(Henry Warren Beatty), 1937-, motion picture actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, b. Richmond, Va. An eminently bankable star, the handsome, charismatic, yet oddly elusive leading man made his film debut in Splendor in the Grass
(1961). His reputation as a Hollywood Don Juan often overshadowed his considerable talents, which were nonetheless apparent in his next smash hit, Bonnie and Clyde
(1967), which he also produced. Among his more notable later movies are Robert Altman
's McCabe and Mrs. Miller
(1971); The Parallax View
(1974); the very popular Beatty-produced Shampoo
(1975); Heaven Can Wait
(1978); the ambitious and romantic saga of the Russian Revolution Reds
(1981), for which he won the best-director Oscar; the colossal comedic flop Ishtar
(1987); the comic book-like Dick Tracy
(1991), costarring Madonna
(1991), in which his complex and forceful gangster portrait is perhaps his most effective performance; and another directorial effort, Love Affair
(1994), costarring his wife, Annette Bening. Long active in liberal politics, he briefly received media attention in 1999 as a potential presidential hopeful. The actress Shirley MacLaine is his sister.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.
Licensed from Columbia University Press