(KTLA) – Actor John Beasley died Tuesday at a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, his son Michael told The Hollywood Reporter. The 79-year-old “had been undergoing tests on his liver before taking an unexpected turn,” according to the site.

Michael posted a message to his father on Facebook.

“I lost my best friend today,” he wrote. “They say you shouldn’t ever meet your heroes because they don’t turn out to be who you thought they were. That is so wrong. My hero was my father. Thank you for everything.”

Beasley’s success in Hollywood came later in life. He worked as a railroad man with the Union Pacific Railroad and didn’t start acting until he was 45.

One of his first roles was in ABC’s “Brewster Place,” a spinoff of “The Women of Brewster Place,” which starred Oprah Winfrey. She was also the executive producer.

Beasley went on to appear in films like the “Walking Tall” remake (alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), “The Mighty Ducks,” “Losing Isaiah,” “Rudy,” “The Apostle” and “Crazy in Alabama.”

He also played Cedric the Entertainer’s father in TV Land’s “The Soul Man.”

Beasley is survived by his wife Judy, to who he was married for 58 years, as well as his son Michael and grandchildren Evan, Miles, Olivia, Mika, Darius and NBA player Malik Beasley, who played last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.