Hollywood’s Playboy And Producing Prodigy
By Taylor Neumann, ReMIND Magazine
Warren Beatty was born Henry Warren Beaty on March 30, 1937, in Richmond, Virginia. He came from a Baptist family of teachers and has an older sister, actress Shirley MacLaine.
Though Beatty was a star football player in high school, he turned down numerous scholarships to instead attend Northwestern University to study liberal arts. He left after one year to attend acting school in New York City and began to take roles on television, even appearing on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis during its first season (1959-60).
In 1961 Beatty starred in his first movie, Splendor in the Grass, alongside Natalie Wood. The film was a huge success and gave Beatty Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and New Star of the Year, the latter of which he won.
This was also the time when Beatty showed interest not only in acting but also in producing films. He said of his early roles, “When I acted in films, I used to come with suggestions about the script, the lighting, the wardrobe, and people used to say, ‘Waddya want, to produce the picture as well?’ And I used to say that I supposed I did.” His first production, which began at age 29, was Bonnie and Clyde (1967). He not only starred in the film but also selected most of the cast, oversaw the script and chose the writers and director. Bonnie and Clyde was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and seven Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.
Beatty produced, cowrote and acted in Shampoo (1975), which received four Academy Award and five Golden Globe nominations. He did it again — and added director to the list — with Heaven Can Wait in 1978, nominated for nine Oscars and winning three Golden Globes. Reds (1981) earned Beatty four individual Oscar nominations — Best Picture, Director, Actor and Original Screenplay — among the film’s total 12 nominations. To this day, he is the only person to have been nominated for acting in, directing, writing and producing the same film — and he’s done it twice.
In 1990, Beatty produced, directed and starred in Dick Tracy, about the comic-strip detective, one of the highest-grossing films of the year. He followed up with Bugsy, producing and starring as the real-life gangster Bugsy Siegel. Both films were critically and commercially successful, earning a total of 17 Academy Award and 12 Golden Globe nominations between them.
Beatty was famous for his womanizing, playboy reputation — even inspiring a verse in Carly Simon’s famous song “You’re So Vain” — but has been married to actress Annette Bening since 1992, with the two having four children together. As of 2016, he was reportedly developing a sequel to Dick Tracy, but there have been no recent updates regarding the project.
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