Ned Beatty, Oscar-nominated actor from Network and Superman, dies at 83
Oscar nominee Ned Beatty, known for his roles in films like Network and Superman, has died at 83.
Beatty passed away Sunday morning in his sleep surrounded by family, a representative for the actor tells EW. His death was not COVID-related, and his family is keeping other details private at this time. TMZ was first to break the news.
Beatty was heralded for his role in Sidney Lumet's 1976 Network, playing communications executive Arthur Jensen. Though he wasn't on screen in the satirical drama for long, his memorable turn - including his famous speech to Howard Beale (Peter Finch) - was enough to garner him a Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy Awards.
He portrayed Lex Luthor's (Gene Hackman) sidekick Otis in the 1978 version of Superman and its sequel. Once called "the busiest actor in Hollywood," the character actor also appeared in films like Deliverance, The Big Easy, All the President's Men, Rudy, and Hear My Song, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Beatty also scored nods for his TV work, including an Emmy nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Friendly Fire opposite Carol Burnett and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Last Train Home. He also appeared on NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street, had a recurring role on Roseanne, and performed in TV specials for the likes of Dolly Parton and the Smothers Brothers.
Born in Louisville, Ky., in 1937, Beatty began performing at age 10, getting his start in theater. In 2001, Beatty returned to his theatrical roots to star in London's West End revival production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Brendan Fraser.
Later in his career, Beatty would appear in the Tom Hanks-starring Charlie Wilson's War, and reunited with the actor for Toy Story 3, voicing Lotso. He made his final onscreen appearances in 2013, including the Paula Patton-led rom-com Baggage Claim.
Many fans of Beatty's work took to Twitter to honor his long career. New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff wrote, "A few years ago, Ned Beatty told me the extraordinary story of how he won his role in NETWORK after a meeting with Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet. May he rest in peace."
Itzkoff recalled the actor once telling him he won the role after pretending to take a call about a competing offer. "I was lying like a snake. I think they liked the fact that I was at least trying to be sly. I was doing something that maybe might be in their lexicon," Beatty said.
"RIP Ned Beatty, so good in so many films," CNN's Jake Tapper wrote.