Jim Beaver is an American actor, playwright, screenwriter, and film historian, most familiar to worldwide audiences as the gruff but tenderhearted Bobby Singer in Supernatural. He also played Whitney Ellsworth on the HBO Western drama series Deadwood, a starring role which brought him acclaim and a Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination for Ensemble Acting after three decades of supporting work in films and TV. He also portrayed Sheriff Shelby Parlow on the FX series Justified.
Beaver has appeared in many popular films, including Sister Act, Sliver, Bad Girls, Adaptation., Magnolia and The Life of David Gale. He starred in the television series Thunder Alley as the comic sidekick to Ed Asner, and as homicide cop Earl Gaddis on Reasonable Doubts. He was also French Stewart’s sullen boss Happy Doug on the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun.
In 2002, Beaver was cast as one of the stars of the ensemble Western drama Deadwood in the role of Whitney Ellsworth, a goldminer whom he often described as “Gabby Hayes with Tourette syndrome”. Beaver in 2006 joined the cast of the HBO drama John from Cincinnati while simultaneously playing the recurring roles of Bobby Singer on Supernatural and Carter Reese on another HBO drama Big Love, appearing at least once a season on Supernatural. He then took on the role of Sheriff Charlie Mills in the CBS drama Harper’s Island. He has recurred as the gun dealer Lawson on Breaking Bad and its prequel Better Call Saul, and played Sheriff Shelby Parlow for three seasons on FX’s Justified.
Following his acclaimed work in Justified, Beaver had a starring role in Guillermo del Toro’s gothic ghost story feature film, Crimson Peak, in a part del Toro wrote for him. He has also completed roles in the feature films The Frontier and Billy Boy.