In this compulsively readable and constantly surprising book, Peter Biskind, the author of the film classics Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and Down and Dirty Pictures, writes the most intimate, revealing, and balanced biography ever of Hollywood legend Warren Beatty.
Famously a playboy—he has been linked to costars Natalie Wood, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton, and Madonna, among others—Beatty has also been one of the most ambitious and successful stars in Hollywood. Several Beatty films have passed the test of time, from Bonnie and Clyde to Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, Reds (for which he won the best director Oscar), Bugsy, and Bulworth. Few filmgoers realize that along with Orson Welles, Beatty is the only person ever nominated for four Academy Awards for a single film—and unlike Welles, Beatty did it twice, with Heaven Can Wait and Reds.
Biskind shows how Beatty used star power, commercial success, savvy, and charm to bend Hollywood moguls to his will, establishing an unprecedented level of independence while still working within the studio system. Arguably one of the most successful and creative figures in Hollywood over the last few decades, Beatty exercised unique control over his films, often hiring screenwriters out of his own pocket (and frequently collaborating with them), producing, directing, and acting, becoming an auteur before anyone in Hollywood knew what the word meant. In this fascinating biography, the ultimate Hollywood Star comes to life—complete with excesses and achievements—as never before.
Peter Biskind is the author of five previous books, including Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. He is a contributor to Vanity Fair and was formerly the executive editor of Premiere magazine. He lives with his family in Columbia County, New York.