The story of Warren Beatty is one of incessant success spanning more than forty years from his impressive break through opposite Natalie Wood in Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass and to his final directorial so far, Bulworth. His position in American cinema has never been undisputed, starting out as an often impishly sexy young romantic lead, developing through his independent, political activist playboy persona of the seventies, and to the hottest of Hollywood's fifty plus men in the late eighties and nineties.
When the almost unreasonable resourceful Beatty got his break in Splendor In the Grass, he had already turned down ten offers for a football scholarship. He then scored only fairly successful roles in a prolific 60s, before hitting it big with Bonnie and Clyde (1967). He was Oscar-nominated for best actor as well as for best picture (as a producer), and was overnight one of the most sought after men in the business.
After doing a handful of star-fueled movies in the early 70s (often opposite contemporary love interests, such as Julie Christie in McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Goldie Hawn in $ (Dollars)), Beatty has arguably been the most selective and independent performer in Hollywood history. In the nearly thirty years that has passed since 1975, Beatty has only acted in eight movies, only one of which he hasn't been either producing or directing himself. In the process he's been able to turn down roles such as the lead in The Way We Were, the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part II and recently as Bill in Kill Bill: Vol 2.
Warren Beatty's political affiliation has always been an important basis for his movies, and particularly so with two of his most acclaimed films as a director; Reds (1981) and Bulworth (1998), but also in films he has only written, such as Shampoo (1975). From the 9 films in which Beatty has been credited for work behind the camera, he has received a total of 14 Academy Award nominees. It is an achievment beyond compare.
The sophisticated, trendy, intelligent, arrogant, dominant and notoriously womanizing Beatty was finally hooked in 1992 when he married Anette Bening whom he had met during the filming of Bugsy (1991). 21 years his junior, Bening has managed what no other women has before her; keep Beatty on the mat. They now have four children and reside on Mulholland Drive along with fellow giant Jack Nicholson (and until his death, with Marlon Brando).
(On his attitude toward the press) "In a way, I'd rather ride down the street on a camel than give what is sometimes called an in-depth interview. I'd rather ride down the street on a camel nude. In a snowstorm. Backwards."
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
John McCabe (Warren Beatty): "I've got girls up here that'll do more tricks than a goddamn monkey on a hundred yards of grapevine."
The Parallax View (1974)
Joe Frady (Warren Beatty): "No, I'm.. I'm a girl."
Joe Frady (Warren Beatty): "I'm dead, Bill, and I wanna stay that way for a while."