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Wallace Fitzgerald Beery (April 1, 1885 – April 15, 1949) was an American film actor, most known for his portrayal of Long John Silver in 1934's Treasure Island film adaptation.

He began his film career in silent movies and transitioned to sound films. In 1930 he had been cut loose by Paramount and was looking for work when he landed a role in The Big House that had originally been intended for Lon Chaney before Chaney's sudden death from throat cancer. The movie was a huge hit and Beery became a star. In 1931 he starred in The Champ, which won him an Oscar for Best Actor, tying with Fredric March. He had the odd leading role but much of his most remembered films had him in supporting roles.

Beery's brother Noah was also an actor and the two of them had already been performing together long before becoming movie actors, singing comic opera. Although Beery's career slowly dimmed, none of them were box office bombs. His last few years were roles in westerns and he was always top-billed with the rest of the main stars.

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He died of a heart attack at 64 years. Notably, Mickey Rooney's father died a month later and was buried next to Beery's grave.

Fun fact: Beery's name is also Cockney Rhyming Slang for "query", and his appearance and mannerisms inspired those of the animated dragon Elliot in Pete's Dragon (1977).


Selected filmography


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