Henry Warren Beaty (born March 30, 1937), now known as Warren Beatty, is an American actor, producer, screenwriter, and director. He long had a reputation as a womanizer and playboy, but that reputation has faded since his 1992 marriage to Annette Bening. The Academy Awards honored him with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 2000, presented by his close friend Jack Nicholson, while in 2004 he received a Kennedy Center Honor.
Warren Beatty was born In Richmond, VA to an American father whose family had lived
there for several centuries, and a Canadian mother of half Scottish and half
Irish descent; the family was devoutly Baptist. His sister is the actress and
writer Shirley MacLaine.
Warren Beatty started out his career by doing several auditions, and he was first choice (after Elvis Presley) for the lead role in West Side Story, but the role eventually went to Richard Beymer. Eventually, he got his start in film under Elia Kazan's direction and opposite Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass (1961), though he had previous television experience in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959). At age 30 he achieved critical acclaim and power as a producer and star of Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards.
Subsequent Warren Beatty films include McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Parallax View (1974), Shampoo (1975), and Heaven Can Wait (1978). The last film gave him the box-office power he hadn't had since Bonnie & Clyde. He used this to make Reds (1981), a historical epic about famed Communist journalist John Reed in the Russian October Revolution. It won Academy Awards for Best Director (Beatty), Best Cinematography, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Maureen Stapleton) while losing Best Picture to Chariots of Fire. It was nominated for eight other Oscars and joined a handful of films to win Best Director but not Best Picture. Other critically acclaimed works include Bugsy (1991) and Bulworth (1998). Beatty is the only person other than Orson Welles to receive Oscar nominations in the same year for acting, directing, writing, and producing, and he did it twice, in 1978 and 1981.
Warren Beatty's career as a ladies' man has been marked by a series of well-publicized romances, including Madonna, Isabelle Adjani, Candice Bergen, Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Joan Collins, Catherine Deneuve, Janice Dickinson, Faye Dunaway, Britt Ekland, Jane Fonda, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Brooke Hayward, Margaux Hemingway, Barbara Hershey, Bianca Jagger, Diane Keaton, Elle Macpherson, Joni Mitchell, Michelle Phillips, Diana Ross, Jessica Savitch, Diane Sawyer, Stephanie Seymour, Carly Simon (whose song "You're So Vain" is thought by many to be representing him, although Simon has never confirmed or denied this), Inger Stevens, Barbra Streisand, Liv Ullmann, Natalie Wood (who left her first marriage to Robert Wagner for him), and Susannah York. He settled down at 55, marrying Annette Bening, his co-star in the gangster film Bugsy, in 1992. They have four children: Kathlyn (b. 1992), Benjamin (b. 1994), Isabel (b. 1997) and Ella Corinne (b. April 8, 2000).
Though perhaps not respected for his acting ability as much as some of his contemporaries, Beatty has played a wide range of characters to critical acclaim and has always involved himself heavily in the production of his movies.
In May 2005, Warren Beatty sued Tribune Co. for 30 million dollars in damages, claiming he still maintains the rights to Dick Tracy (1990). Beatty received the rights in 1985 and is now claiming that 17 years later Tribune moved to reclaim them in violation of various notification procedures. Dick Tracy grossed over $100 million dollars upon its release in 1990, making it the highest grossing film of Beatty's career. There are also rumors that he plans to make a sequel. Whether or not he intends to star in it, it seems very unlikely for that to happen, as Beatty is now almost 70.
A longtime activist in various liberal political causes, Warren Beatty has, at various times, been extremely active in the presidential politics of the Democratic Party.
In 1968, he hit the campaign trail for the first time, supporting Senator Robert F. Kennedy's bid for his party's presidential nomination. His involvement in the senator's campaign, which included stump speaking and fundraising, was cut short when Kennedy was shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan on the same night that he won a crucial primary in California.
Four years later, Warren Beatty joined the campaign of Senator George McGovern as an advisor. As part of the so-called "Malibu Mafia," a group of Hollywood celebrities who were part of the candidate's "inner circle," Beatty gave McGovern's campaign manager Gary Hart advice about the handling of public relations and was instrumental in organizing a series of rock concerts which raised over $1 million for the senator's campaign.
In 1984, and again in 1988, Warren Beatty was to play a similar role in Hart's own presidential campaigns. Hart, who had, by that time, become a senator himself, had become friends with Beatty during the 1972 campaign and the relationship had grown closer during the intervening decade. After Hart's second campaign imploded over allegations that he had committed adultery with a former beauty queen named Donna Rice, a mutual friend of the two explained why they were so close: "Gary always wanted to have Warren's life and Warren always wanted to have Gary's. It was a match made in heaven."
Warren Beatty himself was to become presidential timber during the summer of 1999. After it became clear that the only two contenders for the Democratic Party's nomination were to be Vice President Al Gore and former Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Beatty made it generally known that he was dissatisfied with the two choices and began to drop hints that he might be willing to seek the nomination himself. After meeting with several powerful liberal activists and influential Democratic operatives, including pollster Pat Caddell, who had worked previously for Hart, McGovern, and President Jimmy Carter, and adman Bill Hillsman, who had worked on the campaigns of Senator Paul Wellstone and Governor Jesse Ventura, Beatty announced in September of 1999 that he would not seek the nomination. However, he continued to be courted by members of a different political party, the Reform Party, who were looking for an alternative to Pat Buchanan, a conservative who had switched parties after losing the Republican Party's presidential nomination for the third time in a row. Despite frequent entreaties by Governor Ventura, real-estate magnate Donald Trump, and syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, Beatty refused to enter the race and Buchanan eventually won the Reform Party's nomination. Later in the campaign, Beatty announced that he was endorsing Ralph Nader for president.
Despite Warren Beatty's decision not to seek the presidency in 2000, Beatty intimated that he might still run at a later time, telling reporters that he would do so if he thought he "could make an impact on the debate."
As California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's popularity with California voters dropped, Beatty campaigned against the special election in November 2005. He was the keynote speaker at the California Nurses Association's 2005 convention, and recorded radio ads urging voters to reject Schwarzenegger's ballot proposals. The propositions were defeated at the ballot box, increasing speculation that Beatty may run against Schwarzenegger in the 2006 election. Beatty has said that he is reluctant to enter the race because of the possibility of revealing his s--ual liaisons, but he has not ruled it out.
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