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 discharged 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 and drew raves from the critics for his brilliant 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 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), a sequel to his classic, The Hustler (1961). 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.IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom McDonough
Paul Leonard Newman was born in January of 1925, the second son of Arthur and Theresa (nee' Fetsko) Newman in Cleveland, Ohio. The Newmans were a well-to-do family and Paul grew up in a nice home in Shaker Heights. Newman's father, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and Hungary, was the owner of a highly successful sporting goods store. Paul's mother, a practicing Christian Scientist of Slovakian decent, and his uncle Joe had an interest in creative arts and it rubbed off on him.
By 1950, the 25 year old Newman had graduated high school, been kicked out of Ohio University for unruly behavior, served three years in the Navy during World War II as a radio operator, graduated from Ohio's Kenyon College, married his first wife, Jackie, and had his first child, Scott. 1950 was also the year that Paul's father died. When he became successful in later years, Newman said if he had any regrets it would be that his father wasn't around to see it. He brought Jackie back to Shaker Heights and he ran his father's sporting goods store for a short period. Then, knowing that wasn't the career path he wanted to take, he moved Jackie and Scott to New Haven, Connecticut where he would attend Yale University's School of Drama. While doing a play there, Paul was spotted by two agents who invited him to come to New York City to pursue a career as a professional actor.
After moving to New York, Paul acted in guest spots for various television shows and in 1953 came a big break. He got the part as an understudy of the lead role in the successful Broadway play Picnic. Through this play is how he met actress Joanne Woodward, who was also an understudy in the play. While they got on very well and there was a strong attraction, Paul was married and his second child, Susan, was born that year. During this time Newman was also accepted into the much admired and popular New York Actor's Studio, although he wasn't technically auditioning.
In 1954 a film Paul was very reluctant to do was released. It was called The Silver Chalice (1954). To this day, he his still embarrassed about the film and revels in making fun of it. He immediately wanted to return to the stage and performed in The Desperate Hours. In 1956, Newman got the chance to redeem himself in the film world by doing Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) and critics praised his performance. In 1957, with a handful of films to his credit, he was cast in The Long, Hot Summer (1958) co-starring none other than Joanne Woodward. During the shooting of this film, they realized they were meant to be together and by now, so did Paul's wife Jackie. After Jackie gave Paul a divorce, he and Joanne married in Las Vegas in January of 1958. They went on to have three daughters together and raised them in Westport, Connecticut. In 1959 Paul received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). The 1960's would bring Paul Newman into superstar status as he became one of the most popular actors of the decade and garnered three more Best Actor Oscar nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967). In 1968 his debut directorial effort Rachel, Rachel (1968) was given good marks and although the film and Joanne Woodward were nominated for Oscars, Newman was not nominated for Best Director. He did, however, win a Golden Globe for his direction. 1969 would bring the popular screen duo Paul Newman and Robert Redford together for the first time when Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) was released. It was a box office smash. Throughout the 1970's, Newman would have hits and misses from such popular films as The Sting (1973) and The Towering Inferno (1974) to lesser known films as The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) to a now cult classic Slap Shot (1977). After the death of his only son, Scott, in 1978, Newman's personal life and film choices moved in a different direction. His acting work in the 1980's and on is what is often most praised by critics today. He became more at ease with himself and it was evident in The Verdict (1982) for which he received his 6th Best Actor Oscar nomination and in 1987 finally received his first Oscar for The Color of Money (1986). Friend and director of Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), Robert Wise accepted the award on Newman's behalf as he did not attend the ceremony. Films were not the only thing on his mind during this period. A passionate race car driver since the early 1970's, Newman would become co-owner of Newman-Haas racing in 1982 and also founded Newman's Own, a successful food company he built from the ground up in which all the proceeds go to charity. He would also start The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, an organization for terminally ill children.
