The Life of the Multitalented Warren Beatty

85-year-old Henry Warren Beatty is an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer with over six decades of experience in the movie industry. Warren is the only individual who has ever been nominated for his role as an actor, director, writer, and producer in the same movie.

Warren Beatty / Michelle Phillips, Warren Beatty, Madonna, Warren Beatty / Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty / Annette Bening, Warren Beatty.
Source: Getty Images

The actor is married to actress Annette Bening, and they have been together since 1992. Despite Warren’s past romantic escapades with multiple women, the pair has four beautiful children. In 2012, their eldest child revealed his transgender status to the world.

The Life of Young Warren Beatty

Warren Beatty’s birth name is Henry Warren Beatty. On March 30, 1937, Warren was born in Richmond, Virginia. Beatty’s mother, Kathlyn Corinne, was a teacher, and his father, Ira Owens Beatty, was a teacher and school administrator involved in real estate.

A studio portrait of Warren Beatty.
Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis/Getty Images

Warren’s grandparents were also teachers. Beatty’s elder sister is the famous actress, writer, and dancer, Shirley MacLaine, and she was the major person who aroused Warren’s interest in movies. Before Warren became a teenager, he was already interested in movies, often watching many with his sister.

‘The Philadelphia Story’ – Warren’s Earliest Movie Influence

One film that greatly influenced young Warren was “The Philadelphia Story,” produced in 1940. Beatty saw it after its second release in the 1950s and discovered something interesting. The star actress, Katharine Hepburn, bore a striking resemblance to his mother.

A still from The Philadelphia Story.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: MGM

In many ways, Katherine not only looked like his mother, but their personalities were similar. According to the young star, his mother and the actress symbolized “perpetual integrity.” Another movie that influenced Warren was “Love Affair” (1939), which he found very touching, and he recalls it was a movie he told himself he would remake.

Warren Beatty was a Football Player in High School

Beatty was one of the star football players at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington before he decided to start acting. His sister’s success as a Hollywood star encouraged a teenage Warren to take a chance on acting, writing, directing, and producing.

A high school portrait of Warren Beatty.
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In the summer before his senior year of high school, Warren worked as a stagehand at the National Theatre in Washington DC. After Beatty graduated from high school, he received 10 college football scholarship offers, but he rejected them to study liberal arts at Northwestern University.

The Beginning of Warren’s Acting Career

In Beatty’s first year at Northwestern, he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity, but after his first year, he left the university and moved to New York City. He attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where he studied under the famous acting coach Stella Adler.

A photo of a young Warren Beatty.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From 1957, Beatty was occasionally on TV and stage. He earned his first recurring role for the TV series “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” in 1959. However, Warren left the show before the end of the first season to make a Broadway appearance in “A Loss of Roses.”

Beatty on Broadway and ‘Splendor in the Grass’

In William Inge’s Broadway production, Beatty’s performance was so good that he got a 1960 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play. The young actor also received a Theatre World Award for his only appearance on the same Broadway show.

A still of Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

In the 1961 screen debut of “Splendor in the Grass,” Warren played the role of a troubled teen who was in love with Elia Kazan. The movie was an instant hit, and Beatty received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

Kazan the Mentor and Father Figure

According to author Peter Biskind, Beatty knew the importance of having mentors or father figures in the movie industry if he was to learn effectively. The first person out of a string of top directors that Warren chose as a mentor was Kazan.

A picture of Warren Beatty and Elia Kazan behind the scenes.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

Kazan was a fantastic director with so much confidence in his craft due to age and years of success. According to the late director, Beatty had a lot of energy, keen intelligence, and a great deal of confidence such that he never needed to advertise himself.

Mentor Kazan Passed on in 2003

The famous American film and theatre director, actor, producer, and screenwriter died in his Manhattan home on Sept. 28, 2003. Years after Kazan passed on, Beatty gave a tribute in honor of the man who gave him the most significant break in his career.

A photo of Warren Beatty and Elia Kazan.
Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis/Getty Images

Biskind also added that Beatty and Kazan are distinct in so many ways. Kazan was the mentor, while Warren was the protégé. Beatty was the student; Kazan was the director. Kazan was the immigrant; Warren was the native son. Despite their differences, they connected and learned from each other.

Warren Beatty and the Evolution of His Movie Career

Some of the other movies that followed after the creation of his first movie include: “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone,” produced in 1961, “All Fall Down” (1962), “Lilith” (1963), “Promise Her Anything” (1964), “Mickey One” (1965), and “Kaleidoscope” (1966) directed by Jack Smight.

