New York Times says actor is considering a run
Beatty reportedly flirting with White House race
August 12, 1999
(CNN) -- A report in the Thursday edition of The New York Times says Hollywood actor-director-producer Warren Beatty is considering running for President of the United States in 2000.
"It's no secret that I am a liberal Democrat," Beatty tells the Times. "I have some very strong feelings, the most important of which at the moment is campaign finance reform because its tentacles reach into every other issue. I fear we're getting closer to a plutocracy than we want to, and I believe that deep down the people want to do something about that."
The article says Beatty is unhappy with the current candidates for the Democratic nomination -- Vice President Al Gore and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley -- and may position himself as a liberal alternative.
Beatty reportedly suggests he might even seek the nomination of the Reform Party, founded by Ross Perot. He's said to have talked about having met with liberals who helped campaign for civil rights leader and CNN talk-show host Rev. Jesse Jackson. Those people reportedly include Steve Cobble, a former political director for Jackson's National Rainbow Coalition, and Robert Borosage, who's worked for progressive advocacy organizations.
Not the best candidate, Beatty says
Ellen Miller, who leads Public Campaign -- a Washington-based group that calls for campaign finance reform -- tells the Times that Beatty has spoken with her.
"He's thinking about this very seriously," the article quotes Miller as saying. "He's thought a lot about it in the last few weeks."
Beatty tells the newspaper he doesn't see himself as the best possible candidate. "There certainly should be someone better," he tells Times reporter Richard L. Berke. "That's not to say that I don't have very strong feelings on a lot of things that aren't being spoken."
Beatty indicates that he has been approached about running. "It's kind of an awkward thing, " he says. "I don't think anybody should be in a position of having to say, 'Please don't say things like this to me.' I want to be very respectful of the people who have made the suggestion to me."
Syndicated political writer Arianna Huffington raised the question of a Beatty run in her column published Tuesday.
48 years in film and television
Beatty is a 62-year-old native of Richmond, Virginia, and the brother of actress Shirley MacLaine. He lives in Los Angeles and most recently has been linked to a Brian De Palma film project, "Mr. Hughes," expected to be released next year.
In the cast of the comedy "Town and Country" -- scheduled for a September release -- he's joined by one of his most conservative fellow Hollywood stars, the National Rifle Association's Charlton Heston.
He began acting as a teen-ager in television, making his debut in 1951 on the soap opera "Love of Life." On TV, he went on to appear in "The Many Loves of Doby Gillis" in 1959. Since then, his career has been spent almost entirely in film.
In last year's "Bulworth," Beatty played Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth. Other films with politically related themes include "Reds" (1981) and "The Parallax View" (1974). Other prominent films in which Beatty has starred include "Bugsy" (1991), "Dick Tracy" (1990), the ill-fated "Ishtar" (1987), "Heaven Can Wait" (1978), "Shampoo" (1975), "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967), "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" (1961) and "Splendor in the Grass" (1961).
Beatty gets directorial credit for "Bulworth," "Dick Tracy," "Heaven Can Wait" and "Reds." He's listed as a producer on those films plus "Bugsy," "Ishtar," "Shampoo" and "Bonnie and Clyde."
Since 1992, Warren Beatty has been married to actress Annette Benning, who appeared with him in "Bugsy."
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