Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Beatty has had a long and distinguished career that has seen him play supporting roles in a large number of films. He was in Deliverance, Nashville, All the President's Men and Network, the latter film bringing him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work in Hear My Song (1991) and two Emmy awards: one for Friendly Fire (1979) and one for Last Train Home (1990). He was nominated for a 2002 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role of 2001 for his performance in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Lyric Theatre in London.
Currently married to his fourth wife, Sandra, Beatty has eight children from his first three marriages. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and playing bass guitar.