Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

R.I.P. Network and Deliverance star Ned Beatty

Oscar-nominated actor Ned Beatty, known for roles in Nashville, Superman, and Rudy, has died. He was 83

Beatty’s wife Sandra Johnson and Ned Beatty
Beatty’s wife Sandra Johnson and Ned Beatty
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

Ned Beatty has died at his home in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Report says. He was 83.

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Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Ned Beatty took his first role at the age of 19, landing a singing part in the play Wilderness Road in 1956. He continued to work in theater throughout the 60s, which included a turn as Willy Loman in a 1966 production of Death Of A Salesman.

Beatty’s big-screen debut was a memorable one. In 1972, he famously “squealed like a pig” as Bobby in Deliverance. It was the first of several of his iconic roles in the 1970s, appearing as Delbert Reese in Nashville and Lex Luthor’s bumbling sidekick Otis in 1978’s Superman. His explosive appearance as TV honcho Arthur Jensen in Network garnered Beatty an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Throughout his career, Beatty worked with some of the world’s most renowned filmmakers, appearing in Steven Spielberg’s 1941, Spike Lee’s He Got Game, Mike Nichols’ Charlie Wilson’s War, and Elaine May’s Mikey And Nicky. He spent five decades in movies, with credits that include All The President’s Men, Silver Streak, Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Toy, The Trouble With Spies, Rudy, Cookie’s Fortune, and Toy Story 3.

On the small screen, Beatty was best known for his role on Homicide: Life On The Street, where he played Detective Stanley “The Big Man” Bolander. His work on television earned him two Emmy award nominations for the TV movies Friendly Fire in 1979 and Last Train Home in 1990. During the 90s, he was a recurring player on the sitcom Roseanne, playing Ed Conner, the father of John Goodman’s Dan.

In 2004, Beatty returned to his first love, the theater. Cast as Big Daddy in a production Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Beatty won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.

Following voiceovers in Toy Story 3 and Rango, Beatty’s career slowed down. 2013’s Baggage Claim was his final on-screen performance.

Despite popular belief, Ned Beatty had no relation to fellow actor Warren Beatty —though Ned would occasionally joke that Warren was his “illegitimate uncle.”

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Beatty is survived by his wife, Sandra Johnson, whom he married in 1999. He fathered eight children across four marriages.