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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, 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. He got his first screen role, in the TV sitcom _The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959)_, a role he 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. 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. Next he starred in a lightweight comedy, Promise Her Anything, along with Leslie Caron.
Beatty teamed up again with Penn for the movie that would elevate his status in Hollywood, the classic Bonnie and Clyde, 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.
Over the next period in his career, spanning well over a decade, Beatty starred in, produced and occasionally directed some of the most important films in Hollywood, some critically praised, such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller, others prescient social commentaries, such as Shampoo, and others with wonderful take on Hollywood classics, such as Heaven Can Wait. He capped this all off with his hugely-ambitious recounting of the American radical journalist John Reed's experiences in Bolshevik Russia, Reds, for which Beatty, already nominated for Oscars several times, finally won for Best Director. Beatty was an intrinsic part of the renaissance of Hollywood in the 1970s, when films were being made every year that were important as well as successful.
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