Henry Warren Beatty[a] (né Beaty; born March 30, 1937), better known as Warren Beatty, is an American actor and filmmaker. He has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards – four for Best Actor, four for Best Picture, two for Best Director, three for Original Screenplay, and one for Adapted Screenplay – winning Best Director for Reds (1981). Beatty is the first and only person to have been twice nominated for acting in, directing, writing, and producing the same film – first with Heaven Can Wait (1978), which was co-written by Elaine May and co-directed by Buck Henry, and again with Reds, which he co-wrote with Trevor Griffiths.
Beatty in Shampoo (1975)
|Born||Henry Warren Beaty
March 30, 1937
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Annette Bening (m. 1992)|
In 1999, he was awarded the Academy's highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award. Beatty has been nominated for eighteen Golden Globe Awards, winning six, including the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, which he was honored with in 2007. Among his Golden Globe-nominated films are Splendor in the Grass (1961), his screen debut, and Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Shampoo (1975), Dick Tracy (1990), Bugsy (1991), Bulworth (1998) and Rules Don't Apply (2016), all of which he also produced.
Arthur Penn, who directed Bonnie and Clyde, described Beatty as "the perfect producer", adding, "He makes everyone demand the best of themselves. Warren stays with a picture through editing, mixing and scoring. He plain works harder than anyone else I have ever seen."
Henry Warren Beaty was born in Richmond, Virginia. His mother, Kathlyn Corinne (née MacLean), was a teacher from Nova Scotia. His father, Ira Owens Beaty, had a PhD in educational psychology and worked as a public school administrator, in addition to dealing in real estate. Beatty's grandparents were also teachers. The family was Baptist. In 1945, the family moved from Richmond to Arlington, Virginia. During the 1950s, the family resided in the Dominion Hills section of Arlington. Beatty's elder sister is the actress, dancer and writer Shirley MacLaine. His uncle, by marriage, was Canadian politician A. A. MacLeod.
Beatty became interested in movies before his teens, when he often accompanied his sister to theaters. One film that had an important early influence on him was The Philadelphia Story (1940), which he saw when it was re-released in the 1950s. He noticed a strong resemblance between its star, Katharine Hepburn, and his mother, in both appearance and personality, saying that they symbolized "perpetual integrity." Another film that had an impact on him was Love Affair (1939), which starred one of his favorite actors, Charles Boyer. He found it "deeply moving," and recalls that "This is a movie I always wanted to make." He did remake Love Affair in 1994, in which he starred alongside Annette Bening and Katharine Hepburn.
Among his favorite TV shows in the 1950s was the Texaco Star Theatre, and he began to mimic one if its regular host comedians, Milton Berle. Beatty learned to do a "superb imitation of Berle and his routine," said a friend, and he often used Berle-type humor at home to relieve the stress caused by his father's excessive drinking. His sister saw Beatty "close off" emotionally from his father. Among her lasting memories of her brother during this period was seeing him withdrawn and spending time alone reading books by Eugene O'Neill or singing along to Al Jolson records. In Rules Don't Apply (2016), Beatty plays Howard Hughes, who is shown talking about and singing Jolson songs while flying his plane.
It was his emotional withdrawal from his father, according to MacLaine, that made her brother want to become a filmmaker, sometimes writing, producing, directing and starring in his films: "That's why he's more comfortable behind the camera," she says. "He's in the total-control aspect. He has to have control over everything. Beatty doesn't deny that need; in speaking about his earliest parts, he said "When I acted in films I used to come with suggestions about the script, the lighting, the wardrobe, and people used to say 'Waddya want, to produce the picture as well?' And I used to say that I supposed I did."
Encouraged to act by the success of his sister, who had recently established herself as a Hollywood star, he decided to work as a stagehand at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. during the summer before his senior year.
