Warren Beatty Biography

Peter Biskind’s book Star, a biography of Warren Beatty, was published by Simon & Schuster. The author tries and abysmally fails to get Warren Beatty out of bed, but the book makes good reading for scandal mongers. If you ever wondered how to start your Hollywood career: It starts in the bed of a producer or director. It helps if you aren't choosy about the sex of your mentors; they will get you roles even when lacking in looks and acting talent.

by +Lucas Dié on Books

If you remember the musical Evita, you’ll know that Evita Peron stands accused of sleeping her way to the top. Presuming that the story line of the musical is somewhere near the truth, she was not only more successful than Warren Beatty but incomparably more efficient.

The book charts the life of Warren Beatty from bed to bed and from fling to fling, leaving out a lot of them, but mentioning more than you ever wanted to know. He had to go through all this for a few measly roles in movies. How devastating must it be for him? It made me really pity him. The book claims that this was his choice; if so, at the latest since Tiger Woods everybody knows that sex addiction should be treated.

In between all that, the author tries to get the spotlight away from the bedroom and onto a few forgotten movie sets. As lost as movies with Warren Beatty are in a sea of mediocrity and outright flops, the few work related sentences get lost in the book. The author can’t manage to get the attention away from the private life. This is not the authors fault, but the consequence of his subject’s life.

While reading the book, I started to wonder when on earth Beatty had time to do any (other) work at all. But then, maybe he wasn't expected to while providing personal services. I remember a time when providing these services was called something else than acting. Even if some commentators of the biography might compare the succession of women as lemmings, in an age where toy boys become more acceptable this comes to mind rather more forcefully.

The author completely misses the point though when he tries to make Warren Beatty one of the greatest film icons besides Orson Welles with his multiple Oscar nominations, mistaking the total crisis of the Hollywood film industry at that time as a distinction for Warren Beatty. In fact, the films coming out of Hollywood at that time were so bad today's discards would have been a great success.

The only pertinent comment in the book comes from Warren Beatty’s sister, Shirley McLaine, who commented on him as being ‘Fifty from the neck up and 14 from the waist down.’ Outstanding is the amount of self delusion of the subject itself in contrast when he is cited with: ‘I know that the press has to cut people like me down to size ...’

Once you have read this book, you get a perspective on all those moaners who deplore promiscuity in (their perceived) gay lifestyle. Compared to Warren Beatty, hardened gay promiscuous icons have to graduate from kindergarten first.

The book is one biography too many about a non-entity, but it is amusing enough to while away an afternoon while you are snowed in or bedridden and unable to do anything more sensible. Get it from the library though; it’s not worth spending money on.