WARREN BEATTY


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Warren Beatty was born Henry Warren Beaty in Richmond, Virginia in 1937. His sister, who is three years older was born Shirley MacLean Beaty, but when she entered show business she changed her name to Shirley MacLaine. Beaty (he added a second "t" when he entered show business) was a star football player in high school, but his sister's success encouraged him to pursue drama, and he turned down football scholarships to study drama, first at Northwestern University and then with Stella Adler in New York City. He appeared in a lot of off-Broadway productions and TV shows, and in a single Broadway play, where he was nominated for a Tony. One of his most notable early roles was as rich teen Milton Armitage on TV's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. In 1961, he starred (opposite Natalie Wood) in his first movie, the excellent Splendor in the Grass. His next few movies were not as successful (he might have had a hit in What's New Pussycat, but he clashed with Woody Allen and quit the production), but 1965's Mickey One, while it did not do well at the box office, teamed Beatty with director Arthur Penn, and they re-teamed in 1967 with Bonnie and Clyde (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film), which was a huge success, and made Beatty a superstar. The 1970s was a great decade for Beatty, for he made seven movies, including both commercial and some critical successes, such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Parallax View, Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film). But this success led him to produce, direct, write and star in Reds (for which he won the Best Director Academy Award, and was nominated for Best Actor Academy Award role), and the movie was not very commercially successful. He then took six years off, and returned in the major bomb, Ishtar, where he and co-star Dustin Hoffman each took roles against their "type". It looked like Beatty's star years were winding down, but he returned strong with Dick Tracy and Bugsy (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film) in 1990 and 1991. But that revived success was short-lived, for his Love Affair and Bulworth did not do very well at the box office, and his 2001 Town & Country is said to have lost more money for its backers than any movie ever made, and Beatty has not made another movie since! Of course Beatty is as well known for his off-screen romances as for his on screen career (did Carly Simon write "You're So Vain" about him?), and he frequently had affairs with his co-stars, even the married ones. He seemed to be certain to never marry, but in 1992 he married Annette Bening, and they are still married and have four children! As of 2020, he is still alive at the age of 83!
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