Beatty was a star football player at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. He was reportedly offered ten football scholarships to college, but rejected them to study liberal arts at Northwestern University (1954–55), where he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. After his first year, he left college to move to New York City, where he studied acting under Stella Adler at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
Beatty enlisted in the California Air National Guard on February 11, 1960 under his original name, Henry W. Beaty. On January 1, 1961, Beatty was discharged from the Air National Guard due to a physical disability. He was simultaneously discharged from the United States Air Force Reserve, and served on inactive duty only.
1950s and 1960sEdit
Beatty changed the spelling of his name from "Beaty" at the start of his film career in 1957. He himself said he changed the name so that people would pronounce it correctly. This is however not very plausible because this spelling change did not make the pronunciation clearer, and a cousin remembered his mother saying that he added a letter to have the same number of letters (and therefore lights) as in his first name.
Beatty started his career making appearances on television shows such as Studio One (1957), Kraft Television Theatre (1957), and Playhouse 90 (1959). He was a semi-regular on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis during its first season (1959–60). His performance in William Inge's A Loss of Roses on Broadway garnered him a 1960 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play and a 1960 Theatre World Award. It was his sole appearance on Broadway.
He made his film debut in Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass (1961), opposite Natalie Wood. The film was a critical and box office success and Beatty was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and received the award for New Star of the Year – Actor. The film was also nominated for two Oscars, winning one.
Author Peter Biskind points out that Kazan "was the first in a string of major directors Beatty sought out, mentors or father figures from whom he wanted to learn." Beatty, years later during a Kennedy Center tribute to Kazan, told the audience that Kazan "had given him the most important break in his career.":23 Biskind adds that they "were wildly dissimilar—mentor vs. protege, director vs. actor, immigrant outsider vs. native son. Kazan was armed with the confidence born of age and success, while Beatty was virtually aflame with the arrogance of youth." Kazan recalls his impressions of Beatty:
Warren—it was obvious the first time I saw him—wanted it all and wanted it his way. Why not? He had the energy, a very keen intelligence, and more chutzpah than any Jew I've ever known. Even more than me. Bright as they come, intrepid, and with that thing all women secretly respect: complete confidence in his sexual powers, confidence so great that he never had to advertise himself, even by hints.
He followed his initial film with Tennessee Williams' The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961), with Vivien Leigh and Lotte Lenya, directed by Jose Quintero; All Fall Down (1962), with Angela Lansbury, Karl Malden and Eva Marie Saint, directed by John Frankenheimer; Lilith (1963), with Jean Seberg and Peter Fonda, directed by Robert Rossen; Promise Her Anything (1964), with Leslie Caron, Bob Cummings and Keenan Wynn, directed by Arthur Hiller; Mickey One (1965), with Alexandra Stewart and Hurd Hatfield, directed by Arthur Penn; and Kaleidoscope (1966), with Susannah York and Clive Revill, directed by Jack Smight.
In 1967, at age 28, Beatty produced and acted in Bonnie and Clyde. He assembled a team that included the writers Robert Benton and David Newman, and the director, Arthur Penn. Beatty selected most of the cast, including Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Gene Wilder and Michael J. Pollard. Beatty also oversaw the script and spearheaded the delivery of the film.
Gene Hackman was chosen because Beatty had acted with him in Lilith in 1964 and felt he was a "great" actor. Upon completion of the film, he credited Hackman with giving the "most authentic performance in the movie, so textured and so moving," recalls Dunaway. He was impressed with Gene Wilder after seeing him in a play and didn't even need him to audition, in what became Wilder's screen debut. And Beatty had already known Pollard: "Michael J. Pollard was one of my oldest friends," Beatty said. "I'd known him forever; I met him the day I got my first television show. We did a play together on Broadway."
Bonnie and Clyde went on to be a critical and commercial success, despite the early misgivings by studio head Jack Warner, who put up the production money. Before filming began, Warner had asked an associate, "What does Warren Beatty think he's doing? How did he ever get us into this thing? This gangster stuff went out with Cagney." The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and seven Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.
