DELIVERANCE and NETWORK Star Ned Beatty Dies at 83
By Movieguide® Staff
Ned Beatty, an Oscar-nominated character actor, known for DELIVERANCE and SUPERMAN, died on June 13 at 83.
“Ned passed away from natural causes Sunday morning, surrounded by his family and loved ones,” Shelter Entertainment Group Talent Manager Deborah Miller told CNN.
“Beatty received only one Oscar nomination, as supporting actor for his role as corporate executive Arthur Jensen in 1976′s’ Network,’ but he contributed to some of the most popular movies of his time and worked constantly, his credits including more than 150 movies and TV shows,” NPR reported.
However, Beatty appeared in four films nominated for the Oscar best picture award in the 1970s including, DELIVERANCE, NASHVILLE, ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN, and NETWORK. Beatty also voiced Lotso from 2010s TOY STORY 3, which was also nominated.
Daily Variety called Beatty the “busiest actor in Hollywood,” according to his agency, Shelter Entertainment Group.
“For people like me, there’s a lot of ‘I know you! I know you! What have I seen you in?'” Beatty noted in an interview from 1992.
Beatty was known for his love for supporting roles, but that did not diminish his presence on the big screen.
Variety reported on the actor’s Oscar nod:
If the only performance Ned Beatty had ever given was the six minutes he appeared in ‘Network,’ he’d be an actor the world would remember. In that visionary satire-that’s-not-really-a-satire, Beatty, who died Sunday at 83, does one of the most towering one-stop scene steals of all time as Arthur Jensen, the corporate communications overlord who comes in to read the riot act to Howard Beale (Peter Finch), the mad prophet of the airwaves. Ushering Howard into an empty boardroom, he closes the blinds, which makes the room look like something out of ‘The Godfather Part II.’ He then says, ‘You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale,’ not just shouting the words but roaring them, then adding, with an up-the-ante flourish, ‘And I won’t have it!’
In the mesmerizing monologue that follows, Beatty proceeds to explain The Way Things Are. He sounds like a Pentecostal preacher (he has said that he drew the performance, in part, from his youthful memories of church), a lawyer for God, and, at several points, God himself. He’s lecturing Howard Beale, but he’s really speaking to all of us. For this, in 1976, was the first time the movies had fully articulated a vision of the synergistic world that was coming — which is to say, the world that was already here (though no one knew it yet).
It’s no exaggeration to say that Beatty made every movie, TV show, and play he was in better… He was a character actor, but one who was great enough to find the soul of every character.
Although Beatty never sang on screen, he released a Christian album called “In the Beginning Was the Word” in 2006.
He is survived by his fourth wife, Sandra Johnson, and four children.