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Warren Beatty's Biography

AT twenty-two, Shirley MacLaine's kid brother was in TV's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and a star in his first and last Broadway play, A Loss of Roses. In 1961, Beatty starred in his first film, Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass. He played a devastatingly virile lead opposite Natalie Wood and began a 30-year tradition of seducing his co-stars. A series of dreamily intense parts preceded his breakthrough hit, 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, which he also produced. The next few years brought more plum assignments, such as McCabe and Mrs. Miller; then, in 1975, Beatty produced, co-wrote, and starred in the brilliant and successful comedy Shampoo. He added a director's cap to his credits with Heaven Can Wait. His 1981 film, Reds, earned him the Oscar for Best Director; in 1987, he should have received recognition as Worst Producer for Ishtar. Dick Tracy (1990) and Bugsy (1991) were both ambitious, big-budget mixed bags.

Private (he despises publicity) and political (he campaigns for other sexy Democrats), Beatty is as famous for his swordsmanship as for his showmanship. (Joan Collins, Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Michelle Phillips, Diane Keaton, and are a milli-fraction of his conquests). Whether it was fear of aging, AIDS, or Madonna (or mere exhaustion), the legendary bachelor married Bugsy co-star Annette Bening in 1991, at the age of 54. The union has since produced three kids and 1994's Love Affair (a major dud). Beatty dusted himself off to produce, direct, write, and star in 1998's Bulworth, a film about a loopy politico running for re-election.