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Ned Beatty, Actor Behind 'Lotso' and More, Dead at 83

Character actor known for roles in 'Deliverance,' 'Network,' 'Superman'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2021 1:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ned Beatty, one of the most well-known character actors of the past five decades, died Sunday morning at age 83. Beatty, who made his debut in Deliverance in 1972, went on to play such roles as the Miami DA in All the President's Men; Lily Tomlin's lawyer husband in Nashville; Lex Luthor's sidekick, Otis, in Superman and the 1980 sequel; and too many more film roles to list. The Hollywood Reporter says he was "one of the most respected character actors of his time." He also appeared in numerous TV shows, including Law & Order, Roseanne, CSI, M*A*S*H, and many more. And those who don't recognize his face would likely recognize his voice as that of the evil stuffed bear, Lotso, from Toy Story 3.

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Beatty was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Network, during which his character gives an "epic" 5- to 6-minute speech trying to talk protagonist Howard Beale into a merger. Despite the fact that the monologue was one of the only times Beatty was onscreen, he got the Academy Awards nod—"that's how great it is," TMZ says of the scene. Per a statement, Beatty died in his sleep of natural causes, while surrounded by family at his home. Sources say his death was not COVID-related. (Read more obituary stories.)

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