Who is Annette Bening?

American actress Annette Carol Bening was born of British and German ancestry, in Topeka, Kansas USA, on 29 May 1958, making Gemini her zodiac sign. She has 48 acting credits to her name, but is perhaps still known best for playing one of the main characters, Carolyn Burnham in the evergreen 1999 drama movie “American Beauty”, which also starred Thora Birch and Kevin Spacey, and was directed by Sam Mendes. It follows an elderly married man who’s fallen for his daughter’s friend – the movie won 112 of its 212 award nominations, including five Oscar wins, some of which were for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Kevin Spacey) and Best Director.

Annette’s today still highly active in the film industry, and is currently shooting for the upcoming movies “Poolman”, “Other Plans” and “Nyad”, as well as for the upcoming TV series “Apples Never Fall”.

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Education and early life

Annette was raised alongside her sister Jane and brothers Byron and Bradley in Wichita, Kansas by their father Arnett Grant Bening who was an insurance salesman and sales training consultant, and mother Shirley Katherine (nee Ashley) who was a church singer.

Annette was only a year old when the family moved to Wichita, and then to San Diego, California while she was attending elementary school. She became passionate about acting during her third year at Patrick Henry High School, and appeared in a number of school plays, with her favorite having been “The Sound of Music”, in which she starred.

She matriculated in 1976 and then worked on a charter boat as a cook for a year, while she spent most of her spare time scuba diving. Annette enrolled at San Diego Mesa College in 1977, and eventually transferred to San Francisco State University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in theatre arts in 1981.

Prior to launching her career on TV in 1986, Annette was a member of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival company, the San Diego Repertory Theater, and the American Conservatory Theatre.

Roles in movies

Annette’s debut film role was playing Ann Tillman in the 1986 drama “Manhunt for Claude Dallas”, and some of her following roles were in 1988 in the drama “Hostage” and the comedy “The Great Outdoors”, and the 1989 romantic drama “Valmont”.

In 1990, she played Myra Langtry in the popular crime thriller “The Grifters”, which starred John Cusack and Anjelica Huston, and was created by Stephen Frears. It follows the lives of a conman, his girlfriend and estranged mother, and the film won 10 of its 31 award nominations, including four Oscar nominations, two of which for Best Director and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Anjelica Huston). Annette was then cast to appear in several critically acclaimed movies, such as the 1990 comedy “Postcards from the Edge, the romantic drama “Regarding Henry” and the drama “Guilty by Suspicion” both in 1991.

The year 1995 saw her star as Sydney Ellen Wade in the evergreen romantic comedy “The American President”, which also starred Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas, and was directed by Rob Reiner. The film follows a widowed US President who’s fallen for an environmental lobbyist, and it was nominated for a 1996 Oscar for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score. Some of Annette’s roles in the remainder of the ‘90s were in the 1996 science fiction comedy “Mars Attacks!”, the 1998 action thriller “The Siege”, and the 1999 comedy “The Book That Wrote Itself”.

In 2003, she played Sue Barlow in the popular romantic action “Open Range”, which was directed by Kevin Costner, while he and Robert Duvall starred in it; the film follows a former gunslinger and his friends as they’re making a stand against corrupt lawmen, and the film won one of its six award nominations. Some of Annette’s roles in the remainder of the decade were in the 2004 romantic comedy “Being Julia”, the 2006 comedy “Running with Scissors”, and the 2010 romantic comedy “The Kids Are All Right”.

She portrayed Gertrude in the hit 2012 fantasy comedy “Ruby Sparks”, which starred Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano, and was directed by Jonathan Dayton. It follows an author whose female book character has come to life, and the film won one of the 12 awards for which it was nominated.

Some of Annette’s most recent film roles have been in the 2019 romantic drama “Hope Gap”, and in 2022 the crime mystery “Death on the Nile” and biographical comedy “Jerry and Marge Go Large”.

Roles in TV series

Annette’s appeared in only five TV series. Her debut was playing Vicky in the 1987 episode “Red Tape” of the crime action “Miami Vice”, and the same year saw her play Karen Leland in the episode “One on One” of the crime mystery “Wiseguy”.

In 2002 and 2003, Annette voiced Abigail Adams in five episodes of the animated adventure “Liberty’s Kids”, which starred Kathleen Barr and Walter Cronkite, and was created by Michael Maliani and Kevin O’Donnell. It follows three people during the American Revolutionary War, and the series was nominated for five awards.

In 2004, Annette appeared in the episode “The Test Dream” of the crime drama “The Sopranos”, and her only other TV series role has been voicing Cathy in the 2020 episode “The Christmas Letter” of the comedy “The Pack Podcast”.

Other credits

Annette received special thanks for the 1998 romantic comedy movie “Bulworth”, the 2005 short documentary film “Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight” and the 2010 musical comedy movie “I’m Still Here”.

She sang “Don’t Rain On My Parade” in the 1999 movie “American Beauty”, the song “All I Want” in the 2010 movie “The Kids Are All Right” and the song “Dark Eyes (Ochi Chyornye)” in the 2018 movie “The Seagull”.

Some of Annette’s most recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Late Late Show with James Corden”, “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal”.

Awards and nominations

Annette’s won 54 of her 178 award nominations, including four Oscar nominations for her performances in “The Grifters” (1991), “American Beauty” (2000), “Being Julia” (2005) and “The Kids Are All Right” (2011).

Some of her wins include a 1997 San Francisco International Film Festival Peter J. Owens Award, a 1999 Boston Film Festival Excellence Award, and a 2000 New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award.

On 19 November 2006, Annette was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Love life and marriages

Annette’s married twice, but not many details have been shared about her first husband James Steven White; it’s known that he’s an American choreographer, and that they married on 26 May 1984 and divorced in 1991.

Annette and her second husband, American actor, screenwriter and producer Warren Beatty married in a private ceremony on 3 March 1992; he’s appeared in 36 movies and TV series, and is probably still known best for writing, directing and playing John Reed in the 1981 biographical historical movie “Reds”, which won three Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Maureen Stapleton), Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.

Annette gave birth to their daughter Kathlyn on 8 January 1992, and their son Benjamin followed on 23 August 1994; she gave birth to their second daughter Isabel on 11 January 1997, and third daughter Ella on 8 April 2000.

Annette’s yet to mention other men whom she’s dated, she’s married to her second husband Warren Beatty as of June 2023, and they have four children together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Annette’s favorite actresses are Ingrid Bergman, Frances McDormand and Helen Mirren, and some of her favorite movies include “A Woman Called Golda”, “Autumn Sonata”, and “A Walk in the Spring Rain”.

There was once a rumor about Annette having been the model for the Columbia Pictures logo; the rumor was so widespread that Annette herself began believing in it.

Annette’s eldest daughter Kathlyn Elizabeth came out as transgender when aged 14, and is today known as Stephen Ira.

Annette once taught at the San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, while her two most popular students were actress Teri Hatcher and actor Steven Schub.

Height, eyes and wealth

Annette’s age is 65. She has blue eyes and brown hair, is 5ft 6ins (1.69m) tall and weighs around 135lbs (62kgs).

Annette’s net worth’s been estimated at over $70 million, as of June 2023.

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