83 (passed away Sep. 26th, 2008)
Jan. 26th, 1925
Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA
5' 9 1/2"
Paul Newman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Newman was born in 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of a successful sporting goods store owner. He acted in grade school and high school plays and after being disharged from the navy in 1946 enrolled at Kenyon College. After graduation he spent a year at the Yale Drama School and then headed to New York, where he attended the famed New York Actors Studio. Classically handsome and with a super abundance of sex appeal, television parts came easily and, after his first Broadway appearance in "Picnic" (1953), he was offered a movie contract by Warner Brothers. His first film, The Silver Chalice (1954) was nearly his last. He considered his performance in this costume epic to be so bad that he took out a full-page ad in a trade paper apologizing for it to anyone who might have seen it. He fared much better in his next effort, Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), in which he portrayed boxer Rocky Graziano (I) and drew raves from the critics for his briliant performance. He went on to become one of the top box office draws of the 1960s, starring in such superior films as The Hustler (1961), The Prize (1963), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). He also produced and directed many quality films, including Rachel, Rachel (1968) in which he directed wife Joanne Woodward (I) and which received an Oscar nomination for best picture. Nominated nine times for a best actor Oscar, he finally took one home for his performance as an aging pool shark in The Color of Money (1986). Though well into his 70s as the century drew to a close, Newman still commanded lead roles in films such as Message in a Bottle (1999). He lives with his wife in Westport, Connecticut. A caring and supremely generous man, he is the founder of "Newman's Own" a successful line of food products that has earned in excess of $100 million, every penny of which the philanthropic movie icon has donated to charity. Renowned for his sense of humor, in 1998 he quipped that he was a little embarrassed to see his salad dressing grossing more than his movies.
- His first wife, Jacqueline "Jackie" Witte, was born in September 1929.
- In the 1970s, long before _Brokeback Mountain (2005)_ (qv), he was thwarted by Hollywood in his desire to star in the movie version of the best-selling novel "The Front Runner", about the love affair between a male coach and a male star runner. The project remains unmade.
- Once, when he was handing out punch at a Westport charity event, a dowager asked him to stir her drink with his finger. "I'd be glad to," Newman replied, "but I just took it out of a cyanide bottle.".
- _The Eiger Sanction (1975)_ (qv) was originally intended as a vehicle for him.
- While campaigning for the Democrats in the 1968 U.S. Presidential election, Newman would rent a Jaguar on the weekends. When he found out that opponent 'Richard Nixon' (qv) , who was known to his naysayers as "Tricky Dick", was renting the same car during the week, Newman left a note in it saying "This clutch is tricky, so you won't have any trouble with it.".
- Known as an inveterate prankster, he and 'Robert Redford (I)' (qv) in particular played numerous pranks on each other. One time, Redford, who was also into car racing, had a beaten-up Porsche shell delivered to Newman's porch for Newman's 50th birthday. Newman never said anything, but not long after, Redford found a crate of the (now) molten metal delivered to the living room of a house Redford rented, which dented the floor. Not to be outdone, Redford then had the metal turned into an incredibly ugly sculpture and dropped into Newman's garden.
- For a Mother's Day gift, he gave wife 'Joanne Woodward (I)' (qv) 2 hours of uninterrupted driving around the roads of Westport, Connecticut that they had never seen before.
- Finished second in the 1979 Le Mans 24-hour race in a Porsche 935.