He is as well known today for his philanthropic ways and highly successful business ventures as he his for his legendary actor status. Now in his 80s, Newman enjoys a near 50-year marriage to Joanne in Connecticut, their main residence since moving away from the bright lights of Hollywood in 1960, still attends races, is very much involved in his charitable organizations and in 2006 opened a restaurant called Dressing Room, which helps out the Westport Country Playhouse, a place the Newman's take great pride in. In 2007 he made some headlines when he said he was losing his invention and confidence in his acting abilities and that acting is "pretty much a closed book for me." Whether he's on the screen or not, Paul Newman remains synonymous with the anti-heroism of the 1960s and 1970s cinema and rebellious nature his characters so often embodied.
|Joanne Woodward||(29 January 1958 - 26 September 2008) (his death) 3 children|
|Jacqueline E. Witte||(27 December 1949 - 28 January 1958) (divorced) 3 children|
His movies often reflect his political views
Often played detached yet charismatic anti-heroes and rebels
He was known for his wry, puckish sense of humor, mainly off-screen.
While he played similar system-bucking, troubled young men as such near contemporaries as Marlon Brando and James Dean, Newman's characters were often more humorous, introspective and self-assured. Newman's character's conflicts were often ironic and (intentionally) borderline-absurd.
Chosen by Empire magazine in 1995 as #12 in the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history.
Said that he burned his tuxedo on his 75th birthday because he is through with formality.
Says the sound he loves most is that of a V-8 engine.
Owns The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp for children with cancer and other blood-related diesases (and their siblings) in Ashford, Connecticut, and also runs a fall "Discovery" program for inner city kids, also in Ashford.
Ranked #19 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list in October of 1997.
Lives in Connecticut; has been known to race at The Lime Rock Road Circuit.
Has his own line of food products, "Newman's Own", featuring mainly spaghetti sauces and salad dressings. The company has made more than $100 million in profits over the years, all of which he has donated to various charities.
Owns half of the Champ Car (auto racing) team Newman-Haas.
Awarded an honorary Oscar in 1994 in recognition of his charity work.
A son and two girls with first wife Jacqueline "Jackie" Witte. His only son, Scott Newman, died of a drug overdose in 1978. Daughter, Susan Kendall Newman, is well known for stage acting and her philanthropic activities. His other daughter from his first marriage is named Stephanie and was born in 1954.
Before he became an actor, Newman ran the family sporting goods store in Cleveland, Ohio.
Chosen by People magazine in 1990 as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world.
He was the visual inspiration for the original illustrations of superhero Green Lantern/Hal Jordan.
Finished second in the 1979 Le Mans 24-hour race in a Porsche 935.
Returned to live theater for first time in 35 years in June of 2002 in Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" at the Westport Country Playhouse near his home in Westport, CT. He directed and starred as the Stage Manager. Wife Joanne Woodward is the playhouse's Artistic Director.
He was among the celebrities on the famous "Enemies List" kept by President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
Was training to be a pilot while in the Navy, but was discovered to be color-blind, ending his flying aspirations.
Nominated for a 2003 Tony Award for Best Actor in the Revival of a Play, for "Our Town".
Was mentioned in La Dolce Vita (1960), in a discussion about salaries paid to film stars.
Although he played the lead male roles in the original productions of three Broadway classics near the beginning of his career - "The Desperate Hours", "Picnic" and "Sweet Bird of Youth" - Newman did not receive a Tony Award nomination until 2003, when at the age of 78 he was nominated as Best Actor for his performance in the 2002 revival of the "Our Town".
Was so ashamed of his debut in the failed costume drama The Silver Chalice (1954), that he took out an ad in Variety apologizing for his performance.
His father was of German heritage and his mother was of Hungarian heritage.
He was voted the 13th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Students at Princeton University have named 24 April Newman's Day. Students try to drink 24 beers over the 24 hours of the day. The tradition stems from a comment that Newman is alleged to have made; "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not." The event is not officially sponsored by the university, and Newman has commented that he would "like to bring an end to the tradition".
