Ned Beatty, who has appeared in iconic movies like Superman, Network and played the character Lotso in Toy Story 3 has died in his sleep.

The 83-year-old legend is said to have been "one of the busiest actors in Hollywood".

TMZ reported that he died at his home and it's believed his death is not related to Covid-19.

He broke out onto the scene in Deliverance before appearing in Nashville, Network, and Homicide: Life on the Street.

Known as one of the most respected actors of his time, he was seen in All the President's Men and played Lex Luthor's sidekick in Superman as Otis in the 1978 film and sequel two years later.

As a teenager, his goal was to have a successful career in musical theatre as he had an excellent singing voice.

Although he doubted he would snap up a part in Deliverance alongside Burt Reynolds, Ronnie Cox, and Jon Voight, but was given the part after having lunch with the director John Boorman, his assistant, and their wives.

After flirting with the assistant's wife – terribly he adds – the director took a liking to him.

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"He said he thought I was the rudest person he had ever met," he told CBC.

The 1970s film has become infamous for its uncut 10-minute male rape sequence where Beatty's character Bobby Trippe is the victim and was difficult to watch.

In Network, he played Arthur Jensen and was only on set for one day for his 6-minute scene, which is just as memorable.

When asked about not playing many leading roles, he said he never had any regrets.

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“They’re more trouble than they’re worth,” he once told People magazine.

“I feel sorry for people in a star position — it’s unnatural.”

He was the voice of the deceivingly cuddly Lotso in Toy Story 3, the bear in the nursery who goes up against Woody, Buzz, and the gang.

Born in 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky, to a son of a travelling salesman, he began singing as a teenager after his voice broke at the young age of 10.

Beatty graduated from High School in 1955 and worked as a butcher when he attended Transylvania University.

At age 19, he was given a part in Wilderness Road and was hooked on acting.

But after he landed a job as a bank robber in an FBI training film he kept getting arrested.

“If I went into a small town somewhere, I’d get arrested. I’m serious. That’s the way cops work.

"They’re used to seeing pictures of bad guys. If they see you and they know that you’re a bad guy, they arrest you.

"So that went on for a little while, until I started getting known as a film actor.”

Beatty was married four times and had eight children.

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