A still of Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde.
Photo by Henry Gris/FPG/Getty Images

In 1965, Warren started a production company called Tatira. The company was named after his mother, Kathlyn, who bore the nickname Tat, and his father, Ira. When Beatty turned 29, he produced and acted in the movie “Bonnie and Clyde.” The film was released in 1967.

Beatty the One-Man Movie Crew

Before the production of “Bonnie and Clyde” began, Warren set up a team of writers that included David Newman and Robert Benton, and director Arthur Penn. He also handpicked most of the cast members like Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Faye Dunaway, and Michael J. Pollard.

A scene from Bonnie and Clyde with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.
Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images

Warren did a fantastic job ensuring the script was up to standard and the delivery of the film was successful. “Bonnie and Clyde” was a critical commercial success even though studio head Jack Warner lost money on the production.

‘Bonnie and Clyde’ Received Award Nominations

Despite the challenges that came up, “Bonnie and Clyde” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Picture. The movie received a nomination for seven Golden Globe Awards, of which the award for Best Picture and Best Actor is part.

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty at the premiere of Bonnie and Clyde.
Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Originally, Beatty was entitled to 40% of the proceedings from the film. However, he gave % to the director Arthur Penn and took only 30%, which amounted to over $6 million. After the production of “Bonnie and Clyde,” Beatty acted in many other movies.

Beatty Creates a New Power Dynamic in Politics

Aside from the fact that the award-winning actor was dedicated to his career, he was also quite involved in political projects. In 1972, Warren organized and produced a series of benefit concerts to assist with publicity and fundraising for George McGovern’s presidential campaign.

A picture of Warren Beatty during a benefit fundraising.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

He organized live concerts and was able to get Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, and Carole King to perform. In addition, Beatty put together another concert in June at the Cleveland Arena, and an event tagged “Together for McGovern,” at Madison Square Garden.

McGovern’s Campaign Manager Commends Beatty’s Efforts

The Madison Square Garden production reunited artists like Simon and Garfunkel, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Nichols and May. The event also featured Dionne Warwick, an American singer, actress, and TV host. Gary Hart, the campaign manager, was delighted and commended Beatty’s efforts.

A photo from Simon and Garfunkel’s performance.
Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images

According to the manager, Beatty was the inventor of the political concert because of his ability to mobilize Hollywood celebrities for a political cause. This was rare at the time, and Gary said the actor’s actions created a “new power dynamic.”

‘Heaven Can Wait,’ ‘Reds,’ and Other Award-Winning Productions

In 1978, the “Bonnie and Clyde” star produced, co-wrote, and acted in the famous movie “Heaven Can Wait,” which he co-directed with Buck Henry. The movie was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor.

Julie Christie and Warren Beatty are in a romantic scene in Heaven Can Wait.
Photo by Paramount/Getty Images

“Heaven Can Wait” won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Actor and Best Motion Picture. Other Award-winning movies Betty produced are “Reds” (1981), “Of the Same Name” (1990), and “Bugsy” (1991). Beatty also appeared briefly in various documentaries like the 2005 movie “One Bright Shining Movement: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern.”

The Poor Box Office Performances

After the production of “Reds,” Beatty did not act in any movies for five years until the 1987 production “Ishtar.” Elaine May wrote and directed the film, but the new British studio chief David Puttnam severely criticized the movie in press reviews.

A still of Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty in Ishtar.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Columbia Pictures

The film gathered mixed reviews before the movie was released, and the commercials were not attractive. “Love Affair” was another movie produced in 1994 starring Beatty. Glenn Gordon Caron made the film, and it also received negative feedback from the press.

Beatty Avoids Acting and Directing for 15 Years

In 2001, the Golden Globe Award-winning actor starred in the movie “Town & Country.” Sadly, the film also received negative feedback and had a poor box office performance, which was not encouraging for the multitalented actor.

Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty sit in bed in a scene from Town & Country.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: New Line Cinema

Due to the movie’s poor performance, Beatty decided not to appear in any film or direct any movie for 15 years. In May 2005, the “Reds” star sued Tribune Media after claiming he had the rights to “Dick Tracy.” The U.S. district judge ruled in favor of Beatty on March 26, 2011.

Warren, the ‘Ladies Man’ on the Move

One of the essential things the superstar actor is known for is his involvement in multiple romantic relationships. At that time, Beatty involved himself with over 100 female celebrities, and Leslie Caron made a significant statement.

