Miami Vice Wiki
Julian Beck


Miami Vice Character
May 31, 1925, New York City, New York
September 14, 1985, New York City, New York (age 60, stomach cancer)
Judith Malina (1948-1985, his death), 2 children

Julian Beck (May 31, 1925 - September 14, 1985) is an American actor & director, who made his only TV appearance in the show Miami Vice as J.J. Johnston, a Wall Street banker who loaned money to the Revillas and used his connections to stop any law enforcement action to stop the Colombians in the episode "The Prodigal Son".


Beck was born in New York City. He dropped out of Yale University to pursue a career in painting and writing, which completely changed after meeting Judith Malina, and with their combined passion for the theater they founded The Living Theatre in 1947, which Beck was a co-director of until his death. The group's primary influence was Antonin Artaud, who espoused the Theatre of Cruelty, which was supposed to shock the audience out of complacency. This took different forms. In one example, from Jack Gelber's The Connection, a drama about drug addiction, actors playing junkies wandered the audience demanding money for a fix. They moved the Theatre out of New York after an IRS tax trial ended in a guilty verdict for the couple. Besides his theatre work, Beck published several volumes of poetry reflecting his anarchist beliefs, two non-fiction books: The Life of the Theater and Theandric, and had several film appearances, with small roles in The Cotton Club (with Lonette McKee, James Remar & Laurence Fishburne), 9½ Weeks (with Margaret Whitton), and Poltergeist II: The Other Side (which was his final film appearance), and his death after production makes him part of the so-called "Poltergeist Curse" of actors/actresses who died suddenly after appearing in the Poltergeist series of movies.

Personal Life/Death

Beck married Malina in 1948, but it was an open marriage, during which Beck had a long-term relationship with Ilion Troya, a male actor in the company, while Malina pursued relationships with other men. They had two children, Garrick & Isha. Beck was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1983, and fought it until his death at the age of 60 on September 14, 1985, 13 days before "The Prodigal Son" aired.