Ned Beatty, ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Network’ Actor, Dead at 83
Ned Beatty, the Oscar-nominated character actor known for his scene-stealing roles in Deliverance, Network, Superman and Nashville, has died at the age of 83.
A veteran of over 150 films and television roles, Beatty made his first big-screen appearance in 1972’s Deliverance about four men whose canoeing trip goes tragically awry. (In perhaps the movie’s most culturally enduring and infamous scene, Beatty’s character is assaulted by “mountain men” and forced to “squeal like a pig.”) Deliverance later earned a Best Picture nomination and was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.
Beatty and Deliverance co-star Burt Reynolds would share the screen together over the next decade, with Beatty popping up in Reynolds-starring vehicles White Lightning, Gator, Stroker Ace and Switching Channels.
In 1976, Beatty was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his essentially one-scene role as TV chairman Arthur Jensen in Network, an appearance that produced one of cinema’s best cameos and greatest monologues:
While his screen time was limited mainly to supporting roles, the Kentucky-born actor also made memorable appearances: In Robert Altman’s Nashville as the husband/manager of Lily Tomlin’s country singer, in Superman and Superman II as the bumbling sidekick of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor, in All the President’s Men as a Miami district attorney, in Rudy as the father of Sean Astin’s title character, and in the comedy Back to School as the dean of the college attended by Rodney Dangerfield.
In one of his final roles, Beatty lent his voice to the villainous stuffed bear Lots-O’-Huggins in Toy Story 3.