"I've been trying to quit almost everything I do for the last 10 years, and I've managed to quit absolutely nothing." Paul Newman
Award winning actor and director Paul Newman, who has stayed in the spotlight for playing such outstanding starring roles as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, also starring Robert Redford), received critical acclaim for starring in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money (1988, co-starring Tom Cruise) and directing Rachel, Rachel (1968, starring wife Joanne Woodward). A respected, admired actor since the 1950s and the winner of an honorary Oscar for his "many and memorable and compelling screen performances" (1985), Newman may be best remembered for acting in such films as Hot Tin Roof (1958), The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Absence Of Malice (1981), The Verdict (1982), Nobody's Fool (1994) and Road to Perdition (2002). The actor-director, who was nominated for both Tony and Emmy Awards for acting in "Our Town," recently appeared in the miniseries "Empire Falls" (2005) and will lend his voice to the upcoming animated movie Cars.
A blue-eyed, 5' 9 inches tall legend, Paul Newman was chosen as one of Empire's 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (1995) and People's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1990). A prominent philanthropist, Newman received an honorary Oscar in recognition of his charity work (1994). The owner of a summer camp for children with cancer and other blood-related diseases in Ashford, Connecticut, Newman also runs a fall Discovery program for inner city kids and opened a camp for chronically ill children, The Painted Turtle, in May 2004.
"You can only put away so much stuff in your closet." Paul Newman (on philanthropy).
Paul Newman is also an avid racer and co-founded (with Carl Haas), Newman/Haas Racing, a CART Championship auto racing team, in 1983. Having his first professional event in 1972, in Thompson, Connecticut, Newman managed to finish fifth in the 24 Hours of Daytona (1977) and second in the Porsche 935 at the 24 hours of Le Mans (1979). He also became the oldest driver to win a major authorized race for winning the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995 at the age of 70. Recently, in January 2005, he reportedly survived a burning car accident on the Daytona Beach circuit.
Childhood and Family:
"Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?" Paul Newman (on adultery).
Son of successful sporting goods storeowners Arthur (German-Jewish) and Theresa Newman (Irish-Catholic), Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio. He also has a brother, Arthur, who is a producer and a production manager.
Color-blind Paul attended the Shaker Heights High School in Cleveland, Ohio and then joined the Naval Air Corps. After serving in the South Pacific during World War II, Paul went to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, on an athletic scholarship, studied Economics and graduated in 1949. An injury ended his sports' career and Paul switched to drama, which he studied at Yale University.
In 1949, Newman wed Jackie Witte, but the couple divorced in 1958. While performing in a Broadway production of William Inge's "Picnic," Newman met actress Joanne Woodward (born on February 27, 1930) and they were married on January 29, 1958. Newman is the father of six children, daughters Claire Newman (mother: Joanne Woodward), Melissa Newman (actress; born on September 17, 1961, mother: Joanne Woodward), Elinor Newman (actress; born in April 8, 1959; mother: Joanne Woodward), Susan Newman (stage actress and philanthropist, mother: Jacqueline Witte), Stephanie (mother: Jacqueline Witte) and son Scott Newman (actor; born on September 23, 1950; died on November 20, 1978 of a drug overdose; mother: Jackie Witte).
The Color of Money
"Acting is like letting your pants down - you're exposed." Paul Newman
Seven-year-old Paul Newman began acting by playing the court jester in a school play of "Robin Hood." After finishing high school, he worked as a door-to-door salesman for Collier's Encyclopedias and served in World War II as a US Naval Reserve radio operator for bombers in the South Pacific. Returning from the war, he attended Kenyon College and was seen in several summer stock productions with Williams Bay and the renowned Woodstock Players. His father's death in 1950 led him to run the family's sporting goods store in Cleveland for a while before he decided to put serious effort into acting (studied at Yale). New York called and Newman left Yale to play the occasional cast member for the series "The Aldrich Family" and appeared as a guest on the shows "Tales of Tomorrow" and "You Are There." He also signed up with the prestigious Actor's Studio (acting school) in 1952. While proving his brilliant acting skills in a Broadway production of William Inge's "Picnic," Newman was spotted by Warner Bros. executives and soon landed a contract with them. Costarring in the biblical The Silver Chalice (1954, played Basil) proved to be Newman's motion picture debut. He then returned to Broadway to star in the thriller "The Desperate Hours" in 1955. Back in Hollywood, he rebounded with a more memorable role, that of boxer Rocky Graziano in Robert Wise's Somebody Up There Likes Me, but also starred in the film The Rack (both in 1956, as Capt. Edward Worthington Hall Jr.). Newman's bright performances brought him a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer (Male). Subsequently, he played roles in the films Until They Sail and The Helen Morgan Story. In 1958, more distinguished film work came in. Along with wife Joanne Woodward, Newman starred as Ben Quick in Martin Ritt's adaptation of short stories by William Faulkner, The Long Hot Summer, which handed him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. He also was widely recognized as William 'Billy the Kid' Bonney in Arthur Penn's The Left-Handed Gun and played Harry Bannerman in Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (reunited with Joanne Woodward).
