image captionNed Beatty as he appeared in 2001 miniseries I Was a Rat

US actor Ned Beatty, known for his roles in Deliverance, Superman and many other films, has died at the age of 83.

According to his manager, he died on Sunday from natural causes "surrounded by his family and loved ones".

Born in Kentucky in 1937, Beatty was Oscar-nominated in 1977 for playing a corporate CEO in Network, a role he filmed in a single day.

He also appeared in All the President's Men and was heard as menacing teddy bear Lotso on Toy Story 3.

Lee Unkrich, director of that 2010 animated film, said it had been "a joy and an incredible honour" to work with him.

Just heard that Ned Beatty passed away in his sleep.

It was a joy and and an incredible honor to work with him.

Thanks, Ned, for bringing Lotso to life — both his good side and his not-so-good side. We’ll miss you. pic.twitter.com/mDP9pP2vg1

— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) June 14, 2021
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Beatty made his screen debut in 1972's Deliverance, in which his character is brutally assaulted during a canoeing expedition.

He went on to appear in a number of films with that movie's star, Burt Reynolds, and was also seen in Robert Altman's Nashville.

In 1978's Superman he was seen as Lex Luthor's bumbling assistant Otis, a character that returned in 1980's Superman II.

His other roles included playing Irish singer Josef Locke in Hear My Song, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1992.

image copyrightReutersimage captionBeatty with Nashville director Robert Altman in 2000

Writer David Simon, who worked with Beatty on TV series Homicide: Life on the Street, said he would be watching "that gentle masterpiece again in his memory".

Others to pay tribute included comedian Patton Oswalt, who said Beatty had given "chilling, villainous turns" in 1973's White Lightning and 1976's Mikey and Nicky.

Bill and Ted star Alex Winter said he had been "one of the greats", while Seth Rogen said his speech in Network had been "one of the greatest monologues ever".

He was also remembered by his Superman co-star Valerie Perrine, who said he had been "an unforgettable performer" who had "brought so much" to his Otis character.

RIP Ned Beatty!!I’ve always had such fond memories of him. He brought so much to Otis and brought him to life like no other actor could have. He’s an unforgettable performer and his talent will be missed. I’ll see you in Otisberg one of these days! 💋 Miss Teschmacher!! #superman pic.twitter.com/ruoRAECHn8

— valerie perrine (@TheValPerrine) June 14, 2021
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A prolific actor known for his stocky build, Beatty believed those in his profession should never turn down work when it was offered.

"I worked a day on Network and got an Oscar nomination for it," he once observed, though having an extensive number of credits did have a downside.

"For people like me, there's a lot of 'I know you! I know you! What have I seen you in?'" he remarked in 1992.

Once nicknamed "the busiest actor in Hollywood", his final film before retirement was 2013's Baggage Claim.

Beatty – who was not related to his namesake Warren – is survived by his widow Sandra Johnson and the eight children he had with his previous three wives.

Nashville will be seen in cinemas again later this month as part of a BFI retrospective of Robert Altman's work.

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