Famously a Don Juan, Warren Beatty was the most ambitious and successful Hollywood star over the course of a five decades long career. Several of his films have become classics, including Bonnie and Clyde, Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, Reds (for which he won the best director Oscar), Bugsy, and Bulworth. Aside from Orson Welles, Beatty is the only person ever nominated for four Academy Awards for a single film — and unlike Welles, Beatty was so honored twice, for Heaven Can Wait and Reds. He 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.

Beatty exercised unique control over his projects, often hiring screenwriters out of his own pocket (and frequently collaborating with them), producing, writing, directing, and acting in his own films. He became an auteur before anyone in Hollywood knew what the word meant. He was arguably one of the most successful and creative figures in the popular arts in America during the second half of the twentieth century.


Beatty is an omnivorous reader and people collector. He knew all the greats in the arts from Charlie Chaplin and Jean Renoir, to Elia Kazan, Lillian Hellman, and Clifford Odets. His private life has been the subject of gossip for decades, and Star confirms his status as Hollywood’s leading man in the bedroom, describing his affairs with Joan Collins, Natalie Wood, Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Michelle Phillips, Diane Keaton, and Madonna, among many others.

Throughout his career, Beatty has been fascinated with politics. He knew all three Kennedy brothers, and his friendships spanned the political spectrum, from Ronald Reagan to Ralph Nader. He played a key role in the 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns of Gary Hart. As recently as a few years ago, Beatty was speaking out about California politics and contemplating a run for president himself.

This book is based on many, many interviews with Beatty himself, conducted over a twenty year period, as well as interviews with a great number of his close friends and associates.