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Joanne Woodward Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (31) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 27 February 1930Thomasville, Georgia, USA
Birth NameJoanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward
Nickname Joey
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930, in Thomasville, Georgia, to Wade Woodward and Elinor Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward in a modest household. Her one older brother, Wade Jr., who was the favorite of her father, eventually became an architect. Elinor Woodward was a quite a movie buff and enjoyed going to picture shows often. Joanne claims she was nearly born in the middle of a Joan Crawford movie (Our Modern Maidens (1929)). Her mother wanted to name her Joan, but being Southern, she changed it to Joanne.

Thomasville was a typical small town in southern Georgia, around ten miles from the Florida border. Joanne was born right into the Great Depression. Her father was an administrator in the Thomasville school system, and her family was raised Episcopalian. Joanne's mother being an avid movie lover, it wasn't a surprise that Joanne wanted to go into the acting profession. Her father wasn't too keen on the idea, but her mother saw it coming and was thrilled. Joanne and her mother both adored the movie Wuthering Heights (1939) starring Laurence Olivier, and in 1939 Elinor took her daughter to the premiere of Gone with the Wind (1939) in Atlanta. Pulling up in a limo with the love of his life, Vivien Leigh (who starred in Gone with the Wind (1939)), Laurence Olivier was shocked when 9-year-old Joanne hopped right into the limo and sat in his lap without any warning. Years later when Joanne was famous, Olivier keenly remembered this incident. She later worked with Olivier in Come Back, Little Sheba (1977).

In her teens, Joanne entered and won many Georgia beauty contests. Her mother said that "she was the prettiest girl in town". But all Joanne wanted to do was act, and she saw beauty contests as the first step toward her dream. When she was of age, she enrolled in Louisiana State University, majoring in drama. After graduation and doing small plays, Joanne headed to New York and studied acting with Sanford Meisner. The first thing he tackled was Joanne's southern drawl.

Soon, Joanne was starring in television productions and theater. One day, she was introduced by her agent to another young actor at her level by the then-unknown name of Paul Newman. Paul's first reaction was, "Jeez, what an extraordinarily pretty girl". Joanne, while admitting that he was very good-looking, didn't like him at first sight, but she couldn't resist him. Soon they were working closely together as understudies for the Broadway production of "Picnic" and got along very well. They would have long conversations about anything and everything. Then both their movie careers took off: Joanne with Count Three and Pray (1955) and Paul with The Silver Chalice (1954). Also adding to the tension was Paul's wife, Jackie, who refused to get a divorce when Paul asked her for one. He wanted to marry Joanne; Jackie would simply not have it. Eventually, Jackie saw the anguish this was causing Paul and agreed to a divorce. Less than a week after the divorce was final, Paul married Joanne in Las Vegas on January 29, 1958, just months before Joanne won her Best Actress Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve (1957), in which she plays a woman with multiple personality disorder.

On April 8, 1959, Joanne gave birth to their first child, Elinor Teresa Newman, named after her and Paul's mothers. They both continued on with their careers, doing movies both together and apart. Two more children followed: Melissa Steward Newman on September 17, 1961, and Claire Olivia Newman on April 21, 1965. Since then, Joanne has been extremely busy in theater, film and television as well as ballet performances and very involved with charities and taking care of her family. In 2003, Joanne starred in a movie with Paul on HBO.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Skye Robinson <PaulNJoanne4ever@aol.com.

Spouse (1)

Paul Newman (29 January 1958 - 26 September 2008) (his death) (3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Known for playing mentally or emotionally disturbed women

Trivia (31)