1970s and 1980sEdit
After Bonnie and Clyde, Beatty acted with Elizabeth Taylor in The Only Game in Town (1970), directed by George Stevens; McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), directed by Robert Altman; Dollars (1971), directed by Richard Brooks; The Parallax View (1974), directed by Alan Pakula; and The Fortune (1975), directed by Mike Nichols. Beatty produced, co-wrote and acted in Shampoo (1975), directed by Hal Ashby, which was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay, as well as five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture and Best Actor. In 1978, Beatty directed, produced, wrote and acted in Heaven Can Wait (1978) (sharing co-directing credit with Buck Henry). The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Adapted Screenplay. It also won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture and Best Actor.
Beatty's next film was Reds (1981), a historical epic about American Communist journalist John Reed who observed the Russian October Revolution – a project Beatty had begun researching and filming for as far back as 1970. It was a critical and commercial success, despite being an American film about an American Communist made and released at the height of the Cold War. It received 12 Academy Award nominations – including four for Beatty (for Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Original Screenplay), winning three; Beatty won for Best Director, Maureen Stapleton won for Best Supporting Actress (playing anarchist Emma Goldman), and Vittorio Storaro won for Best Cinematography. The film received seven Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay. Beatty won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director.
Following Reds, Beatty did not appear in a film for five years until 1987's Ishtar, written and directed by Elaine May. Following severe criticism in press reviews by the new British studio chief David Puttnam just prior to its release, the film received mixed reviews and was a box-office bomb grossing only $14 million against a $55 million budget. Puttnam attacked several other over-budget U.S. films greenlit by his predecessor and was fired shortly thereafter.
1990s and 2000sEdit
Beatty next produced, directed and played the title role as comic strip based detective Dick Tracy in the 1990 film of the same name. The film received mixed reviews but was one of the highest-grossing films of the year. It received seven Academy Award nominations, winning three for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Original Song. It also received four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture.
In 1991, he produced and starred as the real-life gangster Bugsy Siegel in the critically and commercially acclaimed Bugsy, directed by Barry Levinson, which was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor; it later won two of the awards for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. The film also received eight Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Actor, winning for Best Motion Picture. Beatty's next film, Love Affair (1994), directed by Glenn Gordon Caron, received mixed reviews and was unimpressive commercially.
In 1998, he wrote, produced, directed and starred in the political satire Bulworth, which was critically acclaimed and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film also received three Golden Globe Award nominations, for Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. Beatty has appeared briefly in numerous documentaries, including Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) and One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern (2005).
Following the disastrous box office performance of Town & Country (2001), in which Beatty starred, he did not appear in or direct another film for 15 years.
In 2010, Beatty directed and reprised his role as Dick Tracy in a 30-minute comedy film titled Dick Tracy Special, which premiered on TCM. The short metafiction film stars Dick Tracy and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, the latter of whom discusses the history and creation of Tracy. Tracy talks about how he admired Ralph Byrd and Morgan Conway who portrayed him in several films, but says he didn't care much for Beatty's portrayal of him or his film. In April 2016, at an event honoring producer Arnon Milchan, Beatty said he is "very serious" about making a Dick Tracy sequel with Milchan producing.
Rules Don't Apply (2016), is a fictionalized true-life romantic comedy about Howard Hughes, set in 1958 Hollywood and Las Vegas. It stars Beatty, who wrote, co-produced and directed the film. It co-stars Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins, with supporting actors including Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Candice Bergen, Ed Harris and Martin Sheen. Some have said that Beatty's film is 40 years in the making.[b] It was released on November 23, 2016, and was Beatty's first film in 15 years. [c] Reviews have been mixed, with one review saying it portrays an "absurdist vision of politics and show business" in early Hollywood." Another review has said that the movie is "a meditation on the twin obsessions that have driven his entire life: sex and death."
