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15 of Warren Beatty’s Leading Ladies

A look at America’s heartthrob — and the women who have loved him

  • Courtesy of Everett Collection, Alamy, Alamy

    Warren Beatty, the Heartthrob

    Warren Beatty cedes the romantic lead to another actor — costar Alden Ehrenreich — in his new film, Rules Don’t Apply. But as our list of Beatty’s leading ladies proves, he will long be remembered as one of Hollywood’s greatest lovers.

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  • AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo

    Tuesday Weld

    The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959) - Beatty played a stuck-up rich kid, Milton Armitage, five times on this sitcom. That was enough to lure away Dobie’s girlfriend, Thalia (Weld), in the invented world of the show.

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    Natalie Wood

    Splendor in the Grass (1961) - Nothing prepared audiences for Wood’s doomed screen romance with Beatty as her weak-willed high school crush. Offscreen, matters were even more tumultuous: “Our affair,” wrote Wood, was “a combination three-ring circus and five-alarm fire.”

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  • ZUMA Press/Alamy

    Vivien Leigh

    The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) - Two Hollywood eras collided when Leigh, an Oscar winner for 1939’s Gone With the Wind, took up with a Roman gigolo played by the 24-year-old Beatty. Despite his dreadful Italian accent, she fell for him — on-screen, that is.

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    Eva Marie Saint

    All Fall Down (1962) -As a violent, good-for-nothing drifter, Beatty falls in love with an older, vulnerable woman named Echo (Saint). Sparks didn’t fly between the actors, and tragedy ensued in the plot.

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  • Photos 12/Alamy

    Jean Seberg

    Lilith (1964) - Beatty must have been cast against type here, for he portrayed a character whose romantic instincts are all wrong. As a war veteran named Vincent Bruce, Beatty finds work as an occupational therapist in a mental hospital. There, scandalously, he becomes entangled with Seberg’s title character — a mysterious and deeply troubled woman.

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    Leslie Caron

    Promise Her Anything (1966) -Turning to romantic comedy, Beatty played an adult-film director who falls for his next-door neighbor (Caron). She’s torn between him and a famous child psychologist (Robert Cummings), but — back when single motherhood dimmed one’s prospects — hides her infant son upstairs whenever either suitor drops by. “We were like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie,” Caron once told London’s Daily Mail of her real-life relationship with Beatty. “The ‘It’ couple.”  

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  • Photos 12/Alamy

    Susannah York

    Kaleidoscope (1966) - Beatty is a rambling gambler — and a savant who has figured out a way to mark every deck of cards in the casinos of Europe. York is the girlfriend who has an ulterior motive for sticking with him. The actress later described their rapport as a “bantering relationship.”

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    Faye Dunaway

    Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - They robbed banks — and got away with two Oscar nominations. Intriguingly, Beatty and Dunaway reportedly kept each other at arm’s length during the filming of this classic.

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    Elizabeth Taylor

    The Only Game in Town (1970) - The movie was a major flop, but watch it today to catch two movie legends in their prime. The 38-year-old Taylor played an aging chorus girl, torn between her married lover and Beatty’s frustrated musician.

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  • Julie Christie

    Julie Christie

    McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) - In a pairing for the ages — or at least the ’70s — Christie teamed with Beatty three times (they also made Shampoo in 1975 and Heaven Can Wait in 1978). Christie nabbed an Oscar nomination for this gritty western that was their first collaboration. She also became the most serious love interest of Beatty’s life until then. The romance ran its course, but Beatty dedicated his 1982 best picture Oscar (for Reds) to “Jules.”

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    Goldie Hawn

    Shampoo (1975) - Hawn was evolving from a giggly girl on Laugh-In to a serious actress when she costarred as Beatty’s fellow bank robber in $, a 1971 heist comedy. By the time they teamed up again four years later on Shampoo, Hawn’s Hollywood star had gone supernova.

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  • Courtesy Everett Collection

    Lee Grant

    Shampoo (1975) - Grant played one of the countless romantic victims of George, Beatty’s bed-hopping Hollywood hairstylist in this decade-defining comedy. Grant walked off with a nice souvenir of the experience: an Oscar for best supporting actress.

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  • Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Diane Keaton

    Reds (1981) - In Beatty’s best picture-winning epic, Keaton (as firebrand Louise Bryant) left her husband to join Beatty’s journalist, John Reed, in Russia, where he witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution firsthand. Beatty was “a person I loved in real time, not reel,” Keaton would later reminisce.

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  • United Archives/Alamy

    Madonna

    Dick Tracy (1990) - The temptation tables were turned in Beatty’s comic-book cop film, with bad girl Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) trying in vain to seduce Beatty’s straight-arrow detective. Things were hotter offscreen: The two stars dated for 15 months, with the singer recently telling Howard Stern that Beatty was “an incredible lover.”

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  • Ronald Grant Archive/Alamy

    Annette Bening

    Love Affair (1994) - On the set of his 1991 gangster movie Bugsy, Beatty met the love of his life — who has turned the legendary lothario into a stable family man. They married the following year and have raised four children, with nary a whisper of scandal through their decades together. Beatty’s life can be divided into two parts, he says: “Before Annette and after Annette.”

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