A picture of Warren Beatty and Leslie Caron at a theatre.
Photo by Arthur Sidey & Alistar Macdonald/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

The French-American dancer and actress stated that Warren always dated women who looked like his sister. Cher also confirmed that the young actor has probably involved himself with every female she knows in the movie industry. The multiple relationships he got involved in were not a healthy choice.

The Celeb’s Love Life with ‘Joan,’ ‘Cher,’ ‘Julie,’ and Others

Joan Collins was the first celeb Warren was involved in 1960. They were engaged, and she became pregnant. The engagement ended, and Joan got an abortion. Joan’s news didn’t trend until much later when she wrote about it in a 1978 autobiography.

Joan Collins and Warren Beatty attend an event.
Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From the early 1960s to 1973, the star actor had a thing with Mamie Van Doren, then his longest relationship before marriage was with Oscar nominee Julie Christie. Warren also had a fling with Cher in 1962, and she was only 16.

Some Other Names linked to Warren Beatty

Warren had a six-week fling with Britt Ekland in the early 1970s, and she commended him for his sexual prowess. Michelle Phillips broke up with her boyfriend Jack for Beatty in the mid-70s, and after they broke up, she spent years in therapy to get over him.

Michelle Phillips and Warren Beatty having dinner / Madonna and Warren Beatty leaving a party.
Photo by Allan Tannenbaum, Getty Images / Photo by Ron Galella, Ron Galella Collection, Getty Images

More names associated with Beatty’s multiple flings include Diane Keaton (late ’70s), Madonna (1989-1990), Elle MacPherson, Goldie Hawn, Connie Chung, Barbara Streisand, Candice Bergen, Joni Mitchell, Mary Tyler Moore, Kate Jackson, and many others.

Warren Marries Annette Bening

Annette and Warren met on the set of “Bugsy” in 1991, and they were instantly attracted to each other. While casting for the movie alongside Barry Levinson, Beatty informed the director after a lunch meeting that he was in love with Annette and would marry her.

A dated picture of Annette Bening and Warren Beatty attending an event.
Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Indeed, he married a beautiful actress at 54, and they started a family. The pair has four children, Stephen, Benjamin, Isabel, and Ella. No one thought Warren would get married or even attempt parenthood, but true love can change people.

Annette and Beatty’s Love Stands the Test of Time

Celebrities in relationships are usually synonymous with breakups, divorce, multiple marriages, and separations. However, Bening and Beatty have changed the status quo as one of the few celebrity couples who have managed to stay together for 30 years.

Annette and Beatty pose for the press.
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

They have been married since 1992 and are still married to date. Yes, Beatty’s decision to get married was shocking news for Hollywood because of his previous playboy ways. Nevertheless, meeting Annette, a woman over 20 years younger than he, opened a new chapter in the actor’s life.

Annette Bening’s First Impression of Beatty

In an interview with People magazine, the Oscar Award-winning actress talked about what she thought of Warren when they first met. Despite Beatty’s reputation with the ladies, Annette thought the actor was intelligent, sharp, funny, and articulate when they met on set.

A still of Warren Beatty in Bugsy.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Columbia Pictures

The star actress also said she could tell he was passionate about the movie he was about to make. He talked a lot and was very “charming, for sure.” It’s safe to say that it was love at first sight for the two.

What is it Like Being a Mom to Annette?

In the same interview with People, Bening said that being a mother was something she always looked forward to when she was younger. Bening, now 63, is starting to get the empty-nest feeling since all her children are grown up.

Bening, Beatty, and their daughter Ella attend an event.
Photo by Barry King/Getty Images

“Ever since I was a little kid, the minute I could start babysitting, like 12 or 13, I was the neighborhood babysitter,” the “Captain Marvel” star said. She admits that sometimes it’s hard to let go of the fact that babysitting isn’t her job anymore. Regardless, she is proud of her adult children and how they’re discovering themselves in the world.

The First Daughter Kathlyn’s Transition to Son Stephen

Stephen Ira Beatty, who is now 30, is the first son of Annette and Warren Beatty. He was born a girl who bore the name Kathlyn Beatty, but he decided to transition at age 14. Both parents supported their son through the entire process.

A portrait of Stephen Ira Beatty.
Source: Pinterest

According to Annette, her son managed the challenging transition process with great style and intelligence. “He’s an articulate, thoughtful person, and I’m very, very proud of him,” she said. In 2016, Warren said his transgender son is his hero and a revolutionary.

Beatty’s Involvement in American Politics

Warren Beatty was involved in political activities, and he was a strong supporter of the Democratic Party. During Senator George McGovern’s presidential campaign, the “Reds” star was part of his inner circle of supporters. Beatty traveled a lot and played a significant role in fundraising.