He and Frank Sinatra are the only actors to win an Actor Academy Award, an Humanitarian Academy Award and a Special Honorary Academy Award. Sinatra won the Best Supporting Actor Award (1953), Humanitarian Award (1970) and a Special Award (1945, Best Short Subject The House I Live In (1945)). Newman won the Best Actor Award (1986), the Humanitarian Award (1993) and a Special Award (1985, Lifetime Achievement Award).
Lee Strasberg, who trained Newman at the Actor's Studio, said that he would have been as great an actor as Marlon Brando if he hadn't been so handsome. According to Strasberg, Newman had the talent, but he too often relied on his good looks to coast through a role.
Stumped the U.S. for Eugene McCarthy during his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1968. Newman made the cover of LIFE Magazine with a McCarthy pin on his jacket on the May 10th, 1968 issue.
Appeared on Quigley Publications' annual poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars 14 times from 1963 to 1986, which ranks him #7 for all-time in appearances in the top 10. He trails Bing Crosby, who made the list 15 times, Clark Gable (16 appearances on the list), Gary Cooper and Tom Cruise (18 times each), Clint Eastwood (21 times) and John Wayne (25 times).
Was named the #1 Box Office Star by Quigley Publications in its annual Top Ten Money Making Stars poll of movie exhibitors two years in a row, 1969 and 1970. Newman had been #2 in 1968 and #3 in '67 and would rank #3 in both 1971 and '74. Newman, who entered the list for the first time in 1963 at #9 and the last time in 1986 at #10, has made the list 17 times.
Early in his acting career, he was often mistaken for Marlon Brando. He claims to have signed around 500 autographs reading, "Best wishes, Marlon Brando."
In 2005 Premiere Magazine ranked him as the #6 Greatest Movie Star of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature.
Brother of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity
He was nominated for nine acting Academy Awards in five different decades - the 1950s (Best Lead Actor for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)), 1960s (Best Lead Actor for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967)), the 1980s (Best Lead Actor for Absence of Malice (1981), The Verdict (1982) and The Color of Money (1986) winning for this last film), the 1990s (Best Lead Actor for Nobody's Fool (1994)) and finally in 2002's Road to Perdition (2002) for Best Supporting Actor.
The role of Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) was originally awarded to James Dean, who died before filming began. Due to Dean's death, Newman was cast in the role. Dean also was signed to play Billy the Kid in The Left Handed Gun (1958), but that role was also inherited by Newman after Dean's death. Dean and Newman had shot their last screen tests for East of Eden (1955) together; the six-years-younger Dean got the part and Newman went on to star in The Silver Chalice (1954), a notorious turkey.
He is only one of five performers to be nominated for an Oscar twice for playing the same role in two separate films. He played as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986), Peter O'Toole as Henry II in Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968), Al Pacino as Michael Corleone for The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974), Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley in Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) and Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007).
He has one brother, Arthur S. Newman Jr., who was named after their father, Arthur S. Newman, a successful sporting goods store owner.
When Premiere Magazine does a list of 24 Great Performances from each year, they often ask the actors who their idols are. Newman has been the most frequently cited idol so far.
Was nominated 10 times for the Academy Award, including eight times as Best Actor, once as Best Supporting Actor, and once for Best Picture (the latter coming the same year he famously did not receive a Best Director nomination despite having won the then-equally prestigious New York Critics Award as Best Director for Rachel, Rachel (1968). In the acting field, the only actors with more nominations are Jack Nicholson with 12 nominations (8 Best Actor and 4 Best Supporting Actor nominations) and Laurence Olivier (nine Best Actor nominations and 1 Best Supporting Actor nod). On the distaff side, Bette Davis, who was nominated 10 times for an Academy Award, all of them Best Actress nods. Katharine Hepburn, with 12 nods (all in the Best Actress category) and Meryl Streep, with 17 nods have more acting nominations than Newman.
Is one of only six actors to be nominated for acting honors by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences over five decades (1950s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s). Laurence Olivier (1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s), Katharine Hepburn (1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1980s),Jack Nicholson (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s) and Michael Caine (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s)Meryl Streep (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s) are the others who have turned the trick.
