Ned Beatty, Joe died on sunday At the age of 83, he was the quintessential character actor. He looked like a regular guy, not a movie star, so he didn’t play leading roles—he played supporting characters, best friends, background figures, and bureaucrats. they did 165 movies and television shows Before quietly retiring in 2013, and he always understood the assignment; Some projects were great, others less so, but BT always shined. Here are some of his highlights, and where you can see them.
Beatty, who cut his teeth on stage, made his film debut in John Boorman’s adaptation of James Dickey’s novel of the same name. As one of four Atlanta businessmen on a camping trip in the Georgia backwoods, Beatty deftly conveys the discomfort of a man out of his element with his outside friends. She is then singled out for the most excruciating humiliation by the locals, who make a game of harassing and assaulting people outside the city: she is raped at gunpoint and in one of its most disturbing scenes. One is forced to “squeak like a pig”. era. It was a difficult, demanding role, but Beatty was up to the task, playing out the character’s considerable trauma and regret.
Robert Altman’s critically acclaimed Mosaic of America just before the bicentennial deployed a stacked cast of characters—24 of them, including several country music artists, who sought the attention and focus of everyone around them. Huh. Instead of trying to compete, Beatty leans back. Her character, Del Reese, is a power broker—a lawyer for a Nashville star and an organizer for a mysterious presidential candidate—and Beatty, as in many of her best performances, is at least speaking, soft-spoken and her own. (minimum) are not afraid to run. ) Power only when necessary. But that every moment counts: A brief scene of a tense conversation with his wife and kids tells us everything we need to know about how much he’s prioritized his work over his family.
‘All the President’s Men’
In dramatizing how Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break down the story of the Watergate burglary and its cover-up, director Alan J. Pakula and screenwriter William Goldman had to juggle a dizzying array of names, faces, and relationships. Wisely, he filled many of these roles with distinctive character actors who could make an impression, even in minimal appearances, and Beatty certainly fits that bill. As Martin Dardis, an investigator for the Florida state attorney, he helps Bernstein coax the committee to re-elect the president for one of the Watergate burglaries. But BT doesn’t play the scene like a whistleblower; He focuses on the character’s packed schedule, memorably treating Bernstein as a fellow truth-seeker less of an interloper and an inconvenience.
Beatty’s teddy bear physique and outspoken sociability made him a go-to for ordinary characters throughout his long career—and thus, some of his most compelling performances turn that notion upside down. Such is the case with Elaine May’s work combining crime film and character studies, most of whom play as a two-hander between the stars of Peter Falk and John Cassavetes, in top form. But Beatty is his equal as the hit man hot on Cassavetes’ trail, a role that could have easily been written off and played as a bumbling buffoon. Yet Beatty imbues the character with professionalism and a sober sense of danger, raising the stakes of his quest (to the great advantage of the picture).
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BT had a big year in 1976, which saw the release of not only “All the President’s Men” and “Mickey & Nicky” (as well as “Silver Streak,” “Gator” and “The Big Bus”), but Sidney Lumet and “The Big Bus”. This scathing media satire by Paddy Shafsky. Beatty received his only Oscar nomination for the role. He appears in just one scene, as Arthur Jensen, president of the media conglomerate that owns the television network at the center of the story. But he makes the food of that one scene, evangelizing corporate allegiance and capitalism with an electrifying monologue that feels less and less satire with each passing year.
Beatty didn’t play a lot of outlandish villains, but when he did, he didn’t hit a punch. As CIA director GP Myerson, Beatty shows inventive slang and worrying authoritarianism, and worst of all, he makes an enemy of Walter Matthau’s Miles Kendig—who then tries to humiliate his former boss as his boss. Spends the rest of the movie using spycraft. To Beatty’s credit, none of her residually good photos or her protagonist, Kendig, will affect our vested interest; Her myerson is a louse through and through, and it’s a real satisfaction to see her make her presence felt.
Like many of her peers, Beatty embraced TV in her later years, with a memorable two-season turn on “Homicide: Life on the Street” and an Emmy-nominated role in the TV movie “Last Train Home.” But his most widely seen television work came through a handful of appearances in the sitcom smash “Roseanne”—in which he played Ed Conner, the father of John Goodman’s Dan. It was a particularly inspired bit of casting, almost a passing of the baton, as Goodman would honor a similar style of influencing character acting in the years to come (yet often undermined).
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In the hands of a lesser actor, the character of Daniel Ruetiger (Beatty), father of football-obsessed Rudy (Sean Astin), could come across as a blocker or a villain. But Beatty plays the role with so much grace and sensitivity, his intentions are always clear: He loves and trusts his son, but he doesn’t want him to get hurt (emotionally or physically). Yet when the moment of Rudy’s little victory comes, no one screams louder than dear old dad. “Rudy” has been described as the ultimate sports weepy, and it’s BT that helps deliver the emotional wallop of its conclusion.
‘Toy Story 3’
One of Beatty’s final appearances was one of her most difficult roles, even though it was only a voice-over performance in the Pixar sequel. As Lotto, the cuddly teddy bear who welcomes the film’s toy gang to Sunnyside Daycare, Beatty is at first a welcoming, wholesome warmth – qualities that later become a false front for the bitter, nasty vengeance at the center of the character. manifests as. It serves as a good reminder, even at the end of her career and within a family franchise, the kind of complexity and nuance that Beatty brought to every role.