Biography

A-list movie star Bening got her start in regional theater before moving to New York, where she earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in Coastal Disturbances (1986). She then made a name for herself in film with supporting roles, such as her deliciously wicked turns in Valmont and The Grifters, the latter of which earned her an Academy Award nomination. In 1991, she signed on to the project that would change her career and her life. Although Bugsy wasn't a commercial success, it offered Bening her first genuine leading role, as a gangster's moll. It also introduced her to notorious ladies' man Warren Beatty, who ended up abandoning his wild ways to wed and raise a family with Bening. Now a devoted mother of four, the actress-mom continues to be a hit with both critics and fans, earning Oscar nominations for her turns in the popular American Beauty (1999) and Being Julia (2004). In 2010, she again showcased her broad appeal with a star turn in The Kids Are All Right, which was a hit at both Sundance and the box office.

Fast Facts

  • Played the lead in her junior high school's production of The Sound of Music.
  • Spent some time as a cook on a charter boat.
  • Made her Broadway debut in 1987 in Coastal Disturbances, for which she received a Tony nomination.
  • Met husband Warren Beatty while costarring with him in Bugsy.

Awards

  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2000, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1999, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1987, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1990, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2000, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 1992, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actress: Nominee
  • 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 2011, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Winner
  • 2010, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2005, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 2011, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Female Lead: Nominee
  • 2011, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2004, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee

Relationships

  • Arnett Grant Bening — Father
  • J. Steven White — Ex-husband
  • Benjamin Beatty — Son
  • Shirley Bening — Mother
  • Warren Beatty — Husband
  • Ella Corinne Beatty — Daughter
  • Stephen Ira — Son
  • Bradley Bening — Brother
  • Byron Bening — Brother
  • Isabel Ira Ashley Beatty — Daughter
  • Jane Bening — Sister

College

  • San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States (BA in Theater); attended San Diego Mesa College, San Diego, California, United States