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Paul Newman


Paul Newman was an American actor.

Paul Leonard Newman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 26, 1925. He was the son of Theresa (née Fetzer), who practiced Christian Science but was born into a Slovak Roman Catholic family, and Arthur Samuel Newman, a German-Jew who owned a successful sporting goods store. After high school he served in the navy until 1946. After graduating from Kenyon College, Newman spent a year at the Yale Drama School and then went to New York, where he attended the Actors Studio.

Newman first appeared on Broadway in Picnic (1953) and won a Theater World Award. His first film was The Silver Chalice (1954). His performance in the biblical costume epic proved to be such an embarrassment to him that he placed a full-page ad in Variety, apologizing for his appearance in the film. His career improved immeasurably after his impressive performance in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956).

Among Newman's many notable films are The Long, Hot Summer (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1958), Exodus (1960), From the Terrace (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962), The Hustler (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1961), Hud (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1963), The Prize (1963), Torn Curtain (1966), Hombre (1967), Cool Hand Luke (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1967), Rachel, Rachel (director, 1968), Winning (1969), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Sometimes a Great Notion (and director, 1971), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (director, 1972), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), The Mackintosh Man (1973), The Sting (1973), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Drowning Pool (1975), Fort Apache, the Bronx (1981), Absence of Malice (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1981), The Verdict (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1982), The Color of Money (Academy Award for Best Actor, 1986), The Glass Menagerie (director, 1987), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Nobody's Fool (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1994), Message in a Bottle (1999), Twilight (1998), Where the Money Is (2000), and Road to Perdition (Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, 2002).

On the Broadway stage, Newman appeared in The Desperate Hours (1955), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), Baby Want a Kiss (1964), and Our Town (Tony nomination for Best Actor, 2003).

In 1994 Newman was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and in 1986 he was given an Honorary Academy Award "in recognition of his many and memorable and compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft."

In 1990 he was named by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.

In 1982 he founded Newman's Own, a successful line of food products (salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, microwave popcorn, etc.) that has earned in excess of $150 million, all of which he donated to charity and education.

Books written by Newman include Speed: Indy Car Racing (with C. Jezierski, 1985), Newman's Own Cookbook (with A.E. Hotchner, 1999), and Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good (with A.E. Hotchner, 2003).

Newman was married to Jackie Witte from 1949 to 1958 and had a son, Scott, who died in November 1978 from a drug overdose, and two daughters, Susan Kendall and Stephanie. Newman met actress Joanne Woodward on the set of The Long, Hot Summer in 1957 and married her after his divorce in 1958. Newman and Woodward had three daughters: Elinor "Nell" Teresa (b. 1959), Melissa "Lissy" Stewart (b. 1961) and Claire "Clea" Olivia (b. 1965).

Newman died on September 26, 2008, at age 83, after receiving treatment for lung cancer.


L. Quirk, Paul Newman (1996); E. Oumano, Paul Newman (1990); J. Morella and E. Epstein, Paul and Joanne (1988); E. Lax, Paul Newman: A Biography (1996).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.