Paul Newman (born 26.01.1925 )
Paul Newman was an American actor and film director, most famous for his role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. During a career that spanned six decades, he gained numerous awards including an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA Award, amongst others. Newman was also an entrepreneur and humanitarian; by 2008, his food company 'Newman's Own' had raised $250 million for charity. He was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994 for his charity work and philanthropy throughout his life. Paul Newman died on September 26, 2008, aged 83.
Paul Leonard Newman was born on the 26th of January, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents, Arthur and Theresa ran a sports store and raised Paul and his brother Arthur in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights. Paul attended Shaker Heights High School until 1943, followed by a brief stint at Ohio University, Athens. Newman enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 as a as a rear-seat radioman and gunner.
When the war ended, Newman took up an athletic scholarship to Kenyon College, Ohio, graduating in 1949 with BA in English. Whilst in Chicago, Paul met the actress Jacqueline Witte, and the pair married in 1949. Jacqueline and Paul had three children together: Scott (b. 1950), Susan (b. 1953), and Stephanie (b. 1955) In 1949, Paul's father died, but instead of taking over the family store in Cleveland, Paul moved to New Haven, Connecticut in order to pursue his love of acting. Newman studied Drama at Yale University and graduated in 1954. In 1958 Newman married the actress Joanne Woodward with whom he had three children: Elinor (b. 1959), Melissa (b. 1961), and Claire (b. 1965).
On moving to New York, Newman joined the renowned Actors Studio and studied The Method under Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan. In 1953 Newman made his Broadway debut in William Inge's 'Picnic' and was signed up by Warner Bros. Newman moved to Hollywood to take up his first film role in 'The Silver Chalice' (1954), which attracted terrible reviews. Newman returned briefly to New York where he took to the stage again in 'The Desperate Hours' and also appeared on various television shows, including 'Our Town' with Frank Sinatra.
Back in Hollywood, Newman's breakthrough came when he played boxer Rocky Graziano in 'Somebody up There Likes Me' (1956). This was followed by acclaimed roles in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' (1958), opposite Elizabeth Taylor; 'The Long, Hot Summer' (1958), with Joanne Woodward; and 'The Left Handed Gun', playing Billy the Kid.
Newman claimed his first BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 'The Hustler' (1961). Throughout the 1960s, Newman appeared in many successful films, including 'Cool Hand Luke' (1967) and the box office smash 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' (1969) in which he played Butch, opposite Robert Redford as Sundance. During the research and filming of 'Winning' (1969), Newman discovered his passion for auto-racing, going on to win championships in the Sports Car Club of America. He pursued this interest throughout his career, becoming the oldest driver to be part of a winning team when he completed the 24 Hours of Daytona event at the age of 70.
In 1973 Newman starred in 'The Sting' which was one of the biggest box office successes in history. He followed this with roles in 'The Towering Inferno' (1974), 'The Drowning Pool' (1975), and 'Slap Shot' (1977). In 1978, Newman's son, Scott, died of a drug and alcohol overdose. Newman later set up a drug rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles.
Newman was nominated for another Academy Award for Best Actor for 'The Verdict' (1982), and finally scooped the award for his portrayal of Eddie Felson in 'The Color of Money' (1986), Martin Scorsese's sequel to 'The Hustler'. The 1990s saw Newman appearing in films such as 'Mr and Mrs Bridge' (1990), alongside his wife; and The Coen Brothers' 'The Hudsucker Proxy' (1993). In 2002, Newman was nominated for a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for his supporting role in 'Road to Perdition', starring Tom Hanks, Jude Law and Daniel Craig.
Directing / Producing Career
Paul Newman also led a successful career behind the camera, directing and producing numerous films, from 1968's 'Rachel, Rachel' to 2005's 'Empire Falls'. Particularly notable were 'The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds' (1972) and 'The Shadow Box' (1980), both based on Pulitzer Prize-winning plays.