Paul Leonard Newman
(January 26, 1925 – September
26, 2008) was an American actor, film
, and auto racing
enthusiast. He won numerous
awards, including an Academy Award for
his performance in the 1986 Martin
Scorsese film The Color of
Money and eight other nominations three Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a
Festival Award, an Emmy award, and many
He also won several national championships
as a driver in Sports Car
Club of America
road racing, and his race teams won several
championships in open wheel
Newman was a co-founder of Newman's
, a food company from which Newman donated all post-tax
profits and royalties to charity. As of October 2008, these
donations had exceeded US $280 million.
born in Shaker Heights,
Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), the son of Theresa (née Fetzer or Fetsko; )Lax, Eric (1996). - Paul Newman: A
Biography. - Atlanta, Georgia: Turner Publishing. - ISBN
1570362866. and Arthur Samuel Newman, who ran a profitable sporting
goods store. Newman's father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Poland and Hungary; Newman's
mother, who practiced Christian
Science, was born to a Slovak
Roman Catholic family at Ptičie (formerly Pticsie) in the former Austria–Hungary (now in Slovakia).
Newman had no religion as an adult, but described himself as "a
Jew", stating that "it's more of a challenge". Newman's mother
worked in his father's store, while raising Paul and his brother,
Arthur, who later became a producer and production manager.
Newman showed an early interest in the theater, which his mother
encouraged. At the age of seven, he made his acting debut, playing
the court jester in a school production of Robin Hood
Heights High School in 1943, he briefly attended Ohio University in Athens,
Ohio, where he was initiated into the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.
Newman served in the United States
in World War II
enrolled in the Navy V-12 program at Ohio University, hoping to be accepted for pilot training, but was
dropped when it was discovered he was color blind.
He was sent instead to
boot camp and then received further training as a radioman and
gunner. Qualifying as a rear-seat radioman and gunner in torpedo bombers
, in 1944, Aviation Radioman
Third Class Newman was sent to Barber's Point, Hawaii. He was
subsequently assigned to Pacific-based replacement torpedo
squadrons (VT-98, VT-99, and VT-100). These torpedo squadrons were
responsible primarily for training replacement pilots and combat
air crewmen, placing particular importance on carrier
He later flew from aircraft
as a turret gunner in an Avenger
torpedo bomber. As a radioman-gunner, he
served aboard the USS Bunker
during the Battle of
in the spring of 1945. He was ordered to the ship with
a draft of replacements shortly before the Okinawa campaign, but by
a fluke of war, was held back because his pilot had an ear
infection. The rest of his detail died.
war, he completed his degree at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, graduating in 1949.
later studied Drama at Yale University, graduating in 1954, and later studying under
Lee Strasberg at the Actors' Studio in New York
wrote that Newman
initially was hesitant to leave New York for Hollywood: "Too close
to the cake," he reported him saying, "Also, no place to
made his Broadway
theater debut in the original production of William Inge's Picnic with Kim
He later appeared in the original Broadway
productions of The
and Sweet Bird of Youth
with Geraldine Page
. He would later star in the
film version of Sweet Bird of Youth
, which also starred
His first movie
for Hollywood was The Silver Chalice
followed by acclaimed roles in Somebody Up There Likes
(1956), as boxer Rocky
; Cat on a
Hot Tin Roof
(1958), opposite Elizabeth Taylor
; and The Young Philadelphians
(1959), with Barbara Rush
and Robert Vaughn
. However, predating all of these
above was a small but notable part in an August 8, 1952 episode of
the science fiction TV series Tales of Tomorrow
entitled "Ice from
Space", in which he played Sergeant Wilson, his first credited TV
or film appearance.
In February 1954, Newman appeared in a screen test with James Dean
, directed by Gjon Mili, for
East of Eden
Newman was testing for the role of Aron Trask, Dean for the role of
Aron's fraternal twin brother Cal. Dean won his part, but Newman
lost out to Richard Davalos
same year, Newman co-starred with Eva
and Frank Sinatra
live —and color
broadcast of Our
, a musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder
's stage play with the same name
. Newman was a last-minute
replacement for James Dean. In 2003, Newman acted in a remake of
, taking on the role of the stage manager.
