Ned Beatty, a prolific, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor who did memorable turns in such films as Network, Deliverance and Christopher Reeve’s first two Superman pics and was a three-season regular on Homicide: Life on the Street, died Sunday in his sleep. He was 83.
Beatty’s manager, Deborah Miller, confirmed the news to Deadline, saying the actor died of natural causes, surrounded by his family and loved ones. No other details about his death were provided.
“Ned was an iconic, legendary talent, as well as a dear friend,” said Miller, “and he will be missed by us all.”
Born on July 6, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky, Beatty kicked off his career as an actor around the age of 19, when he appeared on stage in the play Wilderness Road. He spent his first 10 years in the profession working in theaters across Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana.
In 1972, he made his feature film debut in John Boorman’s thriller Deliverance, opposite Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds, playing the role of Atlanta businessman Bobby Trippe. In 1976, he received his first and only Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his turn in Network.
In the Sidney Lumet classic, he portrayed Arthur Jensen, the TV network chairman of the board, who convinces Peter Finch’s Howard Beale that the global dehumanization fostered by corporations is not only unavoidable, but a good thing.
During his long screen career, Beatty also received Emmy nominations for Friendly Fire and Last Train Home, a Golden Globe nom for Hear My Song, and an MTV Movie Award for his portrayal of villain Lotso in Toy Story 3. In 2004, he was awarded a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his turn in an adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Between 1972 and 2013, Beatty amassed more than 160 credits in film and TV. His feature work included Silver Streak On the TV side, he was a regular for the first three seasons of NBC’s Peabody-winning cop drama Homicide: Life on the Street, playing the crusty veteran Detective Stan Bolander, and also appeared in The Waltons, Gunsmoke, M*A*S*H, The Rockford Files, The Streets of San Francisco, Murder, She Wrote, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Boys, Roseanne and much more.
His big screen credits include Nashville, All the President’s Men, Superman, Silver Streak, Back to School, The Big Easy, Rudy, Stroker Ace, 1941, The Toy, Shooter, Charlie Wilson’s War, Rango, Rampart and more. The last film’s he appeared in were David E. Talbert’s Baggage Claim and Thomas Beatty and Rebecca Fishman’s The Big Ask. His last TV appearance was in Scott Silveri’s Go On.
Beatty is survived by his wife, Sandra Johnson, and his eight children and grandchildren. No memorial plans have been revealed.