As the gangster bride in “Bonnie and Clyde”, the young actress Faye Dunaway became famous on the side of Warren Beatty. A mistake on the Oscar stage brought both decades later back into the spotlight.
Los Angeles – A huge mistake in front of an audience of millions catapulted Faye Dunaway into the limelight four years ago. With Warren Beatty, the actress stood on the Oscar stage in 2017 to announce the winner of the top trophy for best film. But the wrong card is in the supposed winner’s envelope. Dunaway reads “La La Land” aloud. Only after a few minutes of horror is corrected: “Moonlight” is the winner.
It was the helpers behind the stage to blame, but Dunaway and Beatty, the now graying crook couple from “Bonnie and Clyde”, received the first criticism. The Hollywood legend, who turns 80 this Thursday (January 14), only spoke out publicly two months after the Oscar breakdown. She was “completely baffled” and felt “very guilty,” the actress admitted on the NBC Nightly News program.
Casual canvas superwoman
“Why didn’t I see Emma Stone’s name on the card?” Mused the star. The card referred to the best leading actress (Stone) from the film musical “La La Land”. A small consolation: at the following Oscar gala in 2018, Dunaway and Beatty made up for the mistake. They presented the best film again, error-free for “Shape of Water – The Whispering of Water”.
On the screen, Dunaway was the casual and accurate power woman for years. As the ice-cold gangster bride in “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), she brought Beatty to fear. In “Thomas Crown is Unbelievable” (1968) she was as cold-blooded as her screen partner Steve McQueen. As an opaque blonde, she upset Jack Nicholson in “Chinatown” (1974).
In the black comedy “Network” (1976) she acted as a calculating career woman – and won her first and so far only Oscar. She had previously been nominated twice for the coveted film award (“Bonnie and Clyde”, “Chinatown”).
Even in old age, the actress is still in front of the camera
The bitter Hollywood beauty with striking green eyes and high cheekbones still stands in front of the camera even in old age. In 2017 she shot the horror flick “The Bye Bye Man” and the thriller “Deadly Desire” with Nicolas Cage. For the French director Frédéric Jardin, she recently promised a role in the planned thriller “Visceral”.
In 2019 she returned to her beginnings as an actress with the one-person piece “Tea at Five”. On the theater stage in Boston, Dunaway turned into the film legend Katharine Hepburn. In the early 1960s she studied acting at Boston University. She studied at New York’s Lincoln Center under the guidance of legendary director Elia Kazan.
“Without the craft of the theater and without the knowledge to give a lively and real performance, I would not have been able to make films,” Dunaway told The Boston Globe in 2019.
“A little bit hot and cold can’t hurt”
After her Oscar win for “Network” (1977) and the failure of her first marriage to rock musician Peter Wolf, Dunaway lived temporarily in England. She married the British photographer Terry O’Neill. Her adopted son Liam was born in 1980. The second marriage also fell apart after a few years.
Dunaway celebrated a Hollywood comeback with the portrait of a drinker in the Bukowski film “Barfly” (1987) alongside Mickey Rourke. The film diva also has a reputation for being capricious and difficult. In an interview with Esquire magazine in 1999, she admitted: “I am a little strenuous, but it attracts attention. A little hot and cold can’t do any harm. “
During the filming of “Chinatown”, for example, there should have been violent outbursts of anger between director Roman Polanski and his leading actress. This could be the material for the planned film “The Big Goodbye”, directed by Oscar winner Ben Affleck. The model is based on the book of the same name by author Sam Wasson, who traces the making of the iconic feature film “Chinatown” from 1974, as the film magazine “Variety” reported last August. In addition to Polanski and Dunaway, dazzling Hollywood greats such as Jack Nicholson and “Love Story” producer Robert Evans worked on the crime film.