Alvin Scott Beach
January 13, 1931
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Died||February 13, 1996 (aged 65)|
|Occupation||Actor, writer, DJ|
Born Alvin Scott Beach, he appeared in numerous motion pictures, most notably as a German scientist patterned after Wernher von Braun in The Right Stuff. His deep voice was often heard in films. He once said that director George Lucas liked his voice and often used him in his films, beginning with THX 1138. Beach also appeared as Mr. Gordon in American Graffiti and provided an uncredited stormtrooper voice in Star Wars.
Beach was an early and beloved performer at the original Renaissance Pleasure Faires in Agoura and Novato, California, where for many years he portrayed the Lord Mayor of the Shire and was a mentor and an inspiration to many aspiring actors. Along with his acting career, Beach was a natural for radio and was on the staff of KSFO in San Francisco, California. During a radio broadcast on January 28, 1973, he reported that the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam had been signed on the previous day in Paris, France. That agreement, also known as the Paris Peace Accords, ended direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Beach concluded his report about the peace agreement by stating, "I fear that the last U.S. soldier to die in Vietnam is still alive." He was correct; the last American death in Vietnam was not until April 29, 1975. See McMahon and Judge.
Beach twice served as the narrator in performances of Arthur Honegger's King David with the Masterworks Chorale of San Mateo, California. He also narrated other performances of the oratorio in both the original French and the English translation used by the Masterworks Chorale. He was the host of the San Francisco Opera broadcasts over KKHI during the early 1970s. Beach also provided the voice of the comic strip cat "Garfield" in the character's first television appearance; he was later replaced in that role by Lorenzo Music.
Beach was married to Neva Beach, together they have two children; Dylan and Sara.