Ned Beatty, actor known for his roles in Deliverance and Network, dies aged 83
Ned Beatty, the indelible actor whose first film role in the years 1972 Issuance had launched him into a long, prolific and accomplished career, has passed away. He was 83 years old.
Beatty manager Deborah Miller said Beatty died of natural causes at her Los Angeles home on Sunday surrounded by friends and relatives.
After years in the regional theater, Beatty was chosen Issuance as Bobby Trippe, the carefree member of a group of pleasure craft terrorized by backcountry thugs.
The scene in which Trippe is brutally sexually assaulted became the film’s most memorable and established Beatty as an actor whose name moviegoers may not have known but still recognized as his face.
“For people like me, there’s a lot of ‘I know you! I know you! What have I seen you in?’ ‘Beatty remarked without resentment in 1992.
Beatty received only one Oscar nomination, as a supporting actor for his role as business executive Arthur Jensen in the 1976s Network, but he contributed to some of the most popular films of his time and worked steadily, his credits comprising over 150 movies and TV shows.
Beatty’s appearance in Network, written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, was brief but titanic. His three-minute monologue ranks among the greatest in cinema.
The primitive forces of nature came to collect Ned Beatty. He was awesome in NETWORK, SUPERMAN, DELIVERANCE and the HOMICIDE TV series (and much more), but don’t forget his creepy, wicked tricks in WHITE LIGHTNING and MIKEY AND NICKY. https://t.co/cJMoFevJBx
Jensen summons presenter Howard Beale – played by Peter Finch – into a long, dimly lit meeting room for a return to Jesus on the elemental powers of media.
“You’ve meddled with the primitive forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t get it!” Beatty yells from across the boardroom before explaining that there is no America, no democracy.
“It’s just IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. These are the nations of the world today.”
WATCH | Beatty’s monologue from Network:
He was just as memorable as Gene Hackman’s villainous Lex Luthor Otis, the goofy henchman in the first two Christopher Reeve. Superman movies and as a racist sheriff in white lightning.
Other films included All the president’s men, The first page, Nashville and The big easy.
“I like to surprise the public”
In a 1977 interview, he explained why he preferred to be a supporting actor.
“The stars never want to throw a curved ball to the public, but my great joy is throwing curved balls,” he said.
“Being a star reduces your effectiveness as an actor because you become an identifiable and somewhat predictable part of a product. You have to watch your P’s and Q’s and nurture your fans. But I like to surprise audiences, do the unexpected. “
WATCH | Ned Beatty on his acting career:
He landed a rare lead role in Irish film Listen to my song in 1991. The true story of the legendary Irish tenor Josef Locke, who died at the height of a brilliant career, has been well commented on but largely unpublished in the United States.
Between films, Beatty often worked on television and in the theater. He has had recurring roles in Roseanne as the father of John Goodman and as a detective on Homicide: life on the streets.
On Broadway, he won critical acclaim, and a Drama Desk Award, for his interpretation of Big Daddy in a cover of Cat on a hot tin roof, a role he first played at age 21 in a stock company production.
He created controversy, however, when he was quoted in The New York Times about the skills of his young co-stars, Ashley Judd and Jason Patric.
“Ashley is a sweetheart,” he said, “and yet she doesn’t have a lot of tools.” Of Patric, he remarked: “He’s gotten better all the time, but his is a different journey.”
His most recent films included Toy story 3 in 2010 and two releases in 2013, The big demand and Baggage claim. He retired soon after.