Veteran actor/filmmaker Warren Beatty amazed many with his epic movie Reds (1981), in which his multiple tasks as director, producer, co-writer and actor (played radical journalist John Reed) brought him critical acclaim and an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and more. With a Tony-nominated stage performance in William Inge’s “A Loss of Roses” (1960), Beatty soon received a Golden Globe for New Male Star of the Year and a Golden Apple for Least Cooperative Actor.
He was then applauded after starring in Bonnie and Clyde (1967, movie earned 10 Oscar nominations) and the romantic comedy Shampoo (1975, won a Writers Guild of America Award and a National Society of Film Critics Award, as well as an Oscar nomination). Beatty also made a beautiful directorial debut with the Oscar-nominated Heaven Can Wait (1978, also produced and wrote the screenplay), which won him two Saturn Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Writers Guild of America Award. Next, Beatty took home a National Board of Review Award and an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Ben ‘Bugsy’ Siegel in Bugsy (1991), and netted a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award and an Oscar nomination for his brilliant screenwriting work in Bulsworth (1998).
The 1975 Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Man of the Year was also garnered with an Oscar’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (2000), a Costume Designers Guild’s Distinguished Director Award (2001), a Blockbuster Entertainment World Artist Award (2001) and a San Sebastián International Film Festival Donostia Lifetime Achievement award (2001). He also accepted a BAFTA Academy Fellowship and a San Francisco International Film Festival’s Akira Kurosawa award in 2002 and a PGA Golden Laurel’s Milestone award in 2004.
Off camera, Beatty is now an honorary chairman of the Stella Adler School of Acting. The actor also received Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, along with other public figures, including Elton John, Joan Sutherland and Ruby Dee. He is also famous as a full supporter of the Democratic Party, the maker of the “Together with McGovern” political concert in 1972 and as an advisor on George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign. In 1999, the media briefly referred to him as a potential presidential candidate.
Beatty is also known for his love life. The former fiancé of actress Joan Collins, the performer was also linked to the late Natalie Wood, Julie Christie, Michelle Phillips, Diane Keaton, Isabelle Adjani and Madonna. He is currently married to actress Annette Bening, with whom he has four children.
Childhood and Family:
Born on March 30, 1937, in Richmond, Virginia, Henry Warren Beatty is the second child of school principal Ira O Warren Beatty (died in 1987) and drama teacher Kathlyn Warren Beatty (died in 1994). He has an older sister, actress Shirley MacLaine (born on April 24, 1934).
Pro (Warren’s nickname) attended Washington - Lee High School in Arlington and continued his studies at the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He left college before graduating and later studied acting with Stella Adler.
After meeting actress Annette Bening on the set of Bugsy (1991), Warren married her on March 12, 1992. From the marriage, he has three daughters, Kathlyn Elizabeth Bening Beatty (born on January 8, 1992), Isabel Ira Ashley Beatty (born on January 11, 1997) and Ella Corinne Beatty (born on April 8, 2000). He also has a son named Ben Beatty (born on August 23, 1994).
Heaven Can Wait
After leaving college, Warren Beatty took several low-paying jobs, such as a cocktail lounge pianist, a construction worker and a rat catcher in a Virginia movie theater. Eventually, he had an episodic appearance in several series like “Look Up and Live,” “Kraft Television Theatre” (1957) and “Playhouse 90” (1959), before having a regular role as Milton Armitage in the family comedy “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” (1959-1960).
In 1960, he made his Broadway debut in William Inge’s “A Loss of Roses” and received a Tony nomination. Recommended by Inge to director Elia Kazan, Beatty soon landed the leading turn of Bud Stamper in the romantic drama Splendor in the Grass (1961), after previously appearing in “Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond” (1960). Subsequently, starring roles in All Fall Down (1962, as wayward Berry-Berry Willart) and Lilith (1964) soon followed. After playing the titular part of a stand-up comedian running from mobsters in Mickey One (1965), Beatty portrayed Barney Lincoln in Kaleidoscope (1966). During his early years on screen, he was given a Golden Globe for New Male Star of the Year and a Golden Apple for Least Cooperative Actor.
A year later, the newcomer made a crack at producing with the acclaimed biopic Bonnie and Clyde (1967), where he also costarred with Faye Dunaway. The successful movie was nominated for 10 Oscars, whereas his fine performance earned Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. After accepting the part of piano player Joe Grady in the George Stevens-helmed The Only Game in Town (1970), he joined director Robert Altman in his Western drama McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and starred in Alan J Pakula’s taut thriller The Parallax View (1974).
