Adam Beach

Adam Beach Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: November 11, 1972

Age: 51 years old

Birth Place: Ashern, Manitoba, Canada

Canadian actor Adam Beach parlayed his success in a string of independent features and television series into major roles in Hollywood productions, including the lead role of tragic figure Ira Hayes in Clint Eastwood-helmed WWII drama, "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006). With the exposure provided by such a high profile project and director, Beach's versatility and appeal made him the most visible Native American actor working in film. This emergence allowed Beach to bring his own experiences and inspiration back to Native American youth living in reservations across the country. Beach continued working steadily on First Nations-themed films and TV series largely shot in his native Canada and American features ranging from "Cowboys and Aliens" (2011) to the supervillain ensemble blockbuster "Suicide Squad" (2016).

Born Nov. 11, 1972 in Ashern, Manitoba, Canada, Beach was a First Nation (indigenous people of Canada) of Saulteaux origin. He and his family lived on the Dog Creek Reservation until he reached age eight, when he lost both parents to tragic accidents within a three-month span. Beach and his brothers were adopted and raised by and aunt and uncle, quickly relocating to Winnipeg, where he joined his high school drama club on a lark. But he quickly fell in love with performing (Beach credited Johnny Depp, who is part Cherokee, as his inspiration), and dropped out of high school to accept roles at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

Beach's first on-screen credit came in 1990 when, at the age of 18, he was cast in a supporting role in the TV movie, "Lost in the Barrens." Roles in other Canadian TV and theater productions followed, including the lead in the Disney historical drama, "Squanto: A Warrior's Tale" (1995). But Beach's breakout role came in Bruce McDonald's independent feature, "Dance Me Outside" (1995). Based on a novel by W.P. Kinsella, the film, which focused on the personal lives of several residents of a Canadian reservation, won over film audiences with its wit and style, and Beach was frequently singled out for his comic flair as the best pal of the film's lead. The success of the film led to a TV spin-off series, "The Rez" (CBC, 1995-98), with Beach in the cast (though not playing his film character).

Beach continued to work steadily following "Dance Me Outside;" he also fathered two sons in 1996 and 1998. In the latter year, he landed another career highlight in Chris Eyre's "Smoke Signals," a comedy-drama about two young men dealing with their families and heritage during a road trip to collect the remains of one man's father. The film, which was the first entirely written, produced, directed by and starring Native American artists, netted numerous awards on the festival circuit (including the Sundance Film Festival and Independent Spirit Award), and helped bring Beach to Hollywood's attention.

A small role in the comedy-drama "Mystery, Alaska" (1999) was Beach's first inroad as a newly minted buzz item; he also flexed his comic muscles as David Spade's sidekick in the lowbrow jokefest "Joe Dirt" (2001). This was soon followed by his most substantial role to date as a Navajo soldier utilized by the U.S. Army to deliver code in their native language during World War II in John Woo's "Windtalkers" (2002). Not from the Navajo tribe, Beach convinced Woo that he could hold his own with leading men Nicholas Cage and Christian Slater. For this role, Beach had to learn to speak Navajo, which he mastered in no time. Though not a blockbuster hit, the film gave Beach a sizable showcase, proving he could more than hold his own against major American stars like Cage.

That same year, Beach reunited with Chris Eyre to co-star for executive producer Robert Redford in "Skinwalkers," a PBS production based on the mystery novel by Tony Hillerman. As Navajo reservation officer Jim Chee, Beach was partnered with Wes Studi's plainclothes detective Joe Leaphorn; the pair reunited for two subsequent productions based on Hillerman's novels, all of which enjoyed considerable popularity with public television viewers.

Between 2004-06, Beach bounced between film and television, with appearances on "Third Watch" (NBC, 1999-2005), "Everwood" (The WB/ABC Family, 2002-06), and a cameo in the execrable Paris Hilton feature, "Bottom's Up" (2006). That same year, he once again found himself in possession of an impressive role - that of WWII soldier Ira Hayes, one of the GIs that raised the flag on Iwo Jima, and whose life took a dramatic and tragic turn upon returning to civilian life, in "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006). As the alcoholic soldier who is treated like a hero at war, but haunted by the racism of the times in his civilian life, Beach wowed the critics, who singled out his performance for its singular quality in a picture filled with top talent. An adaptation of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (HBO 2007) was followed by two seasons on the long-running procedural drama "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC 1999- ), as well as the starring role in the Canadian sitcom "Moose TV" (Showcase 2007-08), written by beloved Canadian novelist Paul Quarrington. The title role in animated adventure "Turok: Son of Stone" (2008) brought Beach his first voice role. Starring roles in historical drama "Older Than America" (2008) and action thriller "The Stranger" (2010) followed, along with supporting roles in romantic drama "A Warrior's Heart" (2011) and big-budget science-fiction western "Cowboys and Aliens" (2011). Returning to television, Beach had a supporting role in military drama "Combat Hospital" (ABC 2011) before starring in aviation drama "Arctic Air" (CBC 2012-14) for two seasons. Science fiction thriller "Ice Soldiers" (2013) was followed by a return appearance in David Spade's "Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser" (Crackle 2015). The following year, Beach co-starred as Slipknot in DC Comics blockbuster "Suicide Squad" (2016).

Credits

FoundStream

Guest Star
Kai Wagon
Series
2023
70%

Exile

Actor
Ted Evans
Movie
2023

Hey, Viktor!

