to prominence as Bruce Willis’s best friend in Norman Jewison’s acclaimed film about Vietnam vets, In Country (1989), and appeared in such hit films as Semi-Tough (1977), Silkwood (1983), Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Turner & Hooch (1989), Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), Sliver (1993), Blue Chips (1994), Magnolia (1999), and Joy Ride (2001).
Other films include two Nicolas Cage movies, Adaptation (2002) and Next (2007), and a starring role with Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet in Sir Alan Parker’s The Life of David Gale (2003). From 1996 to 2002 he appeared as Father Tim Jansen on NBC’S popular daytime drama Days of Our Lives. For two seasons he played Mark Harmon’s partner, Detective Earl Gaddis, on NBC’s critically acclaimed drama Reasonable Doubts. He followed that with two seasons starring as Edward Asner’s sidekick Leland on the comedy Thunder Alley.
Jim has guest starred on shows such as Young Sheldon, Bones, Timeless, Dexter, Lie to Me, The Mentalist, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, The X-Files, Criminal Minds, Six Feet Under, Lyon’s Den, Monk, Philly, Star Trek: Enterprise, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Murder One, Midnight Caller, The Young Riders, and Paradise. He starred in the cable movies Divided by Hate (1997) and Warden of Red Rock (2001) and has appeared in other television movies such as The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson (1990), El Diablo (1990), Follow Your Heart (1990), and American River.
As a stage actor, he has appeared all over the country in the classics and contemporary plays. Most recently, he starred as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and as Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner. He spent five seasons with the Dallas Shakespeare Festival, played lead roles in Macbeth and Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia in national tours, as well as regional theatre roles such as Henry II in The Lion in Winter, Lachie in The Hasty Heart, Starbuck in The Rainmaker, Sgt. Trotter in The Mousetrap, the Inquisitor in The Lark, and the title role in Charley’s Aunt. He is a three-time Los Angeles Dramalogue Critics Award winner for his work writing and acting in his own plays, Verdigris, Semper Fi, and Sidekick. He studied acting with Academy Award winner Maximilian Schell.
In addition to his acting, Jim is a nationally recognized playwright and the author of two books of film history (John Garfield and Movie Blockbusters), and is working on his third, an already controversial book on the life and mysterious death of tv’s original Superman, George Reeves. For television he has written episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tour of Duty, and Vietnam War Story, among others, and was twice nominated for the ACE Award for cable television writing. For nearly ten years, he was film critic/columnist for Films in Review magazine. His video essays on film appear in the online Beaver’s Lodge. His book, Life’s That Way, a memoir of his wife’s battle against cancer, was published to widespread critical acclaim. He is working on his first novel.