Born at 4:00am EST.
Mother of actress Melissa Newman, whose namesake was the character portrayed by Woodward in Count Three and Pray (1955).
When she was 9 years old, Joanne traveled with her mother to Atlanta for the premiere of Gone with the Wind (1939). During the parade, she leapt into a limousine carrying Laurence Olivier and sat in his lap as she had a crush on him after seeing Wuthering Heights (1939). Years later when the two were working on Come Back, Little Sheba (1977), Olivier claimed to remember the incident vividly.
Attended LSU and then headed to New York. She did not attend Sarah Lawrence until much later. She graduated in 1990 alongside her youngest daughter, Claire "Clea" Newman.
Wore a handmade dress that cost about $100 to the 1957 Oscar ceremony (the year she won Best Actress for Three Faces of Eve).
Serves as artistic director, Westport Country Playhouse, near her home in Connecticut, where husband Paul stars in "Our Town" June 2002.
Loves ballet and horseback riding.
Joanne has three children with Paul Newman: Elinor (Nell), Melissa (Lissy) and Claire (Clea).
In 1960 she was the first actress to appear at the unveiling of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Lived next door to her idol, Bette Davis, for awhile.
Her favorite movies are Gone with the Wind (1939), Wuthering Heights (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940) and Jezebel (1938).
Her all-time favorite actress is Bette Davis and her all-time favorite actor is Laurence Olivier. Other major favorites of hers include John Garfield, Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn and Clark Gable.
Had to have her strip/dance scenes in The Stripper (1963) censored and approved by her husband, Paul Newman.
Is a graduate of the class of 1947 at Greenville Senior High School in Greenville, South Carolina.
Her likeness was used for the paintings of Marguerite Wyke in the Laurence Olivier/Michael Caine thriller Sleuth (1972).
Was briefly engaged to novelist, essayist and screenwriter Gore Vidal before breaking the engagement to pledge herself to eventual husband Paul Newman. The new couple, who remained friends with Vidal, briefly lived with him in a house in Los Angeles.
In the July 21, 1975, issue of People magazine, in which she shared the cover with her husband Paul Newman, Woodward claimed that her older relatives back in a small town in rural Georgia would be upset if they knew that Newman was half Jewish.
Played mother to real-life daughter Nell Potts in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972).
Mother, with Paul Newman, of daughters Nell Potts, Melissa Newman and Claire Newman.
Joanne told a 17-year-old Melanie Griffith on the set of The Drowning Pool (1975) that her goals were to marry a movie star (Paul Newman), have beautiful babies (she had 3), and win an Oscar (which she did in 1958). Melanie said that she adopted the same goals for herself by marrying a movie star (Antonio Banderas) and having beautiful babies (she also had 3), but she has expressed frustration that she hasn't won an Oscar, even though she was nominated in 1989.
As of 2013, she is one of six women who has received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for a performance directed by her spouse, namely for Rachel, Rachel (1968) directed by Paul Newman. The other five are Elisabeth Bergner for Escape Me Never (1935) (directed by Paul Czinner), Jean Simmons for The Happy Ending (1969) (directed by Richard Brooks), Gena Rowlands for A Woman Under the Influence (1974) & Gloria (1980) (both directed by John Cassavetes), Julie Andrews for Victor Victoria (1982) (directed by Blake Edwards), and Frances McDormand for Fargo (1996) (directed by Joel Coen). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in a Best Actress Oscar nominated performance (Never on Sunday (1960)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.
Grandmother of Peter (born in May 1996) and Henry Elkind, the sons of her daughter Melissa "Lissy" Newman and her husband, Raphael "Raphe" Elkind.
Became pregnant by Paul Newman prior to their marriage but she suffered a miscarriage in February 1958 a 4 months pregnant.
Returned to work 9 months after giving birth to her daughter Nell Potts in order to begin filming From the Terrace (1960).
Was the 47th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve (1957) at The 30th Annual Academy Awards (1958) on March 26, 1958.
During her time at Louisiana State University she was in the same sorority as Ellen DeGeneres's mother Betty.
Correction to above she returned to work eight months after Nell was born in order to begin filming From The Terrace December 1958 two of her and Paul's daughter Nell & Clea were born in New York while middle daughter Melissa was born in Los Angeles hours after Nat & Maria Cole's twins Casey & Timolin.
Returned to work 4 1/2 months after giving birth to daughter Nell to begin filming The Fugitive Kind Opposite Marlon Brando & Anna Magnani.
Daughter of Wade Woodward (December 24, 1900-December 16, 1976) and Elinor (née Gignilliat) Carter (July 3, 1903-September 8, 1992). Her father was born and raised in Georgia while her mother was born and raised in South Carolina.
Maternal granddaughter of John (August 28, 1858-December 1, 1934) and Nancy (née Porcher) Gignilliat (February 25, 1862-May 15, 1946). Her grandfather was born and raised in Georgia, while her grandmother was born and raised in South Carolina.
As of 2016 she is the 4th earliest surviving recipient of a Best Actress Oscar nomination, behind only Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Caron and Carroll Baker. She was nominated (and won) in 1957 for The Three Faces of Eve (1957).

Personal Quotes (11)

In 1987: "Acting is like sex. You should do it, not talk about it."
Being married to Paul is being married to the most considerate, romantic man.
I don't like getting myself in hot water. But suddenly I find that every minute I have to stop and think about what I'm saying. I can see what's going to happen. I'm going to have to stop giving interviews because I'm always saying the wrong thing. I don't want that to happen.
The September 11th tragedy forced us all to look at the world in a different way and it reminds us all of the importance of living every moment.
Who could direct you better than the person you live with? Paul knows everything there is to know about me. I wish he could just direct every movie I ever do.
[on her Rachel, Rachel (1968) director and husband Paul Newman being snubbed in the Best Director category by the Academy Awards in 1969] "How do you figure it? He even won the New York Film Critics award that year for it, but didn't get in as one of the five Oscar nominees. I was really hurt about that. And I have to admit that I still don't think the awards mean what they say they mean. The Oscar has become a political gesture, or a business gesture. People tell you it adds $5 million to a film's gross, and I believe it, but that's not what the Oscar is for. It didn't use to be that way."
[on her Best Actress nomination for Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973)] "I remember when I first won the Academy Award, and how much I loved it. I just wish there was an award around that you could really believe in again".
Actors and writers need to come back to the theater because it's a place where you can learn. You have to pay your dues; and people who haven't paid their dues in the theater, I think, have a hard time creating a whole career. - June, 2000
There aren't a lot of movies for people our age, and I was never terribly enamored of making movies -- mainly because I like to work on stage. I didn't make a lot of movies. I'm very happy doing what I'm doing now: I like to direct and act occasionally on stage. Once in a while, I do television. It's more likely that somebody my age can find a part in television. - June, 2000
[on filming Rachel, Rachel (1968)] It was not at all like Hollywood, where the grips play poker and have no idea what the movie is about. Everyone, from the little boy, who helped the grips, was involved.
[on a live late night interview, on the subject of husband Paul Newman being a sex symbol] I don't get it. He's over 40, has 6 kids and he snores.

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