Ned Beatty, titanic character actor of ‘Network,’ dies at 83

Ned Beatty

Ned Beatty (1937-2021) – Actor known for ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Network,’ dies at age 83, Photo Date: 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — Ned Beatty, the Oscar-nominated character actor who in half a century of American movies, including “Deliverance,” “Network” and “Superman,” was a booming, indelible presence in even the smallest parts, has died. He was 83.

Beatty’s manager, Deborah Miller, said he died Sunday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by friends and loved ones.

After years in regional theater, Beatty was cast in “Deliverance” as Bobby Trippe, the happy-go-lucky member of a male river-boating party terrorized by backwoods thugs. The scene in which Trippe is brutalized became the most memorable in the movie and established Beatty as an actor whose name moviegoers may not have known but whose face they always recognized.

Beatty received only one Oscar nomination, as supporting actor for his role as corporate executive Arthur Jensen in 1976′s “Network,” but he contributed to some of the most popular movies of his time and worked constantly, his credits including more than 150 movies and TV shows.

Beatty’s appearance in “Network,” scripted by Paddy Chayefsky an directed by Sidney Lumet, was brief but titanic. His three-minute monologue ranks among the greatest in movies.

He was equally memorable as Otis, the idiot henchman of villainous Lex Luthor in the first two Christopher Reeve “Superman” movies and as the racist sheriff in “White Lightning.” Other films included “All The President’s Men,” “The Front Page,” “Nashville,” and “The Big Easy.”

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