British actor and artist Sam Beazley died June 12, 2017. He was 101 years old.Sam Beazley was born March 29, 1916 in London, England, during the reign of George V. He was a subject of three kings and one queen. Imagine what he witnessed in that time. Imagine the history he saw made. He acted with Sir John Gielgud. He wore his king’s uniform and served honorably in World War II. This alone would be enough for Beazley to be owed respect.
Unfortunately, a certain Facebook page (which will remain nameless) reduced him to clickbait. It announced: “Another movie legend is gone. Most recently, he starred in Harry Potter. This is a terrible loss.” It gave no name, just showed a picture of an ambulance. Several Facebook commenters complained how Beazley’s life and death deserved more than just being clickbait, calling it “absolutely classless.” Harry Potter fans rushed to see who had died, thinking it was one of the stars, and then asked, “Who was Professor Everard?”
Sam Beazley’s second to last acting role was as Professor Everard, a former headmaster of Hogwarts whose portrait hangs in Dumbledore’s office. He is in one scene, where Dumbledore sends him to his portrait in the Ministry of Magic to fetch help for a wounded Arthur Weasley in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
While it’s true there are no small parts, only small actors, most people would not consider the role of Professor Everard as “starring” in the Harry Potter movies. Beazley deserves a better memorial than being transmogrified into Facebook clickbait.
Sam Beazley was a Shakespearean actor on both stage and in film. He played the teenage Player Queen in the 1934 film of Hamlet. In 1935 he was in Romeo and Juliet twice, playing Paris on stage in London and Tybalt in the film adaption. He played Shakespearean roles on stage in the USA and the UK in the 1990s and the early 21st century.
Beazley began his acting career in the 1930s. He trod the boards of London’s theatres, as well as appearing in a few films. When WWII came, he did his duty as a patriotic Briton. After the war ended, he became an interior decorator and the owner of an antique shop. He also took up painting, and many of his paintings were displayed in galleries throughout the United Kingdom.
He did not return to acting until he was 75, an age when most men are comfortably retired. He appeared in such television shows as Portrait of a Marriage, Pride and Prejudice, Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Little Britain, and Foyle’s War. He was in the movies Madame Sousatzka, Passionnément, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Don Bosco, Johnny English, and of course, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He also appeared in several plays, principally in London. His last acting role was as Walter Bazeley in the TV show Casualty in 2007.
Playwright Nicholas de Jongh referred to him as “the amazing Sam Beazley,” calling him “the last theatre survivor of his generation.” He deserves a better legacy than clickbait. Rest in peace, Mr. Beazley.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.