Beatty has received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Americans for Democratic Action, the Brennan Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, the Phillip Burton Public Service Award from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, and the Spirit of Hollywood Award from the Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies. Beatty was a founding board member of the Center for National Policy, a founding member of the Progressive Majority, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has served as the Campaign Chair for the Permanent Charities Committee, and has participated in the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland. He served on the Board of Trustees at the Scripps Research Institute, and the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation. He was named Honorary Chairman of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in 2004.
The National Association of Theatre Owners awarded him with the Star of the Year Award in 1975, and in 1978 the Director of the Year Award and the Producer of the Year Award. He received the Alan J. Pakula Memorial Award from the National Board of Review in 1998. He received the Akira Kurosawa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 from the San Francisco International Film Festival. He has received the Board of Governors Award from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Distinguished Director Award from the Costume Designers Guild, the Life Achievement Award from the Publicists Guild, and the Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild. In 2004, he received the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., and the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild of America. He was honored with the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 2008. In March 2013, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
Beatty has received a number of international awards: in 1992, he was made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (France); in 1998, he was nominated for a Golden Lion for Best Film (Bulworth), and received a Career Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival; in 2001, he received the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Sebastián International Film Festival; in 2002, he received the British Academy Fellowship from BAFTA; and in 2011, he was awarded the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award.
Beatty has been married to actress Annette Bening since 1992. They have four children: Stephen Ira (born Kathlyn, January 8, 1992), Benjamin (born August 23, 1994), Isabel (born January 11, 1997), and Ella (born April 8, 2000). His eldest son Stephen Ira came out as transgender in 2006.
Prior to marrying Bening, Beatty was well known for his high-profile romantic relationships that received generous media coverage. Singer-songwriter Carly Simon also dated Beatty, and confirmed in November 2015 that she wrote a verse in her hit song "You're So Vain" about him.
Beatty is a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party. In 1972, Beatty was part of the "inner circle" of Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign. He traveled extensively and was instrumental in organizing fundraising.
|1957||Kraft Television Theater||s10e40: "The Curly Headed Kid"
Original Air Date: 6/29/1957 (NBC)
|Westinghouse Studio One||1st Card Player||s10e1: "The Night America Trembled"
Original Air Date: 9/9/1957 (CBS)
Original Air Date: 11/11/1957 (NBC)
|1959||Look Up and Live||Boy||Episode: "The Square"
Original Air Date: 1/25/1959 (CBS)
|Episode: "The Family"
Original Air Date: 1959 (CBS)
|Playhouse 90||s3e30: "Dark December"
Original Air Date: 4/30/1959 (CBS)
|The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis||Milton Armitage||s1e2: "The Best Dressed Man"
Original Air Date: 10/16/1959 (CBS)
|s1e6: "The Sweet Singer of Central High"
Original Air Date: 11/10/1959 (CBS)
|s1e9: "Dobie Gillis, Boy Actor"
Original Air Date: 12/1/1959 (CBS)
|1960||s1e15: "The Smoke-Filled Room"
Original Air Date: 1/12/1960 (CBS)
|s1e16: "The Fist Fighter"
Original Air Date: 1/19/1960 (CBS)
|Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond||Harry Grayson||s2e33: "The Visitor"
Original Air Date: 5/10/1960 (ABC)
- Untitled Dick Tracy Sequel – Warren Beatty is currently developing this project as of 2016. He has been talking about doing a sequel ever since the original was released in 1990.
- Ocean of Storms – Beatty was set to produce and star in this aging astronaut love story. Annette Bening was set to co-star. The script was written by Tony Bill & Ben Young Mason with revisions by Wesley Strick, Robert Towne, Lawrence Wright, Stephen Harrigan and Aaron Sorkin. Martin Scorsese was at one point attached to direct. The project was in development from 1989 until around 2000.
- Bulworth 2000 – a sequel to his 1998 film that would have continued where the first film ended by satirizing the 2000 Presidential Election.
