Annette Bening and Warren Beatty’s Complete Relationship Timeline

When Warren Beatty and Annette Bening met, he knew she was the one right away. Though he’d dated many high-profile Hollywood women, Beatty was never ready to marry until he connected with his Bugsy co-star. Two years after meeting, they tied the knot. They went on to have four children together. More than 30 years later, they are still going strong.

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Here’s the couple’s complete relationship timeline so far.

November 1990

Beatty was aware of Bening as an actress before they started dating. He thought of her while casting Bugsy for the role of Virginia Hill, the girlfriend of Bugsy (his own character). Beatty gave her a call and then took her out to lunch to chat about the role, and he soon realized he wanted more than to star across from her.

warren beatty and annette bening in 'bugsy'

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In an interview with the New York Post, Beatty said as soon as he got back to the office that day, he called director Barry Levinson and said, “I love her, and I’m going to marry her.”

“It took about 10 minutes [to fall in love with her],” he added. “Maybe five. I was so elated to meet her, and yet at the same time, I began to mourn the passing of a way of life.”

January 1992

On January 8, the couple welcomed home their first child, Stephen Ira Beatty.

Beatty told People, “As you might have guessed, I’m still avoiding talking to the press about personal things, but I can tell you I couldn’t be happier about having a baby with Annette.”

Not long after, they attended the Golden Globes together.

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March 1992

The couple were married on March 3, 1992, in a private ceremony. In 2016, Beatty addressed his reputation as a playboy before meeting Bening, and some surprise reactions from friends that he finally settled down.

“It didn’t really surprise me. … I had no doubt when I met Annette that it was time to get married,” he said Today. He added that he “wasn’t trying to avoid marriage,” just divorce.

A few weeks later, they attended the 64th Academy Awards where Beatty was nominated for Best Actor and Best Picture for Bugsy.

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August 1994

Their second child was born on Aug. 23, 1994, a son named Benjamin Beatty.

October 1994

In an interview with Robert Ebert, Beatty talked about deciding to marry, saying, “When you’re older, and you meet somebody, the decision-making process is a lot shorter. And that happened here, and I listened to it. And by listening to it, it enabled me not to question it too much—and I never did.”

Beatty was promoting his new movie starring across from his wife, Love Affair.

January 1997

Their third baby was born on Jan. 11, 1997, a daughter named Isabel Beatty.

January 1999

A few years after Love Affair was released, Bening discussed the movie’s less than favorable reception. She told the New York Times that they didn’t plan on working together again soon and felt audiences were too aware of their real-life relationship.

“I think if you’re the woman who happens to be married to Warren Beatty, there is a long, long queue of people waiting to get at you,” she said.

She added, “I have had to put up with that for years and don’t expect any change. If you work together, it’s like standing there with a sign saying, ‘Come on and throw something.’”

April 2000

On April 8, 2000, their fourth child, Ella Beatty, was born.

December 2011

In 2011, Bening told Express about her 21-year age gap with Beatty,I had never been attracted to younger guys. I had, from my late teens, always liked men who were older than me.”

May 2016

In 2016, Beatty released a new movie after 15 years away from the big screen, starring in Rules Don’t Apply. He told People he’d been enjoying being a dad during that time off from work.

“I have four children and any one of them is more interesting than any 12 movies I’ve done,” he said. “I had my life before them and my life since them.”

October 2016

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Beatty talked about his oldest son, Stephen, who came out as trans at 14 years old.

“He’s a revolutionary, a genius, and my hero, as are all my children,” Beatty said.

The kids had mostly moved away by then, and he added that “there’s something about the empty nest that makes you say, ‘Well, maybe I should go out and make a movie.’ It’s like Cocteau said [quoting the French poet Paul Valery], ‘A poem is never finished, it’s only abandoned.’ And that’s the way it is with movies—like children. You continue to work on them and work on them, but then you have to let them go.”

November 2016

While on the Today show, Beatty was asked about how he and Bening had maintained a long-term marriage for all these years, especially a fairly private one. He answered that the key was “respect.”

That same month in an interview with GQ, he talked about the expectations people had of him because of his previous relationships and why he was glad he waited to marry.

“Had I gone ahead earlier and gone through 143 divorces, I would have felt very guilty. I think I would have handled it badly,” he said. “More importantly, it wouldn’t have been these kids or this wife … I’m so much more interested in my wife and kids than anything else.”

He gushed about them again to People, and about fatherhood, saying “That’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me. And their mother. That’s bigger than fame, and it came not a moment too soon.”

December 2016

While on the Today, Bening recalled her husband’s response the month before when she answered similar marriage questions.

She said, “I like ‘respect.’ But also, we have four children, and they’re incredible human beings. Having that shared purpose also is part of it.”

She continued, “I think in some ways we’re very different, some ways we’re alike. But the differences, I think, help us, and there’s some fire there. We want the same things.”

Beatty received the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas Award. During his acceptance speech, Beatty said, “Twenty-five years ago I brilliantly convinced the world’s best actress to marry me. I became a devoted husband and father, and I have to say that it has given me the most enthralling years of my life with our four fantastic kids.”

September 2018

Bening was asked again about her marriage by British newspaper The Times. She replied, “He’s 21 years older than I am, and we’ve always been at different stages of life. He’s got a lot of experience. But we’re very different in many ways. The crucial thing is that while we want many of the same things in life, we’ve thrived because we approach things very differently.”

November 2019

In an interview with AARP, Bening talked about what it was like to have their kids out of the house for the first time, saying, “I think we’re both still adjusting to the quiet at home.”

She added, “A lot of women have a period of incredible growth after their children are no longer with them on a day-to-day basis.”

February 2022

In 2022, Bening told People that when she met Beatty, her first impression was that “he was incredibly intelligent…Wow, this guy is so smart and so sharp and funny, but more—just articulate.”

Bening added, “He was very talkative. He was very passionate about the movie that he was about to make. He had a lot to say—and he was charming, for sure.”

On The Kelly Clarkson Show that month, she dished about their Valentine’s Day rituals.

“It’s pretty no-pressure,” she said. “Valentine’s is pretty low-key. He will generally make me like a little Valentine with just a little red felt pen and make a little heart. He’s very economical in his message.”

She explained it’s hard to buy him gifts.

“There’s nothing to buy for him. He’s one of those men, you cannot find anything,” she said. “So, no, it’s usually something small; it’s a little note, it’s a flower.”

January 2024

Bening added more about her first impressions of Beatty while on The Drew Barrymore Show.

“I was going to meet him, and he was incredibly intelligent. That was honestly…the biggest aphrodisiac,” she said. “Funny and super smart. Now, he is also very handsome. I thought, ‘Wow, this is quite a guy.’”

Though Beatty declared he was going to marry her right after they met, she first saw the connection as professional and possibly a future friendship.

“I really thought about it professionally when I first met him. I didn’t think that there would be, like, a thing between us,” she said. “I think marriage is like the greatest thing and greatest challenge to really make it all work and to stay together, and that is the thing that I am so, so proud of with us.”

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