In 1975, Beatty took on multiple tasks as a co-writer, producer and actor in the romantic comedy Shampoo (played George Roundy, opposite Julie Christie). His screenwriting effort was praised and earned a Writers Guild of America and a National Society of Film Critics award, as well as brought home an Oscar nomination. The 1975 Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Man of the Year, Beatty re-teamed with Julie Christie in his directorial debut, the fantasy comedy Heaven Can Wait (1978, also produced and wrote the screenplay), which fared even better. His impressive portrayal of Joe Pendleton, a football player-turned-millionaire, won a Saturn and a Golden Globe, while his screenwriting work gave him another Saturn and a Writers Guild of America. The movie also received 10 Oscar nominations.
Still, it was Beatty’s next project, the epic biography film Reds (1981), that brought him to the peak of his career. Producing, co-writing, directing and starring as radical journalist John Reed, the film reaped various awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a National Board of Review, a Directors Guild of America, a Writers Guild of America, an American Movie and a David di Donatello award. The movie also received 12 Oscar and BAFTA nominations.
Working in the comedy genre, Beatty was seen as Lyle Rogers, alongside Dustin Hoffman and Isabelle Adjani, in the self-produced Ishtar (1987), before executive producing The Pick-up Artist (1987), featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald. He then revived the comic strip hero in Dick Tracy (1990, costarring Madonna), in which he served as the director and played the title role.
Beatty took home a National Board of Review award for Best Actor and an Oscar nomination after portraying Ben ‘Bugsy’ Siegel in the biopic Bugsy (1991), where his kissing scene with costar and future wife Annette Bening earned an MTV Movie nomination. Three years later, he reunited with Bening in Love Affair (1994, also produced).
Bulsworth (1998), a satire movie about a disillusioned liberal politician, was Beatty’s vehicle for his work as a director, writer, producer and actor (playing the titular character). He won a Los Angeles Film Critics Association award and received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. For the comedy film, the performer also wrote and sang “Bulworth Breakdown.” As a sign of public appreciation, Beatty was handed the 2000 Oscar’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial award, the 2001 Costume Designers Guild’s Distinguished Director award, the 2001 Blockbuster Entertainment World Artist award and the 2001 San Sebastián International Film Festival Donostia Lifetime Achievement award.
In 2001, Beatty collaborated with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton in the comedy Town & Country, starring as Porter Stoddard. He also rewrote the Heaven Can Wait story for Down to Earth (2001), which featured Chris Rock and Regina King. Still admired for his work, Beatty was awarded a BAFTA Academy Fellowship and a San Francisco International Film Festival Akira Kurosawa award in 2002, as well as a PGA Golden Laurel Milestone award in 2004.
- PGA Golden Laurel: Milestone Award, 2004
- BAFTA: Academy Fellowship, 2002
- San Francisco International Film Festival: Akira Kurosawa Award, 2002
- San Sebastián International Film Festival: Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award, 2001
- Blockbuster Entertainment: World Artist Award, 2001
- Costume Designers Guild: Distinguished Director Award, 2001
- Oscar: Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, 2000
- American Society of Cinematographers: Board of the Governors Award, 2000
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Screenplay, Bulworth, 1998
- Venice Film Festival: Career Golden Lion, 1998
- National Board of Review: Best Actor, Bugsy, 1991
- Oscar: Best Director, Reds, 1982
- David di Donatello: Best Producer - Foreign Film, Reds, 1982
- Directors Guild of America: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Reds, 1982
- Writers Guild of America: Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen, Reds, 1982
- American Movie: Special Marquee, Reds, 1982
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Director, Reds, 1981
- National Board of Review: Best Director, Reds, 1981
- Golden Globe: Best Director, Reds, 1981
- Saturn: Best Actor, Heaven Can Wait, 1979
- Saturn: Best Writing, Heaven Can Wait, 1979
- Writers Guild of America: Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium, Heaven Can Wait, 1979
- Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Leading Role-Musical or Comedy, Heaven Can Wait, 1978
- Writers Guild of America: Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen, Shampoo, 1976
- National Society of Film Critics: Best Screenplay, Shampoo, 1975
- Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Man of the Year, 1975
- Golden Apple: Least Cooperative Actor, 1962
- Golden Globe: New Star of the Year- Male, 1961