Ned Beatty, Star in ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘Deliverance,’ Dead at 83

by Evan Reier
Photo by Peter Power/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

A legend of entertainment, Ned Beatty, passed away on Sunday at the age of 83. The longtime actor was renown for work on TV and film.

The reports of his death first came to light via TMZ. According to the outlet, a family member delivered the news. The only specific details about his death are that he passed away in his sleep and that his death was not related to COVID-19.

Ned Beatty spent over half a century entertaining audiences. Before his career, he was raised in Louisville, Kentucky after being born on July 6, 1937 to Margaret and Charles Beatty. His entrance into entertainment came early, as he began singing gospel at a young age.

After reaching early adulthood, he added stage acting into his life, which eventually led to an illustrious career as a character actor.

Career of Ned Beatty

The first time audiences saw Ned Beatty was likely one of the most shocking scenes they’ve ever seen. His film debut was in Deliverance, the 1972 period drama that blew the film world away. Beatty portrays a young man who is sexually assaulted in the “squeal like a pig” scene. While horrific and jarring, it is still considered a groundbreaking moment in cinema.

Beatty was extremely prolific from that point on, starring in countless movies and shows. However, his next major moment on screen came in 1976, when his monologue in Network also grappled audiences. Despite not having a ton of screentime, his work was strong enough to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards.

But perhaps it was 1978’s Superman, in which he played Lex Luthor’s right-hand man, Otis, that shows how varied he was an actor. To go from legendarily dramatic roles to a somewhat goofy henchman is just one of the many stark transitions Ned Beatty made.

Beatty’s television work is just as impressive as his film. He appeared in many classic TV shows, such as The Rockford Files, Gunsmoke, M*A*S*H and Law & Order.

There’s actually too many roles to list. And to cap off a storied career, the actor took on two notable voice acting roles in the early 2010s. He played the primary antagonists of Toy Story 3 and Rango.