in Shampoo (1975)
|Born||Henry Warren Beaty
March 30, 1937
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer, screenwriter|
|Family||Shirley MacLaine (sister)|
Beatty has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards, and has won the Best Director Award and the Academy's highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award. He has been nominated for 16 Golden Globe Awards and won six, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2007. Only Beatty and Orson Welles have been nominated for best producer, director, writer and actor in the same film—Welles once (for Citizen Kane), and Beatty twice (for Heaven Can Wait and Reds).
Beatty was born Henry Warren Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. His mother, Kathlyn Corinne (née MacLean), was a Nova Scotia-born teacher, and his father, Ira Owens Beaty, had a PhD in educational psychology, was a public school administrator, and dealt in real estate. Beatty's grandparents were also educators. The family was Baptist. In 1945, the family moved from Richmond to Arlington, Virginia. Beatty's elder sister is the actress/dancer/writer Shirley MacLaine.
Beatty was a star football player at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. 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. He was reportedly offered ten football scholarships to college, but rejected them to study liberal arts at Northwestern University (1954–1955), where he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. After his first year, he left college to move to New York City, where he studied acting with Stella Adler. His performance in William Inge's A Loss of Roses on Broadway in 1960 garnered him a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor and a 1960 Theatre World Award. It was his sole appearance on Broadway.
Under his original name of Henry W. Beaty, Warren Beatty enlisted in the California Air National Guard on February 11, 1960. On January 1, 1961, Beatty was discharged from the Air National Guard due to physical disability. He was simultaneously discharged from the United States Air Force Reserve (USAF), and served on inactive duty only.
1950s and 1960s
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 regular on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis during its first season ('59–'60). 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.
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, when he was 29 years old, he 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, chose Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons for lead roles, oversaw the script and spearheaded the delivery of the film. It was a critical and commercial success, and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and 7 Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor.
1970s and 1980s
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 Screenplay, as well as five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. In 1978, Beatty directed, produced, wrote and acted in Heaven Can Wait (1978). The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay. It also won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.
Beatty's next film was Reds (1981), an historical epic about the 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 (made all the more noticeable considering it was 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 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 7 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay. Beatty won the Golden Globe for Best Director. Following Reds, Beatty did not appear in a film for five years until his comeback in 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 commercially unsuccessful. Puttnam attacked several other overbudget U.S. films greenlit by his predecessor, and was fired shortly thereafter.
1990s and 2000s
In 1990, Beatty produced, directed and played the title role as comic strip based detective Dick Tracy in the film of the same name. The film was critically acclaimed and one of the highest grossers of the year. It received 7 Academy Award nominations and 4 Golden Globe Award nominations, including for Best 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 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. The film also received eight Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor, winning for Best Picture. His next film, Love Affair (1994), directed by Glenn 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 Screenplay. The film also received three Golden Globe Award nominations, for Best Picture, Actor, and Screenplay. In 2001, he made his last film appearance to date in Town and Country, directed by Peter Chelsom and produced by Simon Fields, which received mixed reviews and did not fare well commercially.
Beatty has appeared briefly in numerous documentaries, including: Arthur Penn, 1922–: Themes and Variants (1970), Year of the Woman (1973), George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984), Dick Tracy: Behind the Badge, Behind the Scenes (1990), Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991), Bugsy: The Dark Passion of an American Dreamer (1991), Victory & Valor: Special Olympics World Games (1991), Writing With Light: Vittorio Storaro (1992), The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies (1995), Forever Hollywood (1999), Dean Tavoularis: The Magician of Hollywood (2003), One Bright Shining Moment (2005), The Road to Damascus: The Reinvention of Bugsy Siegel (2006), In Search of Puppy Love (2007), American Masters (2008), and Revolution! The Making of Bonnie and Clyde (2008).
Since the 1960s, Beatty has been active in the Democratic Party. In multiple forums he has addressed campaign finance reform, the increasing disparity of wealth, universal health care, gun control, and the need for the Democratic Party to return to its roots. In 1968, he campaigned with Senator Robert F. Kennedy in his bid for the Democratic nomination. That same year, Beatty traveled throughout the United States speaking in favor of gun control and against the war in Vietnam.