A photo of Warren Beatty during a fundraiser event.
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Also, Warren was friends with late Republican senator John McCain despite the difference in political orientation. McCain and Beatty agreed on the need for reforming campaign finance. McCain also handpicked Beatty to be one of the pallbearers at his funeral.

Henry Warren Beatty’s Net Worth – 2022

Warren Beatty has achieved so much success in his role as an actor, producer, screenwriter, and director in Hollywood. As of 2022, the multi-award-winning actor has a net worth of approximately $70 million. In addition to the millions he made from movies, he also earns from real estate.

Annette Bening and Warren Beatty attend an event.
Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images

In 2011, Warren Beatty and his wife Annette Bening put up one of their Beverly Hills properties for rent at $27,500/month. They couldn’t find tenants, so they eventually put the property up for sale, asking $6.955 million.

The Celebrity Icon Celebrates as He Turns 85

Iconic Hollywood star actor Warren Beatty turned 85 on March 30, 2022, and he celebrated his big day with his superstar wife and kids. His 63-year-old star actress wife hosted the event, and their large family was in attendance.

A photo of Beatty celebrating his birthday with his family.
Source: Pinterest

The couple has four kids, Stephen Ira, 30; Isabel, 25; Benjamin, 27; and Ella, 21. Isabel posted pictures from the birthday bash on Twitter the next day. The silver screen dad, his daughter Isabel and his son Benjamin took a photo behind a chocolate cake with lit-up candles.

Hollywood Won’t Cast Warren Beatty Anymore?

The silver screen legend constantly produced and starred in movies until the late 90s, but he slowed down in production after releasing “Bulworth” in 1988. One of the significant reasons Beatty appeared less in films is that he is a family man now.

A still of Halle Berry and Beatty in a scene from Bulworth.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: 20th Century Fox

Beatty decided to settle down and raise his children, putting aside his showbiz and playboy status. Other reasons why Hollywood may not cast the movie legend are his age, work ethic, and the fact that he has turned down various movie roles.

The Academy Awards Episode with ‘La La Land’ & ‘Moonlight’ Mix-Up

During the 2017 Academy Awards, 79-year-old Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the winner of Best Picture, and something interesting happened. He pulled out the envelope with the winner written on it and looked at the content.

Dunaway and Beatty speak on stage.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Beatty then passed the envelope to his co-presenter, who announced that “La La Land” won the award for Best Picture. As it turns out, “La La Land” did not win the award, and “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz took a new card from Beatty’s hands and informed everyone that “Moonlight” won.

Beatty Explains the ‘La La Land’ Mix-Up to the Crowd

After “Moonlight” won Best Picture, Warren walked up to the microphone to explain. According to the Hollywood legend, when he opened the envelope, it read “Emma Stone – La La Land.” He explained that he was surprised.

A photo of Beatty explaining to the crowd.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny,” Beatty said. Sadly, the event led to a few conspiracy theories about where the Emma Stone envelope came from and if there was foul play involved.

Controversial Stories Surrounding Warren Beatty

In the unauthorized biography “How Warren Beatty Seduced America” by Peter Biskind, the “Lilith” star has had about 13,000 sexual partners. Even for a prostitute, 13,000 would be an outrageous number of sexual partners to have in a lifetime; much more than the award-winning actor.

A dated studio portrait of Warren Beatty.
Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Beatty laughed off the assumption and disagreed with the figure in an interview with AARP. The Hollywood star actor used mathematics to dispute the figure and stated that he is a nice guy who has never misled any woman.

Beatty’s Protestant Upbringing is the Reason for his Lustful Ways?

In the same AARP interview, Beatty said he was polite enough to inform all the women he slept with that they were “just widgets on a sexual assembly line.” The iconic star also talked briefly about his upbringing, which may be one of the reasons for his lustful escapades.

A dated picture of Warren Beatty.
Photo by Brownie Harris/Corbis/Getty Images

Making reference to a character (Frank) in the movie “Rules Don’t Apply,” he explained that he has a Protestant American background, just like Frank. Having such a background has substantial repercussions due to teachings that lead to sexual guilt and repression.

He Didn’t Have the Best Reputation in the Early Stages of His Career

Warren shocked Hollywood when he switched from being a famous Casanova to being a husband and father. An interview with Esquire in 1967 revealed that the attractive actor didn’t have such a good reputation in the early stages of his acting career.

