Warren Beatty

Hollywood's leading ladies' man has dated co-stars, such as Natalie Wood, Joan Collins and Madonna. Now married to actress Annette Bening, the ageing lothario seems to have settled down.

Warren's father, Ira Owens Beatty, was a professor of psychology, public school administrator and real estate agent, and his mother, Kathlyn Corinne MacLean, was a Nova Scotia-born drama teacher. The younger brother of actress Shirley MacLaine, Beatty was groomed for stardom early. After studying with acting coach Stella Adler, he was cast in prominent supporting roles in TV dramas, winning the part of Milton Armitage on the TV sitcom, 'Dobie Gillis'.

His film debut came with 'Splendour in the Grass' in 1961, but for a number of years he was often written off as a would-be Brando. In 1965, Beatty put much of his own money into a quirky crime drama, 'Mickey One'. The film was a critical success but failed to secure top bookings.

Beatty took on his first film as producer and star, 'Bonnie and Clyde'. Critics were hostile at first, but soon it became the most significant film of 1967. Throughout the 1970s, Beatty starred in, produced and occasionally directed some of the most important films in Hollywood, some critically praised, such as 'McCabe & Mrs. Miller' (1971); others prescient social commentaries, such as 'Shampoo' (1975) an hilarious satire on the late 1960s; others were wonderful updates of Hollywood classics, such as 'Heaven Can Wait' (1978).

He capped this all off with his hugely-ambitious recounting of the American radical journalist John Reed's experiences in Bolshevik Russia, 'Reds' (1981), for which Beatty, already nominated for acting Oscars several times, finally won as best director.

It wasn't until 1987 that Beatty unveiled his next project, 'Ishtar'. Unfortunately this hugely ambitious production ended up as one of the biggest film catastrophes of all time.

His next movie, 'Dick Tracy' (1990), was colourful and a box office success, but was greeted with lukewarm reviews. Following this came 'Bugsy' (1991), a biopic of the life of gangster and Las Vegas visionary Bugsy Siegel, which was another box office failure. He later revisited his "Ishtar" nadir with the 2001 comedy 'Town & Country', which was also doomed to failure at the box office.

In 1998, he expressed his left-wing politics through highly successful and much acclaimed political satire 'Bulworth'. A longtime activist in various liberal political causes, Beatty has been extremely active in the Democratic Party.

Beatty's long and well-documented history of high-profile romances with such actresses as Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton, and Madonna came to an end with his 1992 marriage to 'Bugsy' co-star Annette Bening, with whom he later starred with in 1994's 'Love Affair'.

They now have four children. Kathlyn (who is now known as Stephen) was born in 1992, Benjamin followed in 1994, while Isabel and Ella were born in 1997 ad 2000 respectively.

'Town and Country' was the last film to date that Beatty has starred in and is the second-largest ever money loser of any movie ever made. Since then he has steered clear of acting but has revealed he would like to return to cinema at some point.

In 2005, Beatty sued Tribune Co for $30 million in damages over the rights to 'Dick Tracy' which he acquired in 1985. There was even talk of doing a sequel, which Beatty would have acted in, in 2009, but this was postponed due to the legal issues. Tribune argued that Beatty had done nothing with the film rights and they reverted to the company.

Beatty succeeded Marlon Brando as the honourary chairman of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in 2006. The following year he was awarded the Cecile B DeMille Award presented by Tom Hanks at the Golden Globes.

He was honoured with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.