- The Mermaid – Warren Beatty was attached to star in this love story about a sailboat racer who falls in love with a mermaid. The script was in development as early as 1983, from screenwriter Robert Towne. Herbert Ross was attached to direct it. However, they were eclipsed by the Ron Howard/Tom Hanks movie "Splash" (1984) and the Beatty project was canceled.
- The Duke of Deception – Warren Beatty was attached to star in this Steven Zaillian scripted and directed adaptation of the book by Geoffrey Wolff. He was attached to the project from 2000 till about 2005. Eventually, the project was shelved after Beatty continued to procrastinate on his decision to star in it.
- Liberace – Warren Beatty was interested in the making a film based on the memoir Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace by Scott Thorson. The film would have been about the love affair between Liberace and Thorson and the death of Liberace in 1987. The film was intended to be a black comedy, a melodrama and a satire on the illusions of how people perceive celebrities, excess, materialism and the loneliness of wealthy people. The film was to star Robin Williams as Liberace, Justin Timberlake as Scott Thorson, Oliver Platt as Liberace's manager, Seymour Heller, Michael C. Hall as Thorson's first lover, Shirley MacLaine as Liberace's mother (which would have been the first time siblings, Beatty and MacLaine would have worked together on a project) and Johnny Depp as Liberace's drug addicted plastic surgeon, Dr. Startz. Aside from a few drafts of the script and casting decisions, the film was never made. Scott Thorson's memoirs were eventually made into an HBO TV movie in 2013.
- Megalopolis – Warren Beatty was attached to co-star in Francis Ford Coppola's epic during the late 90's and early 2000's, but the project was eventually shelved.
- Edie – Between Ishtar and Dick Tracy, Beatty considered directing and co-writing with James Toback a film about the life and death of Warhol Superstar, Edie Sedgwick, whom Beatty personally knew. The film was to star Jennifer Jason Leigh as Edie and Al Pacino as Andy Warhol but never materialized.
- The Killing of a Chinese Bookie – During the late 1990s, Brett Ratner tried for several years to convince Beatty to star in a remake of the 1976 film by cult director John Cassavetes.
- Vicky – In the mid-1990s, Beatty was developing a biopic of Victoria Woodhull from screenwriter James Toback. Beatty was going to produce, possibly direct and co-star with wife Annette Bening. After the failure of Love Affair in 1994, the project struggled to get off the ground. Toback was also in talks as possibly directing it.
- Shrink – In the mid-1990s, Beatty was considering a comedy from screenwriter James Toback, that detailed the hectic life of a psychiatrist, which Beatty was to star in. However, Beatty and Toback could never get the ending just right, so the project died.
- Beatty changed the original spelling "Beaty" in 1957. Pronounced // BAY-tee. Both Warren Beatty and his sister, Shirley MacLaine (Beaty), have said they consider only this pronunciation correct, and Warren was fond of saying the name should rhyme with "weighty", not "Wheaties". But the pronunciation // BEE-tee is so common that it is also or exclusively recorded in some reliable reference works.
- In the mid-1970s, Beatty signed a contract with Warner Bros. to star in, produce, write, and possibly direct a film about Howard Hughes. It was also during this period that Beatty approached Paul Schrader to write a script on Hughes' life, which he declined. The project was put on hold when Beatty began Heaven Can Wait. Initially, Beatty planned to film the life story of John Reed and Hughes back-to-back, but as he was getting deeper into the project, he eventually focused primarily on the Reed film Reds. After years of being away from the camera, in June 2011, it was reported that Beatty would produce, write, direct and star in a film about Hughes, focusing on an affair he had with a younger woman in the final years of his life. During this period, Beatty approached actors to star in his ensemble cast. He met with Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Owen Wilson, Justin Timberlake, Shia LaBeouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood, Rooney Mara, his wife Annette Bening, and his personal choice for the female lead, Felicity Jones. After Paramount Pictures exited the film, Regency Enterprises picked up the film in September 2011.
- It began principal photography in February 2014 and wrapped in June of the same year.
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