Warren Beatty (born Henry Warren Beaty; born March 30, 1937) is an American actor, director, producer and screenwriter whose career spans over six decades. He’s the younger brother of Academy Award winning actress Shirley MacLaine. He started his career making appearances on television shows such as Studio One (1957), Kraft Television Theatre (1957), and Playhouse 90 (1959). He was a semi-regular on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis during its first season (1959–60). His performance in William Inge’s A Loss of Roses on Broadway garnered him a 1960 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play and a 1960 Theatre World Award. It was his sole appearance on Broadway. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Drama and Most Promising Newcomer – Male for his film debut in Elia Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass (1961), with Natalie Wood.
Other notable films in the 1960s include The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961), with Vivien Leigh, Lotte Lenya, Jill St. John, and Coral Browne; John Frankenheimer’s All Fall Down (1962), with Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Angela Lansbury, Brandon deWilde, Constance Ford, Barbara Baxley, Evans Evans, Madame Spivy, and Albert Paulsen; Robert Rossen’s Lilith (1964), with Jean Seberg, Peter Fonda, Kim Hunter, Anne Meacham, Jessica Walter, Hackman, James Patterson; Mickey One (1965), with Alexandra Stewart and Hurd Hatfield; Arthur Hiller’s Promise Her Anything (1965), with Leslie Caron, Bob Cummings, and Keenan Wynn; and Jack Smight’s Kaleidoscope (1966), with Susannah York and Clive Revill.
Beatty has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards, including four for Best Actor, four for Best Picture, two for Best Director, three for Original Screenplay, and one for Adapted Screenplay – winning Best Director for Reds (1981), with Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosiński, Jack Nicholson, Paul Sorvino, and Maureen Stapleton. He is the only person to have been nominated for acting in, directing, writing, and producing the same film, and he did so twice: first for Heaven Can Wait (1978), with Julie Christie, James Mason, Charles Grodin, Dyan Cannon, Buck Henry (who also co-directed), Vincent Gardenia, and Jack Warden; and again with Reds. Eight of the films Beatty has produced have earned 53 Academy nominations, and in 1999, he was awarded the Academy’s highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award.
Beatty has been nominated for 18 Golden Globe Awards, winning six, including the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, which he was honored with in 2007. Among his Golden Globe–nominated films are Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde (1967), with Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman, and Estelle Parsons; Hal Ashby’s Shampoo (1975), with Christie, Goldie Hawn, Lee Grant, Warden, Tony Bill, and Carrie Fisher; Heaven Can Wait (1978), Reds (1981), Dick Tracy (1990), with Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headly, and Charlie Korsmo; Barry Levinson’s Bugsy (1991), with Annette Bening (whom he married in 1992), Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould, Bebe Neuwirth, and Joe Mantegna; Bulworth (1998), with Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, Don Cheadle, Paul Sorvino, Warden, and Isaiah Washington; and Rules Don’t Apply (2016), with Lilly Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Bening, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Haley Bennett, Candice Bergen, Dabney Coleman, Steve Coogan, Ed Harris, Megan Hilty, Platt, Martin Sheen, and Sorvino; all of which he also produced.
Other notable films include George Stevens’ The Only Game in Town (1970), with Elizabeth Taylor; Robert Altman‘s McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), with Christie, René Auberjonois, Shelley Duvall, and Keith Carradine; Richard Brooks‘s Dollars (1971), with Hawn; Alan J. Pakula’s The Paralax View (1974), with Hume Cronyn, William Daniels, and Paula Prentiss; Mike Nichols’ The Fortune (1975), with Nicholson, Stockard Channing, Florence Stanley, Richard B. Shull, John Fiedler, and Scatman Crothers; Elaine May’s Ishtar (1987), with Isabelle Adjani, Grodin, and Jack Weston; Love Affair (1994), with Bening, Katharine Hepburn, Garry Shandling, Chloe Webb, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Capshaw, Paul Mazursky, and Brenda Vaccaro; and Peter Chelsom’s Town & Country (2001), with Keaton, Andie MacDowell, Shandling, Jenna Elfman, Nastassja Kinski, Charlton Heston, and Hawn.
Director and collaborator Arthur Penn described Beatty as “the perfect producer”, adding, “He makes everyone demand the best of themselves. Warren stays with a picture through editing, mixing and scoring. He plain works harder than anyone else I have ever seen.” Beatty’s films often have a left-leaning political message. Praising Bulworth, Patricia J. Williams said: “[Beatty] knows power… and this movie is effective precisely because it takes on the issue of power.”
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Splendor in the Grass (1961) – directed by Elia Kazan
- The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) – directed by José Quintero
- All Fall Down (1962) – directed by John Frankenheimer
- Lilith (1964) – directed by Robert Rossen
- Mickey One (1965) – directed by Arthur Penn
- Promise Her Anything (1965) – directed by Arthur Hiller
- Kaleidoscope (1966) – directed by Jack Smight
- Bonnie and Clyde (1967)** – directed by Arthur Penn – also producer
- The Only Game in Town (1970) – directed by George Stevens
- McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) – directed by Robert Altman
- Dollars (1971) – directed by Richard Brooks
- The Parallax View (1974) – directed by Alan J. Pakula
- Shampoo (1975) – directed by Hal Ashby – also co-writer, producer
- The Fortune (1975) – directed by Mike Nichols
- Heaven Can Wait (1978) – co-directed with Buck Henry – also co-writer, producer
- Reds (1981) – also director, co-writer, producer
- Ishtar (1987) – directed by Elaine May – also producer
- Dick Tracy (1990) – also director, producer
- Bugsy (1991) – directed by Barry Levinson – also co-producer
- Love Affair (1994) – directed by Glenn Gordon Caron – also co-writer, producer
- Bulworth (1998) – also director, co-writer, story, co-producer
- Town & Country (2001) – directed by Peter Chelsom
- Rules Don’t Apply (2016) – also director, writer, co-story, co-producer