It's a sad day as word has come in that veteran character actor Ned Beatty has died. Per TMZ, the Deliverance star's manager says Beatty passed away in his sleep at around 7:30 A.M. on Sunday due to natural causes while surrounded by his family, friends, and loved ones. He was 83 years old.
Ned Thomas Beatty was born on July 6, 1937, in Louisville, Kentucky. When he was about 19, he got a part in the play Wilderness Road, and the experience gave him the acting bug. He moved around the country performing on stage which includes appearing in the original production of The Great Whiote Hope with James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. He made his Broadway debut in the play when it came to New York in 1968.
In 1972, Beatty made his movie debut in the acclaimed thriller Deliverance, and this would also become one of his most well-known roles. Also starring Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds, the movie features a very disturbing scene involving Beatty's character that has also come to be known as one of the most shocking moments in movie history. Beatty attended a 40th anniversary screening of Deliverance with Voight, Reynolds, and Ronny Cox at Warner Bros. in 2012.
"You know what, at that point in my acting career, I thought I could act anything," Beatty said at the time of making his movie debut with such a shocking and disturbing performance, per Beverly Cinema. "And I could. So, what would be the problem?
"He should have been nominated [for an Oscar]," Reynolds also said of Beatty's performance in a 2018 interview on Conan.
Beatty, who despite a popular misconception is not related to actor Warren Beatty, would continue to appear in various movies and shows over the next several decades. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the 1976 movie Network and was up for Emmys in the miniseries Friendly Fire in 1979 and Last Train Home in 1990. His TV work includes playing John Goodman's father in a recurring role on the sitcom Roseanne. For his role as the Irish tenor Josef Locke for 1990's Hear My Song, he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe Award.
Some of Beatty's other famous roles include playing lawyer Delbert Reese in Nashville, undercover agent Bob Sweet in Silver Streak, Lex Luthor's henchman in Superman and Superman II, Father Edwards in Exorcist II: The Heretic, and Congressman Doc Long in Charlie Wilson's War. Along with voicing Tortoise John in Rango, he also played voiced the antagonist Lots O' Huggin' Bear in the hit animated sequel Toy Story 3, a role that earned him an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Villain.
During his life, Beatty was married four times and had eight children. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Johnson, with whom he'd been married since 1999, along with his children and grandchildren. Our thoughts go out to the actor's family and friends at this time. May he rest in peace. This news arrives from The Hollywood Reporter.