Has donated between $150 million-$175 million to charity since the 1980s.
His performance as Frank Galvin in The Verdict (1982) is ranked #19 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
His performance as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) is ranked #64 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Was director Robert Wise's first pick for the lead in The Sand Pebbles (1966), eventually played by Steve McQueen, who won his only Oscar nomination for the role. Wise had earlier directed Newman in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) and Until They Sail (1957).
Turned down the role of Quint in Jaws (1975).
His performance as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) is ranked #20 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains. This is a ranking which he shares with Robert Redford, who played the Sundance Kid.
His performance as Luke Jackson in Cool Hand Luke (1967) is ranked #30 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains.
Ranked the #1 Box Office star of 1969 and 1970 by Quigley Publications' annual poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars. He was ranked #2 in 1968 and at #3 in 1967, 1971 and 1974. In all, he made the Top Ten list 14 times from 1963, when he entered it at #9, and 1986, when he bowed out of the Top 10 at #10. He was ranked in the Top Ten for 10 straight years from 1966-1975, peaking in the Top Three from 1967 to 1971.
The GI Bill got him through his first 3 months at Yale. To pay tuition for the rest of his time there, he sold Encyclopedia Britannica. He claims he was very good at it.
For a Mother's Day gift, he gave wife Joanne Woodward 2 hours of uninterrupted driving around the roads of Westport, Connecticut that they had never seen before.
Has said he did not want his epitaph to say two things: "Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown" and "Here lies the old man who wasn't a part of his time." -1960's.
Godfather of Jake Gyllenhaal.
Great admirer of Jim Carrey.
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 , 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.".
Prior to filming The Hustler (1961) , Newman lacked talent at playing pool. But after brushing up on it for the role, he felt very confident in his ability. So he bet co-star Jackie Gleason $50 on a game of pool. Being the excellent pool player he was, Gleason beat Newman. Instead of paying him in dollar bills, Newman dumped $50 worth of pennies on the table for Gleason to take.
When Newman failed to receive an Oscar nomination for his performance in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), producer Charles Schnee and director Robert Wise gave him what they called a "Noscar." The engraving says, "The Schnee-Wise Noscar award to Paul Newman for best portraying a terrible no-good, for turning him into a charming and lovable sprite, and for thereby doing what Lincoln said should never be done, i.e. fooling all of the people all of the time".
After being asked so many times what the secret was to being married so long to Joanne Woodward, he was asked yet again and simply responded, "I don't know what she puts in my food".
One of the most sought after and valuable collectible Rolex watches, the early "Daytona" model, from the 1960's, is known unofficially and passionately world wide, as the Rolex "Paul Newman." "Paul Newmans" in steel fetch as much as $100,000 in auctions. This nickname was adopted as he sported one in film.
During the 1950s and 1960s he was a close friend of fellow Democrat and civil rights activist Charlton Heston. Later, in 1983, after Heston's political beliefs had moved to the Right, both actors took opposing sides in a television debate on President Ronald Reagan's Star Wars defense missile program. Heston, much better briefed and prepared than Newman, was judged to have won the debate easily. Some years later, when Newman learned that Heston was supposed to introduce him at an awards ceremony, Newman insisted that his one-time friend be replaced by the liberal Donald Sutherland.
Supported Sen. Ted Kennedy's campaign to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 1980.
In 2007, his auto racing team, known as Newman-Haas, became Newman/Haas/Lanigan due to Chicago businessman Michael Lanigan becoming a partner.
Announced in May 2007 that he is retiring from acting. He had previously announced his retirement in 1995, but came back to make four more movies.
Opened a restaurant in 2006 called "Dressing Room" with co-owner and chef Michael Nischan in Westport, Connecticut. It was originally opened to help subsidize the Westport Country Playhouse, which sits next to it.
He is a vocal supporter of gay marriage.