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. In 1976 with California Governor Jerry Brown, and in 1984 and 1988 with Colorado Senator Gary Hart, Beatty played a similar role in their presidential campaigns. Beatty was rumored to be considering becoming a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination during the summer of 1999. He never publicly expressed an interest in doing so. When a recall of California Governor Gray Davis was set in motion, Beatty campaigned against the 2003 special election. In 2005, he was the keynote speaker at the California Nurses Association's convention, gave the commencement speech at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and campaigned against Governor Schwarzenegger's ballot propositions. The propositions were defeated, increasing speculation that Beatty might run against Schwarzenegger in the 2006 election, but Beatty denied he would seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
He 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 Philip 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 2006.
He was nominated twice for the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director, and received the award for Reds. He was nominated four times for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay, which he received three times for Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, and 'Reds'. 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 was nominated six times and received the Saturn Award three times for Best Film, Actor, and Screenplay. He received two Photoplay Awards for Best Actor and Best Film. He received an American Movie Award in 1981. He was nominated for three Golden Laurel Awards, winning Best Action-Drama for Bonnie and Clyde.
In 1999, Beatty was nominated for the Golden Satellite Award for Best Actor. He has received awards from numerous critic organizations, including sixteen nominations and ten awards for producing, writing, acting, and directing from the New York and the Los Angeles Film Critics, the National Board of Review, and the National Society of Film Critics.
Beatty received numerous awards and nominations for Bulworth, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay, and nominations for the Academy, Writers Guild, Golden Globe, and the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards for Best Screenplay. The film also received Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor, the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Award for Best Film, and a Satellite Award for Best Actor.
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: Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (France, 1992); David di Donatello Award twice, for Best Actor and Best Producer, from the Academy of Italian Cinema and its Lifetime Achievement Award (Italy, 1998). In 1998, he was also nominated for a Golden Lion Award for Best Film for Bulworth and received a Career Golden Lion Award from the Venice Film Festival. He was also nominated for the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award for Best Director for Dick Tracy. He received the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Sebastián International Film Festival (2001, Spain). He was nominated for two BAFTA awards for Best Actor, and he received the British Academy Fellowship from BAFTA (2002) and the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award (2011).
Beatty married actress Annette Bening on March 12, 1992. With his wife, Beatty received the Champion of Children Award from the Children's Institute International, the Caritas Award from the Saint John's Health Center, the Stem Cell Champions Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the in the Line of Duty Award from the Los Angeles Police Protective League's Eagle and Badge Foundation. They have four children.
- Random House Unabridged Dictionary and Time magazine, but /ˈbiːti/ BEE-tee according to the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary.
- Warren Beatty profile at FilmReference.com
- Warren Beatty profile at www.adherents.com
- Actor Warren Beatty gives public-policy graduates – and Gov. Schwarzenegger – some advice on power
- Beatty Sues Tribune Over Dick Tracy Rights, Yahoo News, March 21, 2009
- McGovern, George S., Grassroots: The Autobiography of George McGovern, New York: Random House, 1977, pp. 172–3, 178
- Ellis Amburn, The Sexiest Man Alive : A Biography of Warren Beatty, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, 2002. ISBN 0-06-018566-X
- Suzanne Finstad, Warren Beatty : A Private Man, Random House, Inc., New York, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4606-8
- Mark Harris, "Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of New Hollywood", Penguin Press, New York, 2008. ISBN 978-1-59420-152-3
- Suzanne Munshower, "Warren Beatty: His Life, His Loves, HIs Work", St. Martin's Press, New York, 1990. ISBN 0-8065-0670-9
- Lawrence Quirk, "The Films of Warren Beatty", Citadel Press, New Jersey, 1979. ISBN 0-8065-0670-9
- Stephen J. Ross, "Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics", Oxford Press, New York, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-518172-2
- Peter Swirski, "1990s That Dirty Word, Socialism: Warren Beatty's Bulworth." Ars Americana Ars Politica. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7735-3766-8
- David Thomson, "Warren Beatty: A Life and Story", Secker and Warburg, London, 1987. ISBN 0-436-52015-X
- David Thomson, "Warren Beatty and Desert Eyes", Doubleday and Co., Inc., New York, 1987. ISBN 0-385-18707-6
- Peter Biskind, Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America, Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7432-4658-3
- Peter Biskind, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-drugs-and-rock-'n'-roll Generation Saved Hollywood", Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 1998. ISBN 0-684-80996-6
- Warren Beatty at the Internet Movie Database
- Warren Beatty at the Internet Broadway Database
- Warren Beatty at AllRovi
- The Carolyn Jackson Collection, no. 13 – Interview with Warren Beatty, from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image
- AFI Tribute to Warren Beatty, 2008, with Elaine May speaking