Newman was one of the few actors who successfully made the
transition from 1950s cinema to that of the 1960s and 1970s. His
rebellious persona translated well to a subsequent generation.
Newman starred in Exodus
(1960), The Hustler
(1967), Cool Hand Luke
(1967), The Towering Inferno
(1982). He teamed
with fellow actor Robert Redford
director George Roy Hill
Butch Cassidy and
the Sundance Kid
(1969) and The
He appeared with his wife, Joanne
, in the feature films The Long, Hot Summer
Rally 'Round the Flag,
, (1958), From the
(1961), A New Kind
The Drowning Pool
(1975), Harry & Son
(1984), and Mr. and Mrs.
(1990). They both also starred in the HBO miniseries Empire Falls
, but did not
have any scenes together.
In addition to starring in and directing Harry & Son
Newman also directed four feature films (in which he did not act)
starring Woodward. They were Rachel,
(1968), based on Margaret Laurence
's A Jest of
, the screen version of the Pulitzer Prize
-winning play The Effect
of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
television screen version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play
The Shadow Box
(1980), and a
screen version of Tennessee
Twenty-five years after The Hustler
, Newman reprised his
role of "Fast" Eddie Felson in the Martin Scorsese
-directed The Color of Money
(1986), for which
he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He told a television
interviewer that winning an Oscar at the age of 62 deprived him of
his fantasy of formally being presented with it in extreme old
In 2003, he appeared in a Broadway revival of Wilder's Our
, receiving his first Tony Award
nomination for his performance. PBS
cable network Showtime
aired a taping of
the production, and Newman was nominated for an Emmy Award
for Outstanding Lead Actor in a
Miniseries or TV Movie.
His last screen appearance was as a conflicted mob boss in the 2002
film Road to Perdition
opposite Tom Hanks
, although he continued
to provide voice work for films. In keeping with his strong
interest in car racing, he provided the voice of Doc Hudson
, a retired
race car in Disney
Similarly, he served as narrator for the 2007 film Dale
, about the life of the legendary
, which turned out to be Newman's final film
performance in any form. Newman also provided the narration for the
film documentary "The Meerkats" to be released in 2009.
Retirement from acting
Newman announced that he would entirely retire from acting on May
25, 2007. He stated that he did not feel he could continue acting
at the level he wanted to. "You start to lose your memory, you
start to lose your confidence, you start to lose your invention. So
I think that's pretty much a closed book for me."
With writer A.E. Hotchner
, Newman founded Newman's Own
, a line of food products, in 1982.
The brand started with salad dressing, and has expanded to include
pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, salsa, and wine, among other
things. Newman established a policy that all proceeds, after taxes,
would be donated to charity. As of early 2006, the franchise has
donated in excess of $250 million. He co-wrote a memoir
about the subject with Hotchner, Shameless
Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good
. Among other
awards, Newman's Own co-sponsors the PEN/Newman's Own First
, a $25,000 reward designed to recognize those
who protect the First
as it applies to the written word. His daughter,
, took the helm of the
company with his death.
beneficiary of his philanthropy is the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a
residential summer camp for seriously ill children, which is
located in Ashford, Connecticut.
Newman co-founded the camp in 1988; it was
named after the gang in his film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
(1969). Newman's college fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau
, adopted Hole in the Wall as
their "national philanthropy" in 1995. One camp has expanded to
become several Hole in the Wall Camps in the U.S., Ireland, France,
and Israel. The camps serve 13,000 children every year, free of
1999, Newman donated $250,000 to Catholic Relief Services to aid
refugees in Kosovo.
1, 2007, Kenyon
College announced that Newman had donated $10 million to
the school to establish a scholarship fund as part of the college's
current $230 million fund-raising campaign.
Woodward were honorary co-chairs of a previous campaign.
Paul Newman was one of the founders of the Committee Encouraging
Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), a membership organization of CEOs
and corporate chairpersons committed to raising the level and
quality of global corporate philanthropy. Founded in 1999 by Newman
and a few leading CEOs, CECP has grown to include more than 175
members and, through annual executive convenings, extensive
benchmarking research, and best practice publications, leads the
business community in developing sustainable and strategic
community partnerships through philanthropy.
