Henry Warren Beatty (born March 30, 1937) is a noted American actor, producer, screenwriter and director who may be "so vain" (as implied by Carly Simon's song), but who also proved a real innovator from the 1960s onward both artistically and in terms of what is possible for artists' careers in American film.
He started out in 1950s Hollywood as a young actor in TV productions as classy as Studio One and Playhouse 90 as well as meat and potatoes work such as a regular in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. He then hit the big time quickly in film with the hit, Splendor in the Grass that made him an instant star in the medium with a reputation for his randy pastimes and his reserved attitude to the press.
However, his career soon stumbled with a string of flops with the low point of starting production in What's New Pussycat? only to make the mistake of asking Woody Allen to write the screenplay. The comic genius took advantage of being given a bit part and proceeding to give himself more and more business by taking the equivalent amount away from Beatty. Beatty tried putting his foot down and walked, hoping the producers would try to coax him back, only to find them calling his bluff and replacing him.
At that point, Beatty resolved to have more control of his projects by becoming a film producer himself, an unheard ambition for an pretty boy actor that young. However, he proved that Hollywood thinking wrong by producing the film, Bonnie and Clyde, an innovative and daring hit that helped usher in New Hollywood.
Afterward, Beatty has distinguished himself with a string of noted films in which he served in various functions in different combinations whether it be acting, directing or producing. They include McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait (1978), Reds, Dick Tracy, Bulworth, and Bugsy. Unfortunately, his career has included major bombs like Ishtar and his own production, Town And Country. After that latter movie bombed in 2001, it took him 15 years to get back into acting.
However, these downturns do not change the fact Beatty made it possible to actors and other artist to stretch their wings and try for far more in their careers than the old stereotypes ever made seem possible. Rumors circulate that he still wants to bring Dick Tracy back to pop culture prominence and that he is working on a film about Howard Hughes. Said Hughes film would finally resurface in 2016 as Rules Don't Apply, starring Beatty and Alden Ehrenreich.
For a long time Beatty was one of Hollywood's most notorious ladies' men, with his famous loves including Natalie Wood, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton, and Madonna. He finally met his match in his fellow actress Annette Bening and, after professing for years that he had no intention of ever settling down, he finally married her in 1992 and had four children with her.
Warren Beatty on TV Tropes (actor unless otherwise noted):
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-60)
- Splendor in the Grass (1961)
- Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
- $ (1971)
- McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
- The Parallax View (1974)
- Shampoo (1975)
- Heaven Can Wait (1978)
- Reds (1981)(actor, director)
- Ishtar (1987)
- Dick Tracy (1990)(actor, director)
- Bugsy (1991)
- Bulworth (1998)(actor, director)