Robert Beatty spent his early adulthood in Canada as a gas-company cashier, salesman and amateur actor. Upon arriving in London, Beatty enrolled at the RADA, making his film debut as an extra and stand-in. During World War II, Beatty achieved fame through his eyewitness radio reports of the nightly London bombings. In most of his postwar film, stage, radio and TV work, Beatty was cast as a rough-hewn American or Canadian. One of his favorite stage roles was rude 'n' crude American junk dealer Harry Brock in Garson Kanin's Born Yesterday. He also played more than his share of detectives, most prominently as radio's Phillip O'Dell, and on the 1958 TV series Dial 999. Beatty was given a chance to demonstrate his versatility in the dual role of a milquetoast British hubby and a slick Italian gangster in Her Favorite Husband (1950). Later film roles included Lord Beaverbrook in The Magic Box (1951), Halvorsen in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and two separate characters in Superman III (1980) and Superman IV (1984). On television, Robert Beatty was seen in the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (1977, as Proculus) and The Martian Chronicles (1980), and as President Ronald Reagan in the 1987 PBS special Breakthrough at Reykajavik.