Mar. 30th, 1937
Richmond, Virginia, USA
Warren Beatty's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
2005 - Inside Deep Throat
2003 - A Decade Under the Influence
2001 - Town & Country
1998 - Bulworth
1994 - Love Affair
1991 - Bugsy
1991 - Madonna: Truth or Dare
1990 - Dick Tracy
1987 - Ishtar
1981 - Reds
1978 - Heaven Can Wait
1975 - Shampoo
1974 - The Parallax View
1971 - McCabe & Mrs. Miller
1967 - Bonnie and Clyde
1965 - Mickey One
1961 - Splendor in the Grass
Guest TV Roles
First Card Player
One of the most fascinating characters in Hollywood history, Warren Beatty was born Henry Warren Beaty in Richmond, Virginia on March 30, 1937. His mother, Kathlyn, was a drama teacher who gave it up to settle down in Virginia and raise a family, although it was never in doubt that Beatty and his sister, the actress and dancer Shirley MacLaine, would themselves be raised to pursue stardom - each was urged to be successful and achieve from a very early age.
Beatty attended high school in Arlington, Virginia and then Northwestern University, but, not to be outdone by his rising-star big sister, dropped out after his first year to study acting under the legendary Stella Adler. He found his first screen role, in the TV sitcom "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1959), to be "ridiculous" and quickly abandoned it to work on the Broadway stage, the highlight of which was his Tony-nominated performance in "A Loss of Roses".
Beatty's first major film role came in the drama Splendor in the Grass (1961), as the confused Bud. Critics refused to take the handsome young Beatty seriously, and he strove to turn this around with his arty crime drama Mickey One (1965), directed by Arthur Penn (I), which got favorable notices but did not find an audience. Next he starred in a light-weight comedy, Promise Her Anything (1965), along with the lovely Leslie Caron and the charismatic Beatty, already a Lothario, began an affair with his married co-star which was cited in Caron's divorce proceedings.
Beatty teamed up again with Penn for the movie that would elevate his status in Hollywood, the classic Bonnie and Clyde (1967), in which he and co-star Faye Dunaway played the quirky outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The movie's powerful performances, strong direction and controversially graphic violence made it a huge hit, and Beatty finally found himself taken seriously.
Over the next decade, Beatty starred in, produced and occasionally directed some of the most important films in Hollywood, some critically praised, such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971); others prescient social commentaries, such as Shampoo (1975) which itself became an important event in popular culture; others were wonderful updates of Hollywood classics, such as Heaven Can Wait (1978). He capped this all off with his hugely ambitious recounting of the American radical journalist John Reed's experiences in Bolshevik Russia, Reds (1981), for which Beatty, already nominated for acting Oscars several times, finally won as best director. Beatty was an intrinsic part of the renaissance of Hollywood in the 1970s, when films were being made every year that were important as well as successful.
Beatty's remarkable career stalled in the 1980s. In fact, he was absent from the screen for most of that decade, and when his next film after Reds (1981) finally came, it was the legendarily disastrous Ishtar (1987), one of the biggest film catastrophes of not only the decade, but all time. Beatty's next movie, Dick Tracy (1990) was colorful and a box office success, but was greeted with tepid reviews. Following this came Bugsy (1991), a biopic of the life of gangster and Las Vegas visionary Bugsy Siegel, which was another box office failure. Beatty married his Bugsy (1991) co-star, Annette Bening, and produced and starred with her in another costly disaster, Love Affair (1994). Beatty revisited his "Ishtar" nadir with his expensive 2001 comedy Town & Country (2001), which was both a box office and critical debacle.
Fortunately, in the midst of all this bad news Beatty's creative best resurfaced in 1998 with his Bulworth (1998), an arch political satire about a liberal California senator forced to resort to the right-wing politics of the day to retain his seat. Disillusioned, Bullworth puts out a contract on his own life and while waiting to die decides to graphically show the ugliness that has become politics to the public, but his fatal plan is complicated when he falls for a beautiful young woman from South Central LA (Halle Berry). Bulworth (1998) was a reminder that Beatty was still capable of making movies that are remarkable, entertaining and successful.
In his prime Beatty was almost as famous for his love life as he was for his movie-making, having been connected with a galaxy of beautiful starlets, a "who's who" list reported to include Natalie Wood (I), Cher (I), Madonna, Julie Christie (I), Joan Collins, Leslie Caron, Liv Ullmann, Brigitte Bardot, Carly Simon (who is rumored to have written "You're so Vain" about him), Elle Macpherson, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Candice Bergen, and Britt Ekland. Notorious for his alleged "love 'em and leave 'em" treatment of many of these women, an aging Beatty had the tables turned on him by the sultry diva, supermodel Stephanie Seymour, who unceremoniously dropped Beatty to pursue W. Axl Rose of rock band 'Guns N' Roses'. Soon after that, Beatty settled down with Bening. The couple have four children.
- Lives on famed "Bad Boy Drive" a.k.a. Muholland Drive in Beverly Hills, CA. Nicknamed so because its famed residents are bad boy actors 'Marlon Brando' (qv), 'Jack Nicholson' (qv), and Beatty.
- Was an advisor on 'George McGovern' (qv)'s 1972 presidential campaign.
- His two favorite cartoon characters are Daffy Duck (who is his all time favorite) and Johnny Bravo.
- 'Oliver Stone (I)' (qv) tried casting him twice - once as Gordon Gekko in _Wall Street (1987)_ (qv) and then as Richard M. Nixon in _Nixon (1995)_ (qv).
- Became close to 'Robert F. Kennedy' (qv) during his 1968 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Beatty's relationship with Robert F. Kennedy was closer than the one Beatty had had with 'John F. Kennedy' (qv). Beatty was particularly valuable during the campaign in firing up volunteers for such mundane activities as door-to-door canvassing. Robert F. Kennedy was impressed by Beatty's thorough understanding of the issues. After the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Beatty's hometown of Los Angeles, Beatty became a vocal gun control advocate.
- Rumored to have been the subject of 'Carly Simon' (qv) hit, 'You're So Vain'.
- A relative of his on his mothers side was the last sitting Communist member of the Canadian Parliament.
- He was co-respondent in the 1966 divorce case involving the dancer-actress 'Leslie Caron' (qv) and the producer 'Peter Hall (I)' (qv).