- ° 30 maart 1937
- ∧ Richmond, Virginia, USA
One of the most fascinating characters in Hollywood history, Warren Beatty was born Henry Warren Beaty in Richmond, Virginia on March 30, 1937. His mother, Kathlyn, had been a drama teacher but gave it up to settle down in Virginia and raise a family, although it was never in doubt that Beatty and his sister, the actress and dancer Shirley MacLaine, would themselves be raised to pursue stardom - each was urged to be successful and achieve from a very early age. Beatty attended high school in Arlington, Virginia and attended Northwestern University, but, not to be outdone by his rising-star big sister, soon dropped out to study acting under the legendary Stella Adler. He then got his first screen role, in the TV sitcom _The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959)_, a role he found "ridiculous" and rapidly abandoned to work instead on the Broadway stage, the highlight of which was his Tony-nominated performance in "A Loss of Roses." Beatty's first major film role came in the successful drama Splendor in the Grass (1961), as the confused Bud. Critics refused to take the ambitious Beatty seriously, and he strove to turn this around with his arty crime drama _Mickey One (1965)_, directed by Arthur Penn, which did get favorable notices but did not find an audience. Next he starred in a lightweight comedy, Promise Her Anything (1965), along with the lovely Leslie Caron, and the handsome, charismatic Beatty, already an aspiring Lothario, had an affair with his married co-star which was cited in Caron's divorce proceedings. Beatty teamed up again with Penn for the movie that would elevate his status in Hollywood, the classic Bonnie and Clyde (1967), in which he and co-star Faye Dunaway played the quirky outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The movie's powerful performances, strong direction and controversially graphic violence made it a huge hit, and Beatty finally found himself taken seriously.