Beatty was recognized for his work, which includes the stylishly violent "Bonnie and Clyde," the sweeping "Reds" and the era-defining "Shampoo."
"He's the man we've been striving to be ourselves," said Tom Hanks in introducing Beatty, whom the Hollywood Foreign Press Association named most promising newcomer in 1962. "If we can't actually be Warren Beatty, we can want to exude his class and confidence."
Beatty recognized those who helped him during his career, noting the Foreign Press Association had been "very kind" to him through the years.
"Thank you," he said to the audience, singling out his wife, actress Annette Benning.
Beatty has received five Golden Globes, including one best actor in a comedy or musical for "Heaven Can Wait" and another for best director for "Reds." He also received a Golden Globe as producer of best picture-drama, "Bugsy" and best picture-comedy or musical for "Heaven Can Wait."