Monday, March 30, 2009

Birthday greetings

It's a big birthday day--Celine Dion turns 41 today, Eric Clapton is 64 and Warren Beatty is 72. 72!? Really!?

I've never been a huge fan of Beatty's but admire that he was an actor who insisted on total control of his movies. He first produced, and starred, in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), the movie which established him as a true leading man and, along with Easy Rider, ushered in the "New Hollywood" era with films from iconic figures like George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg. Beatty later went on to be involved with 1970's major movies like McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Heaven Can Wait and, my favorite, Shampoo. But, it was Reds (1981) which truly established Beatty as something special in Hollywood. He received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and writing--all from the same film.

In 1991, Beatty stared in the bio-pic, Bugsy--the story of Bugsy Siegel. It was his last movie to achieve critical and public acclaim. And, even with this picture, it was Beatty, the producer, who had the final cut on the film--not Barry Levinson, the Director.

Beatty's other claims to fame include that he is the brother of actress Shirley MacLaine, that he is married to actress Annette Benning, and that he has had a well-documented history of bachelorhood and partying with running buddies like Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Vaughn. His past romantic relationships--pre-Benning--include Natalie Wood, Diane Keaton, Julie Christie, Joan Collins and Madonna, and he has been rumored to have been on close terms with many other starlets throughout his career.

Happy Birthday, Warren!

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