Was offered the role of "Judah Ben-Hur" in Ben-Hur (1959) but turned it down because he said he didn't have the legs to wear a tunic.
The Eiger Sanction (1975) was originally intended as a vehicle for him.
His father, Arthur, died in 1950 at the age of 55 and his mother, Theresa, died in 1982 at the age of 86.
Announced in July 2007 that his Champ Car team is merging with NASCAR team Robert Yates Racing. It is now called Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan racing. Newman said the deal "in no way lessens our commitment to open-wheel racing. We want to broaden our horizons.".
Ranked #19 in Empire Magazine's 2007 100 Sexiest Movie Stars of all time.
Became a rear gunner of a TBF Avenger torpedo bomber when his color blindness disqualified him from being a pilot.
Longtime supporter of gun control, and a member of Handgun Control Inc.
Supported anti-war Senator Eugene McCarthy's bid to win the Democratic nomination from incumbent President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, and actively campaigned for George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election.
According to Joe McGinnis' book about the advertising industry's participation in Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign, the first telethon for the Eugene McCarthy Campaign, which was emceed by Newman, raised $125,000 (about $800,000 in 2008 money, when factored for inflation, a good sum for the time). Nixon's advertising people attributed the success of the telethon to Newman's participation.
In the 1970s, long before Brokeback Mountain (2005), 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.
Supported Al Franken's campaign for election as US Senator from Minnesota.
Attended the main Democratic fund raiser for Senator John Kerry before the Democratic National Convention at Radio City Music Hall, along with Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Bon Jovi, Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary J. Blige, Chevy Chase and Jessica Lange. (13 August 2004).
Donated $1 million to "The Nation" magazine in order to keep it going.
Attended the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter on 20 January 1977.
Recorded a television advertisement for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in June 2007.
As of 2007, he is one of six directors who has directed his wife to a Best Actress Oscar nomination (Joanne Woodward in Rachel, Rachel (1968)). The other five are Joel Coen directing Frances McDormand in Fargo (1996), John Cassavetes directing Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence (1974) & Gloria (1980), Blake Edwards directing Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria (1982), Paul Czinner directing Elisabeth Bergner in Escape Me Never (1935) and Richard Brooks directing Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending (1969). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in an Oscar-nominated performance (Never on Sunday (1960)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.
Grandfather of Peter (born in May 1996) and Henry Elkind, the sons of his daughter Melissa "Lissy" Newman and her husband Raphael "Raphe" Elkind.
Father-in-law to Gary Irving (husband of Elinor "Nell" Newman), Raphael "Raphe" Elkind (husband of Melissa "Lissy" Newman) and Kurt Soderlund (husband of Claire "Clea" Newman).
Known as an inveterate prankster, he and Robert Redford 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.
He and Frank Sinatra are the only people who were awarded a competitive Oscar, an Honorary Award and a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the AMPAS.
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.".
His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 7060 Hollywood Blvd.
Did all of his own driving in films.
Said in an interview that a film had never made any special impact on him until he saw On the Waterfront (1954).
Cars (2006), his last movie, was the highest-grossing film of his career.
The TV episode "The Simpsons: Lost Verizon (#20.2)" (2008), was dedicated to his memory.
Chosen by GQ magazine as one of the 50 Most Stylish Men in the Past 50 Years.
His first wife, Jacqueline "Jackie" Witte, was born in September 1929.
Profiled in "American Classic Screen Interviews" (Scarecrow Press). 
Inducted into the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Hall of Fame in 2009.
Directed 3 actors to Oscar nominations: Joanne Woodward (Best Actress, Rachel, Rachel (1968)), Estelle Parsons (Best Supporting Actress, Rachel, Rachel (1968)), and Richard Jaeckel (Best Supporting Actor, Sometimes a Great Notion (1970)).
Like his dear friend Robert Redford, both men had firstborn sons named Scott who predeceased their fathers.
Newman was expelled from Ohio University for denting the college president's car with a beer keg.
