Ned Beatty: Star of Superman, Deliverance and Network dies at 83

·4-min read

Watch: Oscar-nominated Superman, Deliverance and Network actor, Ned Beatty, dies aged 83

The actor Ned Beatty, best known for his roles in 1976 drama Network, 1972 film Deliverance, and 1978’s Superman, has died at the age of 83. 

Beatty was one of the top stars of the 1970s and appeared in more than 160 films.

His manager Deborah Miller has revealed that the actor died on Sunday, surrounded by his family and loved ones in his Los Angeles home. According to a statement, Beatty’s family decided to keep further details of his death private at this time. 

“Ned is an iconic, legendary talent, as well as a dear friend, and he will be missed by us all,” his family said in a statement. 

Actor Ned Beatty dies at age 83 (Getty Images)
Actor Ned Beatty dies at age 83 (Getty Images)

One of Beatty’s most iconic roles is from the 1972 film Deliverance, where he played an executive named Bobby Trippe who was forced to strip at gunpoint by two mountain men who humiliate and rape him. 

The scene was so shocking at the time that it is still referred to as a “screen milestone”.

Another of his most memorable performances was as Lex Luthor‘s bumbling henchman Otis in the 1978 film Superman and 1980’s Superman II

Quoting from Beatty’s most famous speech from Network, author and journalist Nick Milligan wrote on Twitter: “‘You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr Beale, and I won’t have it!’

“From his fearless big-screen debut in Deliverance to the bumbling Otis in Superman, #NedBeatty was a chameleonic actor. His monologue in Network is one of the greatest moments in cinema. Period.”

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The Kentucky-based actor was also nominated for an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain, and a Golden Globe Award; he also won a Drama Desk Award.

His most recent roles were from 2010 to 2013, beginning with the thriller The Killer Inside Me, which was featured at the Sundance Film Festival. 

He voiced the main antagonist Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear in 2010’sToy Story 3. In 2011, Beatty worked with actor Johnny Depp in the computer-animated film Rango where he played the role of the antagonist.

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His last film before retirement was the comedy film Baggage Claim in 2013.

California Republican Party chairman Ron Nehring wrote on Twitter: “Saddened to learn actor Ned Beatty passed away. I enjoyed him especially in his role as the college administrator Dean Martin in Back to School, one of the best comedies of all time.”

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“A little quick classic Superman style tribute to the passing of Ned Beatty who I first saw as a kid as Otis, Lex Luthor’s bumbling henchman. RIP to a classic character actor!” wrote another Twitter user. 

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“I’m sure Christopher Reeve was there to welcome Ned Beatty to the afterlife. Superman and Otis reunited. Rest In Peace #NedBeatty” wrote another fan. 

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