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Warren Beatty

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It was a bummer of a year for Beatty bashers. What’s to snipe at anymore? His perennial adolescence was ended—blissfully—by the birth of Kathlyn, going on 4 months. Did he once have a Rolodex the size of Montana, with listings from Mary Tyler Moore to Madonna? Enter the entrancing Annette Bening, Kathlyn’s mom and now Mrs. Beatty. Was he ever a one-note actor? He raged and charmed his way through Bugsy to a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Was he ever slippery with the press? Unabashedly boosting Bugsy, he was here, there and everywhere, always gracious (yet always inscrutable).

Blessed with eyelashes like brooms that frame penetrating blue-green eyes, the Virginia-born Beatty “made my knees go weak,” confesses Wendy Phillips, 40, who made his acquaintance while playing Mrs. Bugsy. “Besides having a beautiful face and the grace of an athlete, he makes you feel like you’re the most fascinating person he’s ever run across. He’s a true Southern gentleman—he should be a national treasure.” The aspect of Beatty that men admire is his brain. “In this business, we all gravitate toward the brightest and wittiest people,” says Bugsy producer Mark Johnson. “Warren is always at the acme of that.”

Beatty is still fabulous at 55, but will marriage dim his sex appeal? No, says Phillips. “His charm is predicated on how he makes women feel when he talks to them. I’m so glad he has a daughter. She’s got a father who just loves women. There are a lot of beautiful men in Hollywood, but they’re not Warren Beatty.”