Sad word came last night that actor Ned Beatty had passed away at the age of 83.
Mr. Beatty was an incredible movie and TV actor. Though he may have never been “good looking” enough to be a dashing leading man but he was so talented that he never fell into what might be considered “regular” supporting roles.
His first big role was a startling one, that of Bobby, one of the four would-be outdoorsmen who made the very bad decision to canoe out into a Georgian river soon to be wiped out by a dam and encounter hostiles and quite literally a U.S. version of The Heart of Darkness…
The relationship between Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty seemed to be a positive one. He would go on to play the in three other movies with Mr. Reynolds.
As mentioned before, he would play so many different types of characters. In White Lighting (1973) he was a cold-blooded corrupt sheriff up against good ol’ boy Burt Reynolds. In Network (1976) he had a six minute role as a high ranking executive, a chilling scene which earned him an Oscar for best supporting actor.
A few years later he would play the buffoon right hand man of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor in the incredible -and still my all time favorite superhero film- Superman (1978)…
He would also be memorable in Silver Streak (1976) the first film featuring the pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryer, and was terrific in the TV series Homicide: Life on the Streets.
A fascinating actor with a plethora of credits.
He had a long, good run but he will be missed!