Brick Pollitt, Newman's role in Richard Brooks' smash hit film based on Tennessee Williams' play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958, opposite Elizabeth Taylor), scored Newman his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Afterward, he appeared in The Young Philadelphians (1959) and went back to Broadway to playing a leading role in Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth."
Entering the 1960s, Newman acted in such box office hits as From the Terrace and Exodus. He also nabbed his second Academy Award nomination for portraying pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson in Robert Rossen's 1961 classic The Hustler (costarring Jackie Gleason). After appearing in Paris Blues (1961), Newman reprised his 1959 stage role of Chance Wayne in Richard Brooks' screen version of Tennessee Williams' play, Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) and appeared in Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (also in 1962).
The third Academy Award nomination arrived in 1963 when Newman played the titular role of a corrupt Texas rancher, Hud, in Martin Ritt's film with the same name. Being a major Hollywood actor, Newman was offered roles in several films, including A New Kind of Love, The Prize (both in 1963), What a Way to Go and The Outrage (both in 1964). Besides performing in the Off-Broadway play "Baby Wants a Kiss," Newman also starred in Lady L (1965, also starring Sophia Loren), the thriller Harper (played the title role of Harper, a private spy), Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain (both in 1966) and Martin Ritt's Hombre (1967).
Stuart Rosenberg's superb prison chain-gang drama, Cool Hand Luke (1967), starred Newman as non-conformist, hardboiled egg-eating con Luke, netted him the fourth Academy Awards nomination. After being awarded with Golden Globe's World Film Favorite (Male) in 1967, Newman made his directional and production debut in Rachel, Rachel (1968). The film starred wife Joanne Woodard and received Best Director awards at the Golden Globe and with the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as an Academy Award nomination. After portraying the title role of Pvt. Harry Frigg in The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968), Newman rejoined with wife Joanne Woodard in Winning (1969), playing professional auto racer Frank Capua.
1969 best remembered Newman as Butch Cassidy, and costarring with Robert Redford, in George Roy Hill's runaway success Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He followed it up with WUSA (1970) and the film based on Ken Kesey's novel, Sometimes a Great Notion (1971, Newman starred, directed and co-produced). He also co-founded the production company First Artists with Sidney Poitier, Barbra Streisand and Steve McQueen, in which Newman debuted with Pocket Money (1972). While directing The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972), Newman starred in John Huston's The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) and appeared in The MacKintosh Man (1973).
In 1973, George Roy Hill's blockbuster hit The Sting found Paul Newman rejoined with Robert Redford in the year's Oscar winning Best Picture. He then played the levelheaded hero in the catastrophe epic The Towering Inferno (1974). In 1975, Newman reprised the role of private eye Lew Harper in The Drowning Pool. During the mid to the end of the 1970s, Newman could be seen starring in Robert Altman's Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976), George Roy Hill's hockey comedy-drama Slap Shot (1977) and working again with Robert Altman in Quintet (1979). He also made his TV directing debut with "The Shadow Box" (1979, starring wife Joanne Woodward) and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Director.
Newman played significant roles in When Time Ran Out (1980), Fort Apache the Bronx (1981) and Absence of Malice (1981, costarring Sally Field), the latter of which brought him another Academy Award nomination. The portrayal of Boston lawyer Frank Galvin in Sidney Lumet's courtroom drama The Verdict (1982) scored Newman his sixth Academy Award nomination. He appeared again on film two years later as Harry Keach in the 1984 film Harry and Son (also co-screenwriter). In the following year, Newman was awarded with an honorary Academy Award for his screen work.
