Henry Warren Beaty (born March 30, 1937 in Richmond, Virginia), now known as Warren Beatty, is an American actor, producer, screenwriter, and director. He long had a reputation as a womanizer and playboy, but this reputation has faded since his 1992 marriage. The Academy Awards honored him with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 2000, presented by his close friend Jack Nicholson, while in 2004 he received Kennedy Center Honor.
Beatty, a 1959 Northwestern University graduate got his start in film under Elia Kazan's direction and opposite Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass (1961), though he had previous television experience in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959). At age 30 he achieved critical acclaim as producer and star of Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards.
Subsequent Beatty films include McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Parallax View (1974), Shampoo (1975), and Heaven Can Wait (1978). His historical epic set at the start of World War I, Reds (1981), won Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role while losing Best Picture to Chariots of Fire. It was nominated for eight other Oscars and joined a handful of films to win Best Director but not Best Picture. Other critically acclaimed works include Bugsy (1991) and Bulworth (1998).
Beatty's career as a ladies man has been marked by a series of well-publicized romances, including Diane Keaton, Leslie Caron, Isabelle Adjani, Catherine Deneuve, Inger Stevens, Lana Wood, Linda McCartney, Margaux Hemingway, Natalie Wood, Joan Collins, Cher, Brooke Hayward, Faye Dunaway, Maria Callas, Judy Carne, Daryl Hannah, Susannah York, Liv Ullmann, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Julie Christie, Princess Margaret, Joni Mitchell, Janice Dickinson, Goldie Hawn, Jessica Savitch, Michelle Phillips, Britt Ekland, Mary Tyler Moore, Candice Bergen, Mamie Van Doren, Carol Alt, Connie Chung, Kate Jackson, Lillian Hellman, Diane Sawyer, Barbra Streisand, Elle Macpherson, Carly Simon, Jane Fonda, Justine Bateman, Bianca Jagger, Stephanie Seymour, Diana Ross, Melanie Griffith, Barbara Hershey, and Madonna. He settled down at 55, marrying Annette Bening, his co-star in the gangster film Bugsy, in 1992. They have four children together: Kathlyn (b. 1992), Benjamin (b. 1994), Isabel (b. 1997) and Ella Corinne (b. April 8, 2000). Beatty is the younger brother of actress and writer Shirley MacLaine.
A longtime activist in various liberal political causes, Beatty has, at various times in the past, been extremely active in the presidential politics of the Democratic Party.
In 1968, he hit the campaign trail for the first time, supporting Senator Robert F. Kennedy's bid for his party's presidential nomination. His involvement in the senator's campaign, which included stump speaking and fundraising, was cut short when Kennedy was shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan on the same night that he won a crucial primary in California.
Four years later, Beatty joined the campaign of Senator George McGovern as an advisor. As part of the so-called "Malibu Mafia," a group of Hollywood celebrities who were part of the candidate's "inner circle," Beatty gave McGovern's campaign manager Gary Hart advice about the handling of public relations and was instrumental in organizing a series of rock-concerts which raised over $1 million for the senator's campaign.
In 1984, and again in 1988, Beatty was to play a similar role in Hart's own presidential campaigns. Hart, who had, by that time, become a senator himself, had become friends with Beatty during the 1972 campaign and the relationship had grown closer during the intervening decade. After Hart's second campaign imploded over allegations that he had committed adultery with a former beauty queen named Donna Rice, a mutual friend of the two explained why they were so close: "Gary always wanted to have Warren's life and Warren always wanted to have Gary's. It was a match made in heaven."
Beatty himself was to become presidential timber during the summer of 1999. After it became clear that the only two contenders for the Democratic Party's nomination were to be Vice President Al Gore and former Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Beatty made it generally known that he was dissatisfied with the two choices and began to drop hints that he might be willing to seek the nomination himself. After meeting with several powerful liberal activists and influential Democratic operatives, including pollster Pat Caddell, who had worked previously for Hart, McGovern, and President Jimmy Carter, and adman Bill Hillsman, who had worked on the campaigns of Senator Paul Wellstone and Governor Jesse Ventura, Beatty announced in September of 1999 that he would not seek the nomination. However, he continued to be courted by members of a different political party, the Reform Party, who were looking for an alternative to Pat Buchanan, a conservative who had switched parties after losing the Republican Party's presidential nomination for the third time in a row. Despite frequent entreaties by Governor Ventura, real-estate magnate Donald Trump, and syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, Beatty refused to enter the race and Buchanan eventually won the Reform Party's nomination. Later in the campaign, Beatty announced that he was endorsing Ralph Nader for president.
Despite his decision not to seek the presidency in 2000, Beatty intimated that he might still run at a later time, telling reporters that he would do so if he thought he "could make an impact on the debate."