He is the only performer, to date, to receive an Oscar for a repeated role. He won as "Fast Eddie Felson" in "The Color of Money", having been previously nominated as the same character in "The Hustler".
Was announced as co star with Spencer Tracy and Robert Mitchum in the Jerry Wald production of The Enemy Within, based on the book by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, which at 1962/63 was in preparation for Twentieth Century Fox.
Presented with The Golden Turkey Award for The Most Embarrassing Movie Debut of All Time for his performance in The Silver Chalice (1954). His response was that he fully agreed with the award.
He was never happy at signing autographs and stopped completely after a man asked him for one while he was stood at a urinal in a gents toilet at a restaurant.
[responding to an interviewer's question as to why he was never "tempted" by the many beautiful Hollywood actresses he worked with] Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?
[in response to radio interviewer who asked if he would co-star with Robert Redford in a sequel to Indecent Proposal (1993)] Like a rocket! . . . I'd shack up with anyone for a million dollars. I'd shack up with a gorilla for a million, plus 10%.
[in 1974, on the success of his collaborations with wife Joanne Woodward] You should see us when we get back to the bedroom.
[in 1982] Acting is like letting your pants down - you're exposed.
The embarrassing thing is that my salad dressing is out-grossing my films.
[on philanthropy] You can only put away so much stuff in your closet.
I really just can't watch myself. I see all the machinery at work and it just drives me nuts.
If I ever feel like I'm doing something I've done before, I scrap it and start over again.
When I realized I was going to have to be a whore, to put my face on the label, I decided that the only way I could do it was to give away all the money we make. Over the years, that ethical stance has given us a 30 per cent boost. One in three customers buys my products because all the profits go to good causes and the rest buy the stuff because it is good.
It's all been a bad joke that just ran out of control. I got into food for fun but the business got a mind of its own. Now - my good Lord - look where it has gotten me. My products are on supermarket shelves, in cinemas, in the theater. And they say show business is odd.
I like racing but food and pictures are more thrilling. I can't give them up. In racing you can be certain, to the last thousandth of a second, that someone is the best, but with a film or a recipe, there is no way of knowing how all the ingredients will work out in the end. The best can turn out to be awful and the worst can be fantastic. Cooking is like performing and performing like cooking.
I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter, either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being . . . by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.
[about Alfred Hitchcock] I think Hitch and I could have really hit it off, but the script kept getting in the way.
You can't be as old as I am without waking up with a surprised look on your face every morning: "Holy Christ, whaddya know - I'm still around!" It's absolutely amazing that I survived all the booze and smoking and the cars and the career.
I was always a character actor. I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood.
If you're playing a poker game and you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it's you.
Every time I get a script it's a matter of trying to know what I could do with it. I see colors, imagery. It has to have a smell. It's like falling in love. You can't give a reason why.
For those of you who like to scarf your popcorn in the sack, the good news is that Newman's Own contains an aphrodisiac.
Being on [President Richard Nixon's] enemies list was the highest single honor I've ever received. Who knows who's listening to me now and what government list I'm on?
I started my career giving a clinic in bad acting in the film, The Silver Chalice (1954) and now I'm playing a crusty old man who's an animated automobile [in Cars (2006)]. That's a creative arc for you, isn't it?
I never ask my wife [actress Joanne Woodward] about my flaws. Instead I try to get her to ignore them and concentrate on my sense of humor. You don't want any woman to look under the carpet, guys, because there's lots of flaws underneath. Joanne believes my character in a film we did together, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990), comes closest to who I really am. I personally don't think there's one character who comes close . . . but I learned a long time ago not to disagree on things that I don't have a solid opinion about.
[advice to young actors just starting out] Study your craft and know who you are and what's special about you. Find out what everyone does on a film set, ask questions and listen. Make sure you live life, which means don't do things where you court celebrity, and give something positive back to our society.
