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Ned Beatty

Ned Beatty

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Also Known As: Ned Thomas Beatty Died:
Born: July 6, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Louisville, Kentucky, USA Profession: Cast ... actor
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BIOGRAPHY

4), a seven-hour miniseries that helped erase the memories of his two previous theatrical releases. He had a starring role in the British-made caper comedy, "Restless Natives" (1985), before landing a minor role in the Rodney Dangerfield vehicle, "Back to School" (1986). After supporting turns in "Midnight Crossing" (1987) and "Rolling Vengeance" (1987), Beatty gave audiences a taste of his former self with a fine supporting role in the superlative crime thriller, "The Big Easy" (1987), a richly textured noir that harkened back to his 1970s heyday.

Beatty next co-starred alongside Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan in the Cold War thriller, "The Fourth Protocol" (1987), which he followed with a rare starring role in the rather predictable thriller "Shadows of the Storm" (1988), yet another reunion with Burt Reynolds for the mediocre comedy, "Switching Channels" (1988), and the tepid cop drama "Physical Evidence" (1989). While he had his share of cheesy B-grade films like "Time Trackers" (1989), "Big Bad John" (1990), "Captain America" (1990) and the abysmal "Exorcist" spoof "Repossessed" (1990), Beatty continued to balance out his career with distinguished supporting roles in films like the true-to-life prison drama, "Chattahoochee" (1990). The following year, he scored a rare above-the-title billing in what many considered his tour-de-force performance, playing Josef Locke, a fabled Irish tenor in the charming indie import "Hear My Song" (1991). The quirky film followed a struggling Liverpool club-owner (Adrian Dunbar) on an odyssey to find Locke, a real-life singer who fled England decades earlier, in order to help save his club. By giving Locke both a gruff authority and a grudging sweetness, Beatty was honored with some of his best reviews in years while earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

After a supporting role in the quirky and well-received romantic comedy, "Prelude to a Kiss" (1992), Beatty played the father of a young man (Sean Astin) determined to play football for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame despite mediocre grades, little money and a small build in the heartwarming drama "Rudy" (1993). Beatty returned to series television with a recurring role on the hit sitcom "Roseanne" (ABC, 1988-1997), as the estranged, wayward father of Dan Conner (John Goodman), whose troubled relationship played out in an extended arc of guest shots from 1989 to 1994. In 1993, he made the full commitment to the small screen after being lured by Barry Levinson, David Simon, Paul Attanasio and Tom Fontana to join the cast of "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-2000), a stark, kaleidoscopic drama depicting the overwhelming workload of Baltimore homicide detectives. Beatty played earnest, mid-life-crisis-wracked Det. Stanley Bolander, who partnered with Richard Belzer's smartass paranoiac Det. Munch in an ever-bickering oil-and-water team, just one in a talented ensemble of distinctive, memorable characters processing the tragic waste of urban America. "Homicide" was branded by critics through broad consensus as one of the best shows to ever grace the airwaves, winning it two Emmys and a Peabody Award for Best Television Drama in its first season. But with the ratings failing to follow the critical groundswell, the network insisted the producers tinker with their cast in favor of younger, prettier talent, and Beatty's character was written off following the third season.

Following his departure from "Homicide," Beatty went back to estimable roles for the balance of the 1990s, playing Judge Roy Bean himself in big-budget production of Larry McMurtry's "The Streets of Laredo" (CBS, 1995) while landing a supporting role for Spike Lee's underappreciated drama, "He's Got Game" (1997). He managed to remain unscathed after Ted Demme's lame prison comedy, "Life" (1999), starring Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy, before once again reuniting with director Robert Altman for "Cookie's Fortune" (1999). Beatty returned as Det. Bolander for the made-for-television movie, "Homicide: The Movie" (NBC, 2000), which reunited most of the cast to find the murderer of their longtime captain, after which he turned in a solid performance in the charming indie "Spring Forward" (2000). In the next century, Beatty began lightening his workload, even as he returned to his theatrical and musical roots. In 2001, he revisited one of the first roles he ever played early in his stage career, Big Daddy, in a London production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," for which he received a nomination for Best Actor at the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards the following year.

Beatty returned to New York to reprise the role of Big Daddy on Broadway in 2003, which preceded a return to music when friend and successful songwriter Larry Bastian convinced him to record a CD, In the Beginning Was the Word (2006), a self-released gospel album that featured Beatty crooning Christian hymns such as "Down by the Riverside" and "Peace in the Valley." Along the way, he continued his film supporting-role work in such movies like the children's classic "Where the Red Fern Grows" (2003), the Mark Wahlberg actioner "Shooter" (2007), and the political comedy "Charlie Wilson's War (2007), which starred Tom Hanks as a freewheeling congressman who finds his mission in life when he helps combat invading Russians by arming a ragtag group of Afghan freedom fighters. Beatty next co-starred in the direct-to-DVD release, "In the Electric Mist" (2009), a mystery thriller about a sheriff's detective (Tommy Lee Jones) investigating the murder of a young woman by an alleged serial killer whose investigation is hampered by two Hollywood stars (Peter Sarsgaard and Kelly McDonald) who are in town making a Civil War movie.limelight on him, Beatty starred in a summer replacement series called "Szysznyk" (CBS, 1977), a sitcom that saw him portray an ex-Marine running kids' recreational activities at an urban community center. The show fared well enough against summer reruns, but tanked quickly when the network brought it back later that year.

Despite the setback, Beatty went on to develop a selective presence on the small screen, appearing in a number of miniseries and television movies like the biopic of 1950s Red Scare-monger Senator Joseph McCarthy (Peter Boyle), "Tail Gunner Joe" (NBC, 1977). Following an adaptation of Thornton Wilder's classic stageplay "Our Town" (NBC, 1977), Beatty returned to the big screen with a fine comedic turn as Otis, the dimwitted henchman of Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), in the classic "Superman" (1978). After playing a paranoid California homeowner preparing for a Japanese invasion in Steven Spielberg's ambitious bomb "1941" (1979), he received second billing opposite Carol Burnett in "Friendly Fire" (ABC, 1979), a landmark small-screen film that was praised for its honest examination of the United State's disastrous war in Vietnam. Beatty and Burnett played simple Midwestern parents who find the U.S. military dissembling as to how their serviceman son died, leading them to join the anti-war movement. Beatty's performance earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special.

Beatty returned as the doofus Otis for "Superman II" (1980) before playing a U.S. legislator in the fictional retelling of the Jonestown massacre, "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones" (CBS, 1980). Following a supporting turn in the Lily Tomlin comedy bomb, "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" (1981), Beatty was cast in the stirring chronicle of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, in "A Woman Called Golda" (CBS, 1982), which starred Ingrid Bergman in her final role. He had forgettable appearances in the much-maligned Richard Pryor comedy, "The Toy" (1982), and the even worse action comedy, "Stroker Ace" (1983), starring Loni Anderson and off-screen friend Burt Reynolds. Beatty next took on a major role in "The Last Days of Pompeii" (ABC, 198

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