A portrait of Beatty standing on a sailboat.
Photo by Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Images

Beatty usually showed up late and was uncooperative, and one time, he messed up production so much that it brought one of his co-stars to tears. Though the public loved the play, the young actor made it clear that he didn’t want to go through the stress of making a play simply to win the approval of four critics. Beatty always wanted to be in control and call the shots in movie production.

Beatty Has Unruly Behavior

From the beginning of his creative journey, Beatty’s headstrong behavior should have been the arrow pointing to his future. Since his early days in showbiz, he has played the role of actor, director, writer, and producer in five of his movies.

A still from Bonnie & Clyde.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

Based on that context, we can place Warren in the same category as Clint Eastwood or Mel Gibson, who have also had their share of difficult rumors in the movie industry. Nevertheless, guys like Warren end up taking home all the awards when the time comes, and clearly, he is just one of those guys who want to do everything themselves because they can handle it.

The ‘Reds’ Star played a Major Role in McGovern’s Presidential Campaign

Beatty was a well-known supporter of the Democratic Party. He was deeply involved in McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign. The actor told AARP that he went all-out by dedicating one full year of his life to go through the entire campaign procedure.

A still of Warren Beatty in Reds.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Paramount Pictures

Though Beatty was a celebrity, he didn’t act as a celebrity spokesperson. Still, he was so passionate that he became the third- or fourth-most influential personality in the McGovern campaign. Idealist that he is, Beatty was there to support the cause. Some of his duties included speeches, fundraising, organizing concerts, and offering advice to the candidate and head staff.

Beatty Found Rap Music Interesting

While the former Broadway actor was promoting “Bulworth” in a New York Times profile, he talked about rap music. He revealed that he chose the character Senator Jay Billington Bulworth to unveil his socialist message through rap music. He used rap as a comic tool to appeal to those who may disagree with his political statement.

A portrait of Warren Beatty.
Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images

Using rap music as a tool does not suggest that Beatty didn’t take rap seriously. As a matter of fact, Beatty had this to say about rap music: “Rap music is the language of social protest. He who fails to listen fails to hear at his own peril.”

He Had a Huge Crush on Ellen Degeneres?

It’s pretty funny how Beatty can woo different women but did not think before he leaped by flirting with Ellen Degeneres. The actual flirtation happened on the set of The Larry Sanders Show, and when he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2016, he admitted he was indeed interested in the famous comedienne/TV show host.

A portrait of Ellen Degeneres.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

When this crush was happening, Warren was dating Annette Bening. When Annette also appeared on Ellen, she affirmed that the sturdy actor talked to her a lot about Ellen, but she did not share Ellen’s gay status with him. Thankfully, Bening was comfortable with the situation because she knew Ellen didn’t roll that way.

The ‘Dick Tracy’ Sequel That Never Happened

“Dick Tracy” is undoubtedly one of Warren’s most creative movies to date. From the bright color palette to the characters with over-the-top makeup and facial prosthetics, fans either love the movie or hate it based on their taste.

A promotional still of Madonna and Beatty in Dick Tracy.
Source: Moviestilldb.com/ Copyright: Touchstone Pictures

Though Beatty talked about the possible release of Dick Tracy Part 2, it never came to be. Instead, the actor released a 2010 movie called the “Dick Tracy Special,” where Leonard Maltin interviewed the actor for 30 minutes while showing clips from the original film.

Beatty Loves Howard Hughes

After releasing the movie called “Rules Don’t Apply” in 2016, Beatty took on a lot of interviews to publicize it. While speaking about the romance between two Howard Hughes staff members in the movie, he also gushed about the legendary businessman and philanthropist.

A studio portrait of Beatty at the time.
Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

While speaking to The Boston Globe, Beatty said he always looked forward to the day he could include Howard Hughes in a movie. The Virginia-born actor also said he could relate to Hughes’ struggle to live a lowkey life. “I’ve always felt that Hughes was a difficult character for people to identify with,” he said.

The Multi-Award-Winning Actor is Full of Talents

The majority of brilliant and physically attractive people tend to also excel in other aspects of their lives. Warren Beatty is no exception in this case since he was an award-winning multi-level actor, a certified ladies’ man, and a political activist.

Beatty poses backstage after winning an award.
Photo by Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In addition to those three areas, Warren was also the Tom Brady of his high school football team, class president, and one-time construction worker at “Lincoln Tunnel.” According to the iconic actor, Warren is quite different from your regular male because he has no hobbies. His choice to have no hobbies sterns from the fact that he becomes an expert at something when he begins to learn it.