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Ned Beatty

Once hailed by Daily Variety as the busiest actor in Hollywood, Ned Beatty grew up in Kentucky, fishing and working on farms. St. Matthews, Kentucky is hardly the environment to encourage a career in the entertainment industry.

Accomplished in film, stage and television, Beatty has garnered praise from both critics and peers as a dedicated actor's actor. He started as a professional performer at age 10 when he earned pocket money singing in gospel quartets and a barbershop. The big city and bright lights did not come easy, though. The first 10 years of Beatty's career were spent at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. He then moved on to the Erie Playhouse in Pennsylvania, the Playhouse Theater in Houston, Texas and the prestigious Arena Stage Company in Washington, D.C. He was also a member of Shakespeare in Central Park, Louisville, Kentucky. Later the actor appeared in the Broadway production of The Great White Hope. At the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, he won rave reviews when he starred in The Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

In 1971, Beatty was chosen by director John Boorman to play one of the intrepid river explorers in the hit film Deliverance. This marked the beginning of his prolific movie career, with films including Silver Streak; W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, Network, for which he received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor; Nashville; Superman I and II; The Toy; All The President's Men; Wise Blood; Restless Native; The Big Easy; The Passage; Switching Channels; Midnight Crossing; Purple People Eater; Time Trackers; Physical Evidence; Hear My Song, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor; Prelude to a Kiss; Just Cause; He Got Game; and Cookie's Fortune. Most recently, Beatty completed The Walker, a Paul Schrader film also starring Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Willem Dafoe and Lily Tomlin, and appeared in Shooter, an Antoine Fuqua film starring Mark Wahlberg.

Beatty's numerous television credits include three years on the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street; the miniseries Gulliver's Travels; Streets of Laredo; The Boys; Trial: The Price of Passion; and The Last Days of Pompeii, with Laurence Olivier. He received a Best Actor Emmy Award nomination for his performance in Friendly Fire, opposite Carol Burnett, and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Family Channel's Last Train Home. Other notable credits include The Execution of Private Slovik, A Woman Called Golda, Pray TV, Robert Kennedy & His Times, Lockerbie and T Bone N Weasel. He also had a recurring role on Roseanne and performed musically on television specials for Dolly Parton and the Smothers Brothers.

In 2001, Beatty returned to his theatrical roots starring in London's West End revival production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Brendan Fraser and Francis O'Connor. He also appeared in the production on Broadway from 2003 to 2004 with Jason Patric and Ashley Judd.

In 2006 Beatty garnered two Career Achievement in Acting Awards for his work in the indie film Sweet Land. He also received a Master of American Cinema at the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Blessed with eight children, Beatty enjoys golf and playing the bass guitar. He gives himself until the age of 70 to become proficient at both.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Ned Beatty Facts

Birth NameNed Thomas Beatty
BirthdayJuly 6, 1937 (85)
BirthplaceLouisville, Kentucky, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.