Newman was named the Most Generous Celebrity of 2008 by
Givingback.org. He contributed $20,857,000 for the year of 2008 to
the Newman's Own Foundation, which distributes funds to a variety
Marriages and family
Newman was married twice. He was married to Jackie Witte from 1949
to 1958. They had a son, Scott (1950), and two daughters, Susan
Kendall (1953) and Stephanie. Scott Newman, who died in November
1978 from an accidental drug overdose
appeared in the films Breakheart Pass
The Towering Inferno
and the 1977 film Fraternity
. Paul Newman started the Scott Newman Center for drug
abuse prevention in memory of his son.
Susan is a documentary filmmaker and philanthropist
and has Broadway and screen
credits, including a starring role as one of four Beatles fans in
I Wanna Hold Your
(1978), and also a small role opposite her father in
. She also received an Emmy nomination as
co-producer of his telefilm, The Shadow Box
. Newman had
Newman married actress Joanne
on February 2, 1958. They had three daughters:
Elinor "Nell" Teresa
"Lissy" Stewart (1961), and Claire "Clea" Olivia (1965). Newman
directed Elinor (stage name Nell Potts) in the central role
alongside her mother in the film The Effect
of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
Newmans lived away from the Hollywood environment, making their
home in Westport,
Paul Newman was well known for his devotion
to his wife and family. When asked about infidelity, he famously
quipped, "Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at
For his strong support of Eugene
effective use of television commercials in California) and his
strong opposition to the War in
, Newman was placed nineteenth on Richard Nixon's enemies list
, which he
claimed was his greatest accomplishment.
Consistent with his work for liberal
publicly supported Ned Lamont
in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Primary against Senator Joe Lieberman
, and was even rumored as a
candidate himself, until Lamont emerged as a credible alternative.
He donated to Chris Dodd
attended the first Earth Day event in
Manhattan on April 22, 1970.
Newman was also a vocal
supporter of gay rights
was an avid auto racing enthusiast, and first became interested in
motorsports ("the first thing that I
ever found I had any grace in") while training at the Watkins Glen
Racing School for the filming of Winning, a 1969
film. Newman's first professional event was in
1972, in Thompson,
Connecticut, and he was a frequent competitor in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)
events for the rest of the decade, eventually winning several
He later drove in the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans
Barbour's Porsche 935
and finished in
second place. Newman reunited with Barbour in 2000 to compete in
the Petit Le Mans
From the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, he drove for the Bob Sharp
Racing team, racing mainly Datsuns
rebranded as Nissans
) in the Trans-Am Series
. He became closely
associated with the brand during the 1980s, even appearing in
commercials for them. At the age of 70 years and 8 days, he became
the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a major
sanctioned race, winning in his class at the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona
. Among his last
races were the Baja 1000
in 2004 and the
24 Hours of Daytona once again in 2005.
Newman initially owned his own racing team, which competed in the
series, but later co-founded Newman/Haas Racing
with Carl Haas
, a Champ Car
team, in 1983. The 1996 racing season was chronicled in the
, which Newman narrated. He was also a partner in
the Atlantic Championship
Newman Wachs Racing
owned a NASCAR Winston Cup
before selling it to Penske Racing
where it now serves as the #12 car.
Newman was inducted into the SCCA Hall
at the national convention in Las Vegas, Nevada
Illness and death
Newman was scheduled to make his professional stage directing debut
with the Westport Country
's 2008 production of John
's Of Mice and
, but he stepped down on May 23, 2008, citing health
2008 it was widely reported that Newman, a former chain smoker, had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was receiving treatment at
Sloan-Kettering hospital in New York City.
Photographs taken of Newman in May and June
showed him looking gaunt. Writer A.E.
, who partnered with Newman to
start the Newman's Own company in the 1980s, told the Associated
Press that Newman told him about the disease about eighteen months
prior to the interview. Newman's spokesman told the press that the
star was "doing nicely," but neither confirmed nor denied that he
had cancer. In August, after reportedly finishing chemotherapy
, Newman told his family he wished
to die at home. He died on September 26, 2008, aged 83, surrounded
by his family and close friends.His remains were subsequently
after a private funeral service
near his home in Westport.
