John F. Kennedy wanted Beatty to play him in PT 109 (1963), after learning that director Elia Kazan had said that if anybody were to play JFK, it should be Beatty since they had so much in common. As Kazan stated, "Warren had everything Jack had. Looks, intelligence, cunning and a commanding eye with the girls. Warren also suffered from lower back trouble". Kennedy himself suggested Beatty to Warner Bros to play him. Jack L. Warner asked Beatty to fly over to Washington to meet JFK and talk about the movie with him, but Beatty did not want to make the trip, nor play the part. Beatty found the script too weak, that there was a surprising lack of action. His assessment turned out to be right: Cliff Robertson played the part and the movie flopped. Months later, JFK and Beatty met and Kennedy had to concede that Beatty's decision not to make the movie had been right. Beatty and Kennedy remained very good friends up until Kennedy's death in 1963.
Oliver Stone tried casting him twice - once as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987) and then as Richard M. Nixon in Nixon (1995).
What's New Pussycat (1965), a name he often called girlfriends, was written for him, but he turned down the role when Leslie Caron - his current flame - was turned down by producers for the other lead.
A political liberal, he personally campaigned for South Dakota Senator George McGovern in the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential primary in 1972.
A relative of his on his mothers side was the last sitting Communist member of the Canadian Parliament.
After coming to New York at 19 to pursue an acting career, he temporarily supported himself by working as a sandhog during the building of a new tube of the Lincoln Tunnel between New York and New Jersey.
Along with Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Richard Attenborough and Kevin Costner, he is one of six people to win and Academy Award for "Best Director", though they are mainly known as actors.
Attended Northwestern University but dropped out after one year. Member Sigma Chi fraternity.
Beatty first espied future long-term lover Julie Christie at the 1967 Royal Command Performance of the film Born Free (1966) in London, which he attended with his then-girlfriend, Leslie Caron. Caron and Beatty were situated near Christie in the reception line for Queen Elizabeth II, and Beatty first saw Christie in person when he turned to watch the Queen shake hands with her. Beatty inveigled his friend Richard Sylbert to tell her to call him. She did, he flew up to the San Francisco location of the Petulia (1968) shoot and, after a rocky start, they became lovers. She made her first public appearance with Beatty at a sneak preview of _Bonnie and Clyde (1967)_ for the Hollywood elite. It took them several months to rid themselves of their then-current lovers before they came together in a committed relationship, although they usually maintained separate households for the length of their long romance. Most of those who knew them said they shared a passion for the truth. Beatty told his friends he had asked Christie to marry him, but she refused as she did not want children. While filming
Became close to Robert F. Kennedy during his 1968 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Beatty's relationship with Robert F. Kennedy was closer than the one Beatty had had with John F. Kennedy. Beatty was particularly valuable during the campaign in firing up volunteers for such mundane activities as door-to-door canvassing. Robert F. Kennedy was impressed by Beatty's thorough understanding of the issues. After the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Beatty's hometown of Los Angeles, Beatty became a vocal gun control advocate.
Claims he was offered the lead role in Rocky (1976).
Credited with founding the concept of a political fund-raising concert when he and his girlfriend Julie Christie backed the "Together with McGovern" concert in 1972 featuring Barbra Streisand, Carole King, James Taylor and even reuniting Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (Simon and Garfunkel).
Despite their political differences, he is good friends with John McCain and Nancy Davis. He was also a longtime friend of Ronald Reagan since his early career in Hollywood. As President, Reagan invited Beatty to screen his film Reds (1981) at the White House.
Has expressed interest in producing, directing and starring in a live action Pokemon movie, with himself playing the villain Giovanni, as Pokemon is his youngest's and second youngest's favorite cartoon.
Has four children with Annette Bening: Kathlyn (b. January 8, 1992), Benjamin (b. August 23, 1994), Isabel (b. January 11, 1997), and Ella (b. April 8, 2000).
Has produced two films that were nominated for Best Picture and had acting nominations in all four roles: Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Reds (1981)
He and Clint Eastwood are the only actor-directors to earn Best Actor and Best Director Oscar nominations for the same film two separate times.
He directed 7 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Jack Warden, Dyan Cannon, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Maureen Stapleton, Al Pacino and himself (in Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Reds (1981). Maureen Stapleton won an Oscar for her performance in Reds (1981).