Actor
Adam
Movie
2023

A Cut AboveStream

Host
Reality
2022

Swan SongStream

Actor
Dalton
Movie
2021
79%

The New MutantsStream

Actor
Dani's Father
Movie
2020
36%

Monkey Beach

Actor
Uncle Mick
Movie
2020

Percy

Actor
Alton Kelly
Movie
2020

The Unhealer

Actor
Sheriff Adler
Movie
2020

The Cowboy

Guest
Show
2019

The Good DoctorStream

Guest Star
Billy Carr
Series
2017

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the WorldStream

Self
Movie
2017
91%

The Watchman's Canoe

Actor
Nick
Movie
2017

HostilesStream

Actor
Black Hawk
Movie
2017
70%

Juliana & the Medicine Fish

Actor
Mike Reid
Movie
2017

Juliana & the Medicine Fish

Executive Producer
Movie
2017

Suicide SquadStream

Actor
Slipknot
Movie
2016
26%

The Northlander

Executive Producer
Movie
2016

BackstromStream

Guest Star
Series
2015
36%

Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser

Actor
Kicking Wing
Movie
2015

Diablo

Actor
Nakoma
Movie
2015

Catch the Dream

Host
Show
2014

A Fighting Man

Actor
Movie
2014

Grizzly

Actor
Johnny Cadillac
Movie
2014

The Road to Tophet

Actor
Storyteller
Movie
2014

Ice Soldiers

Actor
TC Cardinal
Movie
2013

Crook

Actor
Bryce
Movie
2013

Playground of the Native Son

Executive Producer
Movie
2013

RevolutionStream

Guest Star
Series
2012
67%

Arctic AirStream

Actor
Bobby Martin
Series
2012

Path of Souls

Actor
Jon Beardsley
Movie
2012

September Runs Red

Actor
Dylan
Movie
2012

Hell on WheelsStream

Guest Star
Series
2011
73%

Combat Hospital

Guest Star
Show
2011

Cowboys & AliensStream

Actor
Nat Colorado
Movie
2011
44%

A Warrior's Heart

Actor
Sgt. Major Duke Wayne
Movie
2011

ConanStream

Guest
Talk
2010

Hawaii Five-0Stream

Guest Star
Series
2010

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

Guest
Show
2010

The Stranger

Actor
Mason Reese
Movie
2010

The Stepson

Actor
Josh Anderson
Movie
2010

Donkey

Actor
Slade
Movie
2010

Older Than America

Actor
Johnny
Movie
2008

Older Than America

Executive Producer
Movie
2008

Comanche Moon

Actor
Show
2007

Moose TV

Actor
Show
2007

Turok: Son of Stone

Actor
Movie
2007

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Actor
Charles Eastman
Movie
2007

Luna: Spirit of the Whale

Actor
Mike Maquinna
Movie
2007

etalk

Guest
Show
2006

Flags of Our FathersStream

Actor
Ira Hayes
Movie
2006
73%

Johnny Tootall

Actor
Johnny Tootall
Movie
2005

A Thief of Time

Actor
Jim Chee
Movie
2004

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

Cowboys and Indians: The J.J. Harper Story

Actor
JJ Harper
Movie
2003

Cowboys and Indians: The Killing of J.J. Harper

Actor
JJ Harper
Movie
2003

The Big Empty

Actor
Randy
Movie
2003

Coyote Waits

Actor
Jim Chee
Movie
2003

Extase

Actor
Show
2002

The Dead ZoneStream

Actor
Shaman
Series
2002

Bliss

Actor
Show
2002

WindtalkersStream

Actor
Ben Yahzee
Movie
2002
33%

Posers

Actor
Sinclair
Movie
2002

Skinwalkers

Actor
Jim Chee
Movie
2002

Little Boy Blues

Actor
Waiter
Movie
2002

Joe DirtStream

Actor
Kicking Wing
Movie
2001
9%

Now & Forever

Actor
John Myron
Movie
2001

The Art of Woo

Actor
Ben Crowchild
Movie
2001

The Last Stop

Actor
Jason
Movie
2000

Harry's Case

Actor
Adam Fiddler
Movie
2000

Third WatchStream

Guest Star
Series
1999

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Actor
Det. Chester Lake
Series
1999
78%

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Chester Lake
Series
1999
78%

Mystery, Alaska

Actor
Galin Winetka
Movie
1999

Smoke SignalsStream

Actor
Victor Joseph
Movie
1998
83%

Dead Man's Gun

Actor
Tom Shadow Wolf
Show
1997

The Rez

Actor
Show
1996

The Song of Hiawatha

Actor
Chibiabos
Movie
1996

Coyote Summer

Actor
Movie
1996

JAGStream

Guest Star
Series
1995

A Boy Called Hate

Actor
Billy Little Plume
Movie
1995

Touched by an AngelStream

Guest Star
Series
1994

Dance Me Outside

Actor
Frank Fencepost
Movie
1994

Squanto: A Warrior's Tale

Actor
Squanto
Movie
1994

Walker, Texas RangerStream

Guest Star
Series
1993

Spirit Rider

Actor
Paul LeBlanc
Movie
1993

Cadillac Girls

Actor
Will
Movie
1993

Schoolbreak

Actor
Show
1983

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

News aboutAdam Beach