‘Deliverance’ star was 83 – The Hollywood Reporter – –

‘Deliverance’ star was 83 – The Hollywood Reporter – –

Ned Beatty, who made an indelible first impression in Issuance before making significant efforts in Nashville, Network and Homicide: life on the streets as one of the most respected character actors of his time, has passed away. He was 83 years old.

Beatty died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on Sunday, daughter Blossom Beatty said Hollywood journalist.

The Kentucky native also portrayed Lily Tomlin’s good ol ‘lawyer-lawyer husband in Robert Altman. Nashville (1975), was a sliding Miami District Attorney in Alan J. Pakula All the president’s men (1976) and sparked laughs as Lex Luthor’s (Gene Hackman) Otis goofy sidekick in Superman (1978) and its 1980 sequel.

On television, Beatty was at her best as Det. Stanley “The Big Man” Bolander on NBC Homicide: life on the streets and as an assigned chaplain to an American Soldier (Martin Sheen) in his final hours on the dark 1974 NBC TV movie The execution of soldier Slovik.

Beatty had an excellent, deep bass voice and his goal as a teenager was to pursue a career in musical theater. One of his rare performances as a leading man is that of the great Irish tenor Josef Locke in Listen to my song (1991).

The Heartbreaking Survival Saga Issuance (1972), directed by John Boorman, starred Beatty, Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, and Ronnie Cox as buddies from Atlanta who take a trip to Highland Country to canoe down a river.

Beatty said he doubted he had a role in the photo when he sat down with Boorman, his assistant and their wives for lunch in New York City. A veteran of the local theater, he had never shot in a feature film.

“There was a very attractive lady [the wife of Boorman’s assistant] sitting next to me to my left, ”he recalls in a 1992 CBC interview,“ and I spent all the time giving it my best shot… I was terribly married. [but still] terribly flirtatious.

“I was more of the heel, and I think that’s what John Boorman liked. He said he thought I was the rudest person he had ever met.

Issuance, of course, became infamous for his 10-minute uncut male rape streak (“Squeal like a pig!”) It’s a scene viewers find it hard to digest.

Years later, Le New York Times asked Beatty to write an article on rape for the newspaper’s editorial section. “The bottom line [of his piece] and the bad news, he said, is that a man would rather be a rapist than have to identify with the rape victim.

In other Reynolds stars, Betty portrayed criminal sheriff JC Connors in white lightning (1973) and alligator (1976) and a country music singer-songwriter in WW and the Dixie Dancekings (1975). The two have also worked together in Batter’s ace (1983), To change the channel (1988) and a 1989 episode of ABC BL Stryker.

In Network (1977), directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Paddy Chayefsky, Beatty spent only one day on set and was seen onscreen for less than six minutes. Still, few could argue that he deserved his only Oscar nomination for his towering performance as Arthur Jensen, the bigwash of UBS parent conglomerate who convinces presenter Howard Beale (Peter Finch) to see it. in his way.

“You’ve meddled with the primitive forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t get it!” Jensen bellows in a dimly lit conference room.

Beatty, who often played Southern yokels and was comfortable with both comedy and drama, never seemed to regret not having more lead roles. “They cause more problems than they are worth,” he once said. People magazine. “I’m sorry for people in the star position – it’s not natural. “

Ned Beatty was born July 6, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a traveling salesman who introduced a fire hydrant system to officials in small towns. He said his voice broke when he was 10 and sang in barber shop quartets and at Baptist revivals and weddings as a teenager.

Beatty graduated from Eastern High School in 1955, then obtained a scholarship to attend the University of Transylvania, a private Christian school, in Lexington, Kentucky; in college, he managed to make ends meet by working as a butcher.

When he was about 19 he got a singing role in the play Nature route. “It was an open-air play about the two counties of Kentucky during the Civil War – one had a lot of slave owners and the other was very abolitionist,” he told the Tribute to Chicago in 1992. “Because my voice was so strong, they gave me [speaking] lines. “

The experience made him addicted to acting and in 1957 he joined the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia. (Ernest Borgnine, Hume Cronyn and Larry Linville also performed there early in their careers), moving around the country and performing.

This was followed by a stint in Washington with the Arena Stage Company, where he appeared in the original production of The great white hope, with James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. He eventually made his Broadway debut in the play after arriving in New York City in 1968.

Around this time, Beatty also landed a job as a bank robber in an FBI training film.

“About a year later, I started to be arrested,” he said. In the wings in 2001. “If I went somewhere in a small town, I would get arrested. I’m serious. That’s the way cops work. They are used to seeing pictures of bad guys. If they see you and know you’re a bad guy, they’ll arrest you. So it lasted a little while, until I started to make myself known as a movie actor.

Beatty was well known after Issuance. He went on to play a thief turned marshal in John Huston The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), a rube seller in Silver Series (1976), father of a terminally ill child Promises in the dark (1979), the head of an American spy organization in Marelle (1980) and the father of an unlikely football hero in Rudy (1993).

His film resume also included John Cassavetes Mikey et Nicky (1976), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Gray Dame Down (1978), de Steven Spielberg 1941 (1979), by Huston Sang sage (1979), Meurtres de Radioland (1994), He has a game (1998), The fortune of cookies (1999) with Altman again, Just cause (1995), Spring ahead (1999), Thunder pants (2002) and Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), and he was the deceptively cuddly voice of Lotso in Toy Story 3 (2010).

Beatty also played the role of an ex-Marine in charge of a DC community center on the short-lived CBS sitcom from 1977 to 1978. Szysznyk and played John Goodman’s father in a recurring role on ABC Roseanne.

The actor returned to the stage and to Broadway in 2003 to play Big Daddy in a revival of Cat on a hot tin roof, winning a Drama Desk Award, then spent over a year on tour in a production of Showboat.

Survivors include his fourth wife, Sandy, and children Blossom, Doug, twins Charles and Lennis, Wally, Jon, Thomas and Dorothy.

Duane Byrge contributed to this report.


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