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Henry Beckman (26 November 1921[1] – 17 June 2008) was a Canadian stage, film and television actor.

Henry Beckman
Henry Beckman as Commander Paul Richards in Flash Gordon.jpg
Henry Beckman as Commander Paul Richards in Flash Gordon
Born(1921-11-26)26 November 1921
Died17 June 2008(2008-06-17) (aged 86)
Barcelona, Spain
Years active1951–2002
Spouse(s)Cheryl Maxwell
(1955-98; her death)
Hillary Beckman
(2001-08; his death)


Beckman appeared in well over 100 productions in the United States and Canada, including recurring roles as Commander Paul Richards in the 1954 Flash Gordon space opera television series, Bob Mulligan in the ABC sitcom I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, George Anderson in the television adaptation of Peyton Place, Captain Clancey in the Western comedy-drama Here Come the Brides, and conniving United States Army Colonel Douglas Harrigan in McHale's Navy and Colonel Platt in the movie McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force.

He made four guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason, including the role of David the murderer in the 1960 episode "The Case of the Flighty Father", as Sydney L. Garth in the 1962 episode "The Case of the Captain's Coins" , as Albert King in the 1965 episode "The Case of the Wrongful Writ" and as William March in the 1966 episode "The Case of the Dead Ringer".

In the 1980s he appeared in Kane & Abel, played the security guard Alf on the Don Adams sitcom Check It Out!, and was also a non-celebrity contestant on the TV game show Scrabble. He continued to act through his late seventies on shows like The Commish and MacGyver, and he had a recurring role in The X-Files for several seasons.


Beckman won two Canadian Film Awards for Best Supporting Actor, in 1975 for Why Rock the Boat? and in 1978 for Blood and Guts. With his first wife, actress Cheryl Maxwell, Beckman founded the Dukes Oak Theater in Cooperstown, New York, and served as the theater company's producer.[2]

War serviceEdit

He served with the Canadian Military during World War II, including the D-Day Landings at Juno Beach, Normandy, on 6 June 1944.[citation needed]


Beckman was the author of How to Sell your Film Project, a how-to guide on getting independent films produced, and Hollywood With its Pants Down, a witty look at some of actors he worked with over the years.[citation needed]


He is the father of astrophysicist and software engineer Brian Beckman.[3]


Beckman died in Barcelona, Spain on 17 June 2008 with his second wife Hillary at his side.[4]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ some sources cite 1920, others 1925
  2. ^ de Pjanje, Bob (13 June 1958). "Viewing & Listening". Oneonta Star. p. 14.
  3. ^ Brian Beckman: On Analog Computing, Some Beckman History, and Life in the Universe, retrieved 12 March 2010
  4. ^ "Actor Henry Beckman dies at 86". Variety. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.

External linksEdit