Portly American character actor Ned Beatty originally planned to enter the clergy, but after appearing in a single high-school play, he changed his mind and decided to become a thespian instead. By his early twenties, Beatty was playing Broadway and it was his work in the play The Great White Hope that attracted the interest of film director John Boorman, who cast him as one of the four main stars in his gripping backwoods thriller Deliverance (1972). Forever immortalized in the notorious "squeal like a pig" rape scene, Beatty subsequently went on to become one of the screen's more prolific supporting actors, frequently appearing in up to four films per year. His more notable film work includes Nashville (1975), All the President's Men (1976), Network (for which he earned an Oscar nomination), The Big Easy (1987), Hear My Song (1991), A Prelude to a Kiss (1992), Radioland Murders (1994), and He Got Game (1998). In 1999, he could be seen as a small-town sheriff in the Robert Altman ensemble film Cookie's Fortune.
At the start of the 21st century the always-employed character actor continued to work steadily in projects as diverse as Roughing It, Where the Red Fern Grows, Shooter, and Charlie Wilson's War. He joined the Pixar family when he voiced Lotso, the bad guy in Toy Story 3, and he provided the voice of Mayor in 2011's Oscar winning animated feature Rango.