Sean Astin Pays Respects to Late ‘Rudy’ Co-Star Ned Beatty in Emotional Tribute

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

On Sunday night, Rudy star Sean Astin paid tribute to his co-star Ned Beatty who sadly passed away at the age of 83 yesterday.

Astin played the title role of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in the classic 1993 sports film. Often ranked as one of the best sports movies of all time, Rudy is the quintessential underdog story. Based on a true story, Rudy is an undersized and unlikely football player with a dream to play college ball for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It’s a working class movie for the working class man, something Beatty exudes as Rudy’s father in the movie.

“Ned put the class in working class,” Sean Astin wrote on Twitter about Ned Beatty. “This very cold night we talked about lots of stuff, mostly I remember him praising my Mom for her strength battling with her mental health. About his work, I always believed him…even goofy, ‘mistuh luthor’ – His sweet soul remains.”

The tender message for his co-star and friend goes beyond their on-screen relationship. Sean Astin obviously has a special place in his heart for Ned Beatty. Plenty of fans share the sentiment as news spread of Beatty’s death yesterday. Tributes came pouring in on social media for the actor who has more than 160 screen credits to his name.

His legendary career began in the 1972 thriller Deliverance, where he starred beside Hollywood royalty in Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight. Beatty continued to work for decades after that before retiring in 2013. Along the way, Ned Beatty touched many people’s lives whether fans of his movies or his own co-stars like Sean Astin.

Ned Beatty Passes Away at the Age of 83

Ned Beatty reportedly passed away on Sunday morning, according to Shelter Entertainment Group Talent Manager Deborah Miller. His family and friends were by his side during his final hours as well.

“Ned passed away from natural causes Sunday morning, surrounded by his family and loved ones,” Miller told CNN.

Beatty is survived by his fourth wife Sandra Johnson who he married in November 1999. In addition, he is survived by his eight children from previous marriages, and multiple grandchildren.

TMZ first shared news of Beatty’s death, reporting that a family member confirmed their loss. His manager stated that the actor died from natural causes in her statement. Yet reports also stated that he passed away in his sleep and did not die because of any COVID-19-related issues.

Ned Beatty spent almost five decades in the entertainment industry as he starred in well over 100 movies and television shows. Previous to his Hollywood career, the actor was raised in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. In fact, he entertained audiences since a young boy as Miller also pointed out.

“He started as a professional performer at age ten when he earned pocket money singing in gospel quartets and a barber shop,” Miller said, according to CNN.

He got a taste of entertaining early on, and never looked back. Ned Beatty is well-known for many roles, including Deliverance, All the President’s Men, and The Big Easy. Additionally, he starred in Superman, Rudy, and Charlie Wilson’s War.

Beatty’s management agency shared that Daily Variety once called him the “busiest actor in Hollywood.”