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Friday, August 13, 1999 Published at 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK

World: Americas

Beatty flirts with presidential run

Beatty is perhaps best known for a life full of famous women

Actor Warren Beatty is reported to be considering a run for the US presidency in the 2000 elections.

The BBC's Christine Stewart: "Warren Beatty could soon be taking centre stage"
The New York Times says he has hinted that he might run as a left-wing Democrat or even as an independent.

Beatty, 62, is known to be unhappy with the views of both of the declared party candidates, Vice-President Al Gore and New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley.

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"I have some very strong feelings, the most important of which at the moment is campaign finance reform because its tentacles reach into every other issue," Beatty said in a telephone interview with the newspaper.

"I fear we're getting closer to a plutocracy than we want to, and I believe that deep down the people want to do something about that."

The paper says Beatty has already talked to those who have helped civil rights activist Jesse Jackson in previous presidential bids.

He failed to respond when asked whether he had been approached by representatives of Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota to run for president on the Reform Party ticket.

Speaking the truth

Peter Bowes: Warren Beatty is unhappy about Democratic candidates
Born in 1937, the actor, producer and director has had a long career in Hollywood.

In his latest film, Bullworth, he played a senator who behaves outlandishly as he speaks "the truth" about the US political system.

Whether he would campaign on a similar platform is as yet unclear, but his candidacy could certainly enliven the race.

His acting roles have ranged from gangsters in Bonnie and Clyde and Bugsy to a hairdresser in Shampoo and a left-wing journalist in Reds, for which he won an Oscar for best director.

Linked to huge numbers of beautiful and famous co-stars and celebrities during his acting career, he finally settled down in 1991, marrying actress Annette Bening.

Democratic party insiders say Beatty has a slim chance of winning. But, that's what people thought about Ronald Reagan's chances when he ran for California governor in 1966.

He later became one of America's most popular presidents.

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