I've repeatedly said that for people as little in common as Joanne and myself, we have an uncommonly good marriage. We are actors. We make pictures and that's about all we have in common. Maybe that's enough. Wives shouldn't feel obligated to accompany their husbands to a ball game, husbands do look a bit silly attending morning coffee breaks with the neighborhood wives when most men are out at work. Husbands and wives should have separate interests, cultivate different sets of friends and not impose on the other...You can't spend a lifetime breathing down each other's necks.
Twenty-five years ago I couldn't walk down the street without being recognized. Now I can put a cap on, walk anywhere and no one pays me any attention. They don't ask me about my movies and they don't ask me about my salad dressing because they don't know who I am. Am I happy about this? You bet.
I've been accused of being aloof. I'm not. I'm just wary.
[what wife Joanne Woodward thinks of his love for racing] She thinks competitive driving is the silliest thing in the world. It is also very scary for her, and she doesn't much care for it.
The first time I remember women reacting to me was when we were filming Hud (1963) in Texas. Women were literally trying to climb through the transoms at the motel where I stayed. At first, it's flattering to the ego. At first. Then you realize that they're mixing me up with the roles I play - characters created by writers who have nothing to do with who I am.
I had no natural gift to be anything--not an athlete, not an actor, not a writer, not a director, a painter of garden porches--not anything. So I've worked really hard, because nothing ever came easily to me.
[why he decided to stay in Connecticut] Better than Montana . . . and my wife and I found a nice cemetery here.
[on winning his first Oscar after so many losses] It's like chasing a beautiful woman for 80 years. Finally, she relents and you say, "I'm terribly sorry. I'm tired".
That I survived the first film I did [The Silver Chalice (1954)] was extraordinarily good fortune. I mean, I had dogs chasing me down the street. I was wearing this tiny little Greek cocktail dress - with MY legs! Good Lord, it was really bad. In fact, it was the worst film made in the 1950s. My first review said that "Mr. Newman delivers his lines with the emotional fervor of a Putnam stop conductor announcing local stop".
I can remember in my high school days and I kept thinking to myself, "Now, why did those actors go out in public after a certain age?" I mean, why would they wanna blow this image they'd worked so hard and allow themselves to be photographed? They should have just stayed at home and stayed young and youthful. And now it's there for everybody to look at - all our words, stuttering, and bad posture. All those things that should never happen, really. Well, times change. Yeah, it ain't so bad!
[about his long marriage to Joanne Woodward] We are very, very different people and yet somehow we fed off those varied differences and instead of separating us, it has made the whole bond a lot stronger.
[explaining why he accepted The Silver Chalice (1954) for his film debut] After the success of "Picnic", I had a lot of offers from Hollywood and I never accepted any of them. Finally, my agent said, "You know, they're going to keep knocking on your door and knocking on your door and at some point they're going to stop. So you better make sure you say 'Yes' before that stop occurs". That was when somebody sent me a copy of "The Silver Chalice" and I got talked into it. I knew that was going to be a bomb.
I picture my epitaph: "Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown."
[1970s] I think I get a very unfortunate view of the press. I think of what is written about me, about 5% of it is accurate. I'm not comfortable with them, they're not comfortable with me. I certainly am not comfortable with photographers.
[yalking about his days as a member of the Actors Studio] I remember someone who helped me a lot in my early days. We were just rehearsing a scene and I remember she stopped me with an absolute rifle shot of a clap and grabbed my shirt and said, "You are not thinking, you are just thinking you are thinking". And if you watch actors, you can tell those who don't necessarily indicate in broad strokes what's going on, but you can really see in their eyes that they are going through a process.
I'm always puzzled by this talk about star . . . image. I think there's people who are writers or barbers or mechanics or race car drivers that have certain recognizable personalities, and I don't think just because they happen to be on the screen that it makes them any more exceptional.
I will continue to get behind the wheel of a racing car as long as I am able. But that could all end tomorrow . . .
In the early days of films, the movie star in this country replaced royalty. They've been demoted since then but they're still treated as beings larger than life.
A man can only be judged by his actions, and not by his good intentions or his beliefs.