Newman finally won his first Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role when he reprised the role of Fast Eddie Felson (from The Hustler) in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money (1986, also starring Tom Cruise and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). Afterward, he spent a great deal of time behind the screen directing The Glass Menagerie (1987), which starred Joanne Woodward, Karen Allen, John Malkovich and James Naughton. After signing a three-year non-exclusive contract with Walt Disney Pictures in January 1987, Newman branched out his business ventures to include a food company titled "Newman's Own." Co-founded with author and Connecticut neighbor A E Hotchner, Newman's Own produced salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, and other products. Proceeds from sales are donated to charities.
Newman returned to screen starring in the 1989 films Fat Man and Little Boy, and Blaze. Costarring with wife Joanne Woodward, Newman was then seen in James Ivory's drama Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990). Another starring role, that of villain Sidney J. Mussburger, found Newman lighting up the screen with costars Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh in the Coen Brothers' comedy The Hudsucker Proxy (1994). Newman then went on to earn another Academy Award nomination for his performance as Sully Sullivan in Robert Benton's slice-of-life tale, inspired by Richard Russo's novel, Nobody's Fool (also in 1994). Meanwhile, Newman also announced his withdrawal as president of the Actors Studio.
After four years disappearance from screen, Newman returned in Robert Benton's contemporary detective story Twilight (1998) and starred as Kevin Costner's father in Message in a Bottle (1999). On stage, he performed with wife Joanne Woodward in "Love Letters," a one-night only performance that benefited Connecticut's land trust. In the new millennium, he starred as Henry Manning, a renowned bank robber who fakes a stroke to get out of jail, in the comedy Where the Money Is and costarred with Joanne Woodward in A R Gurney's play "Ancestral Voices."
John Rooney, a crime boss in 2002's Road to Perdition, gave Newman another Academy Award nomination. After Road to Perdition, Newman appeared on the small screen as the stage manager in Showtime's adaptation of "Our Town" (2003), for which he received an Emmy and a SAG nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, as well as a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in the Revival of a Play. He also starred as Max Roby, Ed Harris' crusty father, in the HBO mini series, Robert Benton's "Empire Falls" (2005, also starring Helen Hunt, Ed Harris and Philip Seymour Hoffman). Commenting on his work in the miniseries adopted from Richard Russo's 2001 Pulitzer prize-winning novel, which Newman also executive-produced, he said, "It was a great piece of literature. It also had the opportunity for an extraordinary cast, which we managed to put together."
As for his upcoming project, Newman will provide his voice to character Doc Hudson in Pixar Animation Studios' feature Cars (2006).
"I was going to give up my race team, I was going to quit racing. I was going to quit films. I was going to turn the salad-dressing business over to somebody else. And get out of politics. And unfortunately, I'm busier now than before." Paul Newman
Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear: Best Actor, Nobody's Fool, 1995
National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, Nobody's Fool, 1995
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Nobody's Fool, 1994
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian: statuette presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1993
Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award, 1992
Oscar: Best Actor in a Leading Role, The Color Of Money, 1987
Golden Apple: Male Star of the Year, 1986
Screen Actors Guild: Life Achievement Award, 1986
National Board of Review: Best Actor, The Color Of Money, 1986
Honorary Oscar: presented "in recognition for his many memorable and compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft," 1985
Cecil B DeMille: presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, 1984
Golden Globe: Cecil B.DeMille Award, 1983
Producers Guild of America: Best Motion Picture Producer, Rachel, Rachel, 1968
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Director, Rachel, Rachel, 1968
Golden Globe: Best Director, Rachel, Rachel, 1968
Golden Globe: World Film Favorite-Male, 1967
NATO Star of the Year: presented by the National Association of Theater Owners, 1967
British Film Academy Award: Best Foreign Actor, The Hustler, 1961
Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor, The Long Hot Summer, 1958
Golden Globe: Most Promising Newcomer-Male, 1956
Theatre World Award, 1953