Ned Beatty, titanic character actor of ‘Network,’ dies at 83

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FILE – In this Oct. 17, 2003, file photo, actor Ned Beatty poses at New York’s Music Box Theatre where he plays the role of Big Daddy in a new production of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Beatty, the indelible character actor whose first film role, as a genial vacationer raped by a backwoodsman in 1972′s “Deliverance,” launched him on a long, prolific and accomplished career, died Sunday, June 13, 2021. He was 83. (AP Photo/Gino Domenico, File)

NEW YORK — Ned Beatty, the Oscar-nominated character actor who in half a century of American movies, including “Deliverance,” “Network” and “Superman,” was a booming, indelible presence in even the smallest parts, has died.

Beatty’s manager, Deborah Miller, said he died Sunday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by friends and loved ones.

After years in regional theater, Beatty was cast in “Deliverance” as Bobby Trippe, the happy-go-lucky member of a male river-boating party terrorized by backwoods thugs. The scene in which Trippe is brutalized became the most memorable in the movie and established Beatty as an actor whose name moviegoers may not have known but whose face they always recognized.

That role launched him on a long, prolific career.

He was 83.

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