Beta's Backstory In 'The Walking Dead' Comics Explains Why He Hides Behind Zombie Skin — Kinda
Aside from being Alpha's right-hand man, there's isn't a whole lot that fans know about Beta. We saw how the two of them met and what became of their unlikely alliance, but apart from that, Beta's backstory on The Walking Dead has remained a huge question mark. Even his appearance is unknown due to the fact that he never takes off his zombie mask. However, as those familiar with the comics are aware, the character opts to keep his true identity hidden at all times for a very specific reason.
In the comics, Beta becomes the new leader of the Whisperers in the wake of Alpha's death, though his plans for revenge are ultimately thwarted and leads to his own demise. But just before his death, he gets unmasked, revealing that he was a very famous NBA basketball player prior to the apocalypse, who went on to become an actor, starring in both movies and car commercials. That's why he never allowed anyone to see his face — he knew they'd instantly recognize him as the celebrity he used to be.
So will this also be the case for his on-screen counterpart? The Walking Dead has never been afraid to stray from the original source material, and a former episode of Fear the Walking Dead may have already hinted at how Beta's storyline will change.
In the Season 5 episode titled "Today and Tomorrow," which aired last September, Daniel and Grace are attacked by walkers and causes Daniel to drop his new record collection on the street. They end up having to leave them there, but eagle-eyed fans noticed that one of the album covers featured someone who should look very familiar to Walking Dead fans.
The man in the cowboy hat looks eerily like Ryan Hurst, who plays Beta, indicating that the character will end up being a famous musician rather than an all-star athlete. This has yet to be confirmed on the series, but it would explain how a fellow Whisperer appeared to recognize him after a piece of his mask was ripped off during a recent episode.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly in October 2019, Hurst hinted that a few Easter eggs have been dropped about his character in the past, even on other shows. "We’ve been dropping Easter eggs here and there, maybe on this show, maybe on another show that’s connected to it," he told the outlet. "But I’ll sort of keep dangling that carrot and let people wait for the end of this season to see what happens."
The actor also recently hinted to Comicbook.com that Beta's origin story will be different from the comic books due to his own idea for the storyline. “They offered me the job — because I had read the comic, I knew the storyline for Beta — and I went in there and pitched them a completely different sort of origin story, and they liked it,” Hurst revealed at Comic Con Liverpool. “So we developed it together.”
Given how few episodes are left in the season, those answers should finally be revealed very soon and shine a light on Beta's famous past once and for all.