Native American Adam Beach has appeared in more 60 television and feature film roles. In addition to his role as the no-nonsense Sgt. Major Duke Wayne in A Warrior’s Heart, he will soon be seen in four other feature films currently in various stages of production, including The Boom Boom Room, opposite Christopher Walken and Shirley Maclaine; and Into the Americas with Ray Liotta.
His performance in the Academy Award-nominated Flags of Our Fathers (2006), directed by Clint Eastwood, was widely acclaimed by critics. His role as Hayes is both realistic and heartbreaking, earning him two Best Supporting Actor award nominations.
Beach portrayed Ira Hayes, a Pima Native American Marine and one of the six to raise the American flag on Iwo Jima, who found the resulting fame hard to handle … subsequently giving way to alcoholism.
This alone would have been an emotional role for Beach play. However, during filming, both his grandmother and best friend passed away. Additionally, the subject fell close to home. Beach and his two brothers were raised on the Dog Creek First Nations Reserve in Canada. A troubled childhood saw his mother killed by a drunk driver and his alcoholic father drowned only weeks later. The three brothers lived with their grandmother and then with their uncle and aunt in Winnipeg, where Beach took drama classes and began acting in local theatre productions.
Beach was also nominated for three awards for his role in TV’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007), including a Golden Globe. He has put in terrific performances in the John Woo World War II epic, Windtalkers (2002), in which he co-starred with Nicolas Cage, and the comedy film Joe Dirt (2001).
Beach starred with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in the science fiction-western smash hit Cowboys & Aliens (2011), was featured in John Singleton’s Four Brothers (2005); in the Miramax classic, Smoke Signals (2008); and headlined the cast in the Walt Disney production Squanto: A Warrior's Tale (1994).
On television, he has appeared in such hit television series as Hawaii Five-0, in a recurring role on HBO’s Big Love, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, JAG, Third Watch and Everwood, among many others.
Looking ahead, Beach hopes to be appointed leader of his Lake Manitoba First Nation.