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  • Ed Gaines

‘Superman,’ ‘Deliverance’ Actor Ned Beatty Dies At 83

Oscar-nominated character actor Ned Beatty died Sunday, He was 83.

Beatty died in his sleep Sunday, “surrounded by family at his home.” The death was natural causes and not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beatty was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor for the 1976 film “Network,” despite having really only one scene — a sinister 5-minute speech to anchorman Howard Beale.

As examples of his range as an actor, his other best-known roles include the comic-relief role of Lex Luthor’s sidekick Otis in the first two Christopher Reeve “Superman” movies and as the rape victim in a famous scene in the rafting-journey thriller “Deliverance.”

He worked with some of the most important directors in American movies, making “Nashville” and other films with Robert Altman, “1941” with Steven Spielberg, and “Charlie Wilson’s War” with Mike Nichols.

He appeared as a dubious marshal in John Huston’s “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,” a salesman in Arthur Hiller’s “Silver Streak” (1976), the father of the titular hero in “Rudy” and Southern Gothic roles in Huston’s Flannery O’Connor adaptation “Wise Blood” and in Altman’s “Cookie’s Fortune.”

Among his late-career roles were high-profile voice acting — as the evil pink bear Lotso in “Toy Story 3” and as scheming mayor Tortoise John in “Rango.”

Beatty was divorced three times but was still married after 22 years to his fourth wife Sandra Johnson at the time of his death. He had eight children by his first three wives.

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