Beyond the Night Character and Actor Bios

ButtramPreachAlmasihu (Jack Buttram)

Why would a skilled surgeon bury himself in the African desert, with only villagers and itinerant Bedouins to care for? Because they need the Gospel more deeply than they need the medical treatment they receive at his clinic. The Islamic government hates this medical missionary, but wants his skills and feels they can tolerate him . . . if he’ll stop preaching.

One of Unusual Films’ most frequently used actors, Jack Buttram has carried major roles in many of our productions. Starting as Stephen in Wine of Morning, he went on to portray General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson in Red Runs the River, Shedd McComb in Sheffey, and played the lead role of Almasihu the Doctor in Beyond the Night. His most recent appearance in an Unusual Films production was a cameo role in Milltown Pride as the doctor at the Newton Mill Hospital. On stage, Jack has appeared in many roles, including the title role in Henry V, Touchstone from As You Like It, and Horatio from Hamlet. He taught radio for many years at BJU and worked in the field of Public Relations, including projects for such figures as Strom Thurmond. He and his wife Barbara live in South Carolina.


RuthRuth (Barbara Buttram)

Despite the stress of being on call twenty-four hours a day while trying to run a home and care for her husband and fellow nurses, Ruth trusts God for everyday strength and encourages her husband. The government may harass them, cut off their medical supplies, and even expel them, but they must follow God’s calling no matter what.

Acting alongside her husband as Ruth, the Doctor’s wife, Barbara Buttram plays her first film acting part with a calm grace that creates a warm, believable character. Although on staff at BJU for several years, Barbara played a larger role as active housewife and mother of several children. She lives with her husband in South Carolina.


BTNPanosianCupCedeti (Edward Panosian)

As a Hajji, Cedeti is an important man in his village, explaining the Koran and leading worship of Allah. He enjoys his friendship with the educated and sincere Doctor, and their frequent discussions about the nature of God and salvation. Although he must avoid public support of the Doctor’s faith, he would like a copy of the Bible in his own language so he can study it for himself.

Known as the “voice of God” in countless vesper productions at Bob Jones University and the feature film Wine of Morning, Edward Panosian is a talented and versatile actor.  From the kindly Fray Cristobal in Flame in the Wind to Cedeti, Hajji of the African village in Beyond the Night, Dr. Panosian also stars in The Printing as Yakov the Bible printer, and in The Treasure Map, Unusual Films first family film, as the Grandfather. Most recently, he appeared in a cameo role in Milltown Pride.


SulamanCUSuliman (Sami Morcos)

A relative of Cedeti, this young man has a serious tumor that must be removed. An ardent Muslim, he considers it defiling for an infidel like the Doctor to even touch him and feels his recovery period is worse than a stretch in jail . . . until he starts listening to the message of God’s love and forgiveness which the Doctor preaches.

A student from Kuwait, Sami was eager to be a part of the film, which he hoped would be a great tool to reach his relatives and countrymen.


IsaCupIsa (Ezekiel Olagoke)

Isa, a former patient of the Doctor, was saved as a result of the Doctor’s ministry. He now works for the clinic, and Ruth is teaching him how to read.

Ezekiel Olagoke was a Bob Jones University student from West Africa studying Broadcast Journalism during the time he participated in Beyond the Night.



YusefuCUYusefu (David Rudolph)

An agent of the government’s religious branch, Yusefu “inspects” the Doctor’s clinic along with a government surgeon. He seethes over the Doctor’s open preaching, and is even more annoyed at the glowing report the government surgeon gives of the Doctor’s skill. He gives the Doctor a choice—stop preaching or leave the country.

Coming to Bob Jones University from Rhodesia where his parents served as missionaries, David graduated in 1984 with a master’s degree in Church Ministries. He is now serving as a missionary and pastor in South Africa.


AchbarCupDr. Achbar (Joseph Mbacho)

Dr. Achbar, the Chief Surgeon of the Government Hospital in the capital, is skeptical at first about the abilities, medical practices, and facilities of the Doctor. When he witnesses an impressive surgery performed by the Doctor, he is won over and later endorses the Doctor’s medical skill to the Minister of Health.

Joesph Mbacho was a Bob Jones University student from Kenya studying history during the time he participated in Beyond the Night.


Dauda MugDauda (Tye Thompson)

Dauda, a small boy with leprosy, needs an operation to restore the use of his hand. While Yusefu and Dr. Achbar observe, the Doctor performs an innovative surgery on Dauda’s hand.

Tye Thompson was the 8-year old son of Willie Thompson who played the role of the Military Governor in the film.