Filmography, awards, and nominations
As director or producer
Additional awards and honors
In addition to the awards Newman won for specific roles, he
received an honorary Academy Award in 1986 for his "many and
memorable and compelling screen performances" and the Jean Hersholt
Humanitarian Award for his charity work in 1994.
He received the Golden Globe New Star of the Year —
award for The Silver
Chalice (1957), the Henrietta Award World Film Favorite —
Male in 1964 and 1966 and the Cecil B. DeMille Award for
Lifetime Achievement in 1984.
Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for The Long,
Hot Summer and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Nobody's Fool.
Newman was named "Man of the Year" by Harvard University's performance group, the Hasty Pudding
Newman Day has been celebrated at Kenyon
College, Princeton University, and other American colleges since the
In 2004, Newman requested that Princeton University
disassociate the event from his name, due to the fact that he did
not endorse the behaviors, citing his creation of the Scott Newman
Centre in 1980, which is "dedicated to the prevention of substance
abuse through education".
Posthumously, Newman was inducted into the Connecticut Hall of
Fame, and was honored with a 37 acre nature preserve in Westport
named in his honor. He was also honored by the United States House of
following his death.
- Newman, Paul; Hotchner, A.E.
Newman's Own Cookbook. Simon & Schuster, 1998. ISBN
- Newman, Paul; Hotchner, A.E. Shameless Exploitation in
Pursuit of the Common Good. Doubleday Publishing, 2003. ISBN
- "Film Star Paul Newman dead at 83."
Reuters.com. September 27, 2008.
- "Legendary Actor Paul Newman Dies at Age 83." ABC
News. September 27, 2008.
- FAQs Newman's Own.com.
- Morella, Joe; Epstein, Edward Z. (1988). - Paul and Joanne:
A Biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. - Delacorte
Press. - ISBN 0440500044.
- Paul Newman Biography (1925-). -
- Ancestry of Paul Newman. -
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News. - March 7, 1998. - Retrieved: 2008-03-08
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December 6, 1982.
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- Paul Newman. - Biographies in Naval History.
Max (2008). - Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45. -
Random House. - ISBN 0307263517.
Oscar (1969). - The Unimportance of Being
Oscar. - Pocket Books. - p.56. ISBN 0671771043.
- Paul Newman quits films after stellar career.
News.com.au. May 27, 2007.
- Hollywood star Newman to retire. BBC
News. May 27, 2007.
- "Paul Newman says he will die at home."
Sun. August 9, 2008.
- CNN - Incoming Kosovo refugees, outgoing U.S. donations -
April 7, 1999
- CECP - Committee Encouraging Corporate
- Clark, Hunter S. People. Time magazine. February 17,
- Welcome. Scott Newman Center.org.
- "Remembering Paul Newman." People.
September 27, 2008.
- Dodd Gets Financial Boost From Celebs.
WFSB.com. 17 Apr 2007.
- Paul Newman an icon of cool masculinity
- "Paul Newman has cancer". - The Daily
Telegraph. - June 9, 2008.
- "Gaunt Paul Newman has 'form of cancer,' business
partner says". - Sun Journal. - June 12,
- Christoffersen, John. "Longtime friend: Paul Newman has cancer".
Associated Press. June 11, 2008.
- "Newman says he is 'doing nicely'". -
BBC - BBC.com. - June 11,
- Paul Newman, Hollywood legend, dies at 83
- "Film star, businessman, philanthropist Paul Newman
dies at 83." Free Press.com. September 28, 2008.
- Katz, Ivan. "Actor, Philanthropist, Race Car Driver Paul Newman
Dies." Chicago Examiner. September 27, 2008.
- Hodge, Lisa. "Legend laid to rest in private family ceremony."
ahlanlive.com. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
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Createspace, 2008. ISBN 1440433232
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Biography. Turner Publishing, Incorporated, 1999. ISBN
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Biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Delacorte Press,
1988. ISBN 0440500044.
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Limited, 2005. ISBN 057121987X.
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Films of Paul Newman. Taylor Pub., 1986. ISBN
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