Beatty, Ned Thomas

Beatty, Ned Thomas, 1937-2021, American television and film actor, b. Louisville, Ky. Beatty began his career in regional theater, beginning in 1956, including eight years at Washington’s Arena Stage, before making the transition to film roles. Among his best-known parts were as one of the urban outdoorsmen brutalized by the locals in the film Deliverance (1972) and an evil corporate executive in Network (1976), for which he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Academy Awards. He played Lex Luther’s comic sidekick in the first two installments of the Superman movies (1978, 1980) and the academic dean in the comedy Back to School (1986). He returned to stage acting in the 21st century, notably appearing on Broadway and in London in the revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2004), for which he won a Drama Desk Award. He won two Emmy awards for his television work, Friendly Fire (1979; Outstanding Lead Actor) and Last Train Home (1990; Outstanding Supporting Actor).

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