Date of Birth: November 11, 1972
A Saulteaux of the Ojibwa nation, Adam Beach was born on the Dog Creek reserve in Manitoba.
Beach was an orphan by the age of eight when his parents were both killed in separate
accidents within months of each other. Their deaths resulted in Beach and his two brothers
being bounced between various family members and finally settling in Winnipeg.
Leaving school after grade 11 he pursued a career in acting, which he learned on the job.
His first role was as an extra in the TV-movie Lost in the Barrens with Graham Greene. A tape
of his work was circulated and before he knew it, he was cast in another telefilm, Spirit
Rider. Beach then landed the lead role in Disney's Squanto: A Warrior's Tale, and a very
significant and memorable role as Frank Fencepost in Dance Me Outside (both 1994). For his
performance in the latter he won the Best Actor award at the American Indian Film Festival.
Beach drew on his tragic experience as a child to prepare for a role in Smoke Signals (1998),
which he landed after only two readings. He related to his character, Victor Joseph, who must
leave his reservation in Idaho and head to Phoenix to collect the ashes of his late father, who
had abandoned him and his mother when he was just 10. The film made history when it won the
Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival because it was the first feature written, produced
and directed by, and starring, Native Americans.
His follow-up film was Mystery, Alaska (1999), a comedy about a small town's hockey team who
takes on a challenge from the New York Rangers, and finds themselves at the centre of a televised event. Starring Burt Reynolds, Russell Crowe and Hank Azaria, Beach's small role merely required him to show up and play hockey for three months. After appearing in a string of Canadian films, Beach landed a role in Joe Dirt (2001), a comedy starring David Spade and
In Windtalkers (2001), he played a Navajo code talker in WWII who befriends his captor (Nicolas Cage). Since then, has worked almost nonstop. In 2008, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work in the TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. He's also appeared in the critically acclaimed motion picture Flags of Our Fathers
(2006) and Cowboys & Aliens (2011) with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.
When not acting, Beach visits schools to speak to native children and tell them that their
dreams can come true. He lives in Los Angeles with his second wife, Tara. He has two sons who live in Ottawa with his first wife, Meredith.