Annette Bening

Annette Bening
Kevin Winter / Getty Images


Annette Bening
Film: North side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born May 29, 1958 in Topeka, KS

Annette Bening's irresistibly amoral vixen in "The Grifters," going-slowly-mad housewife in "American Beauty," narcissistic London stage star in "Being Julia" and her portrayal of Deirdre Burroughs' "bipolar, borderline psychotic, bisexual," in the words of director Ryan Murphy, are the highlights of a successful skein of a career.

It's a measure of the respect accorded Bening (who was nominated for a best actress Oscar in 1991, 2000 and 2005 for, respectively, "Grifters," "American Beauty" and "Julia") that she chalked up a Golden Globe nomination for her "Running With Scissors" performance despite the film's generally anemic reviews.

After studying at San Francisco State, the San Diego-raised Bening served her apprenticeship onstage (mostly with San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, but also with a Denver company).

She met and fell in love with her husband, Warren Beatty — who had long been one of Hollywood's most unattainable bachelors — on the set of "Bugsy" (1991). They have four children.

Dubbed "the thinking man's sex symbol," Bening brings to mind such Golden Age actresses as Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert and Barbara Stanwyck—sassy, ready-for-anything heroines a half-step ahead of their man. As a foil to Denzel Washington's sober FBI agent Anthony Hubbard in "The Siege" ("You know, Hubb . . . may I call you Hubb?") or to Beatty's Bugsy Siegel ("We traveled 5 1/2 hours to get to this . . . canker sore?"), the actress radiates spunk.

Off-camera, though, the comparisons stop. "With the possible exception of Irene Dunne, who was married to a dentist, it's hard to think of a great female star of the classic era with a happily married family life," says film historian Richard Schickel. "The choice was much cleaner then: essentially either/or."

Related stars

Points of interest

Click for more information

    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1990 Best Supporting Actress The Grifters Nomination
    1999 Best Actress American Beauty Nomination
    2004 Best Actress Being Julia Nomination
    2010 Best Actress The Kids Are Alright Nomination

    Share a thought about Annette Bening

    • Did you ever meet Annette Bening? Share your memory.
    • Which other stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame have connections to Annette Bening?
    • Are other places in the world important to Annette Bening?
    • Does Annette Bening deserve this star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?