Acting is a question of absorbing other people's personalities and adding some of your own experiences.
Almost everything I learned about being an actor came from those early years at the Actor's Studio.
I would like it if people would think that beyond Newman, there's a spirit that takes action, a heart, and a talent that doesn't come from my blue eyes.
I don't think there's anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic. It's the other attitude that confuses me.
I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried - who tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out.
A man with no enemies is a man with no character.
Men experience many passions in a lifetime. One passion drives away the one before it.
Once I started taking drama classes, I asked myself why I had ever wasted so much time on a football team.
As long as my heart continues to beat, I think I will continue.
Acting isn't really a creative process, it's an interpretative one.
The characters I have the least in common with are the ones I have the greatest success with. The further a role is from my own experience, the more I try to deepen it.
To be an actor, you have to be a child.
[Joanne Woodward] has always given me unconditional support in all my choices and endeavors, and that includes my race car driving, which she deplores. To me, that's love.
You can't stop being a citizen just because you have a Screen Actors' Guild card.
Ever since Slap Shot (1977) I've been swearing more. I knew I had a problem one day when I turned to my daughter and said, "Would you please pass the fucking salt?"
I wasn't driven to acting by an inner compulsion. I was running away from the sporting goods business.
I'm not able to work anymore as an actor and still at the level that I would want to. I'm just, you know, 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.
[asked why he thought he became so successful as an actor] I have a face that does not belong to a thief.
 I have an extraordinary attention span. I manage to juggle two or three different ideas at the same time, and that's probably, if I have a gift, that's probably the best gift that's given me.
[about a $10-million donation he made to his alma mater] I owe Kenyon College a great deal. I even started my first business, a laundry service, there, and I depended on the extra $60 a week.
[on Julie Andrews] The last of the really great dames.
[on Tom Cruise] He's got a lot of actor's courage. He doesn't mind climbing up there and jumping off. It's nice to watch that.
[on Henry Fonda] If I can be like Henry Fonda, then I look forward to aging to sixty and beyond -- and not just because Hank finally won the Oscar he deserved. He was a good character actor and a good actor in the American tradition of playing variations on oneself.
[in 2005] It'd be lunatic to try to get into politics at my age. I don't think I'd have the stomach for it. I wish I felt a little more comfortable about the direction that we're going. It does not seem to be of the people, by the people and for the people. It seems to be about something else completely different. I think part of it is the media's fault for not being more aggressive and persistent and nasty and I think it's the people's fault for not paying attention. That's not a good combination. It allows people in government to do pretty much what they want.
Once you've seen your face on a bottle of salad dressing. it's hard to take yourself seriously.
[in 1994] I'm not mellower, I'm not less angry, I'm not less self-critical, I'm not less tenacious. Maybe the best part is that your liver can't handle those beers at noon anymore.
If anyone had ever told me 20 years ago I'd be sitting in a room with peach walls, I would have told them to take a nap in a urinal.
I have no natural gift to be anything - not an athlete, not an actor, not a writer, not a director, a painter of garden porches - not anything. So I've worked really hard, because nothing ever came easily to me.
I can say fairly safely that I didn't really know much about acting until I got to be in my fifties.
I felt guilty as hell about leaving my wife and children, and I will carry that guilt for the rest of my life. But the fact that Joanne and I are still together after all those years proves I took the right decision.
We are such spendthrifts with our lives. The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I'm not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.
|Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)||$17,000|
|Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)||$350,000 + percentage of profits|
|Hombre (1967)||$750,000 + 10% of gross|
|Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)||$750,000|
|Pocket Money (1972)||$1,200,000|
|The Sting (1973)||$500,000 and profit participation|
|The Towering Inferno (1974)||$1,000,000 + 10% of gross|
(May 2008) Attended the month long festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in support of the Indianapolis 500.
(1988) Release of the book, "Paul and Joanne: A Biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward" by Joe Morella and Edward Z. Epstein.
(1998) Release of his book, "Newman's Own Cookbook".
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