Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland, to Theresa Fetzko (a
Hungarian-born Catholic, who became a Christian Scientist) and Arthur S. Newman,
a successful sporting goods store owner, who was born in the United States to a
Hungarian Jewish father, Simon Newman, and a Polish Jewish mother, Hannah Cohn.
He has one brother, Arthur Newman.
He has married twice:
1) Jackie Witte (1949-1958) with whom he had a son, Scott Newman, who died in 1978, and two daughters, Susan Kendall Newman and Stephanie Newman. Susan is a stage actress and philanthropist.
2) Joanne Woodward on 29 January 1958. They have three daughters: Melissa Newman, Elinor Newman and Clea Newman.
Paul Newman served in the Navy in World War II, in the Pacific theater. Prior to entering the service, he attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He completed his degree at Kenyon College after the war and later studied acting at Yale University and the Actors Studio in New York City. While he was attending graduate school at Yale, he became a successful stage actor on Broadway. His first movie, The Silver Chalice (1954) has been described by Newman as the "worst movie of the entire 1950s decade," but he rebounded with a series of acclaimed roles.
With Paul Newman's piercing blue eyes and handsome chiseled features he could have been just a romantic leading man but he wanted much more than that. Newman was one of the few actors who successfully made the transition from 1950s to the 1960s and 1970s cinema. His rebellious persona translated well to a subsequent generation.
Now in his early eighties, Newman continues acting and will be one of the voices in Disney/Pixar's Cars. Some of his more recent appearances include a conflicted mob boss in Road To Perdition and in the HBO mini-series, Empire Falls as a rascally ne'er do well.
Newman has been nominated for an Academy Award nine times as an actor, in addition to the producer nomination he received for Rachel, Rachel. Of his acting nominations, he won once, for his leading role on The Color of Money in 1986. That award came a year after he won an honorary Oscar for his "many and memorable and compelling screen performances."
Paul Newman has directed his wife, Joanne Woodward, in several films, such as the 1968 film Rachel, Rachel, a film for which he was nominated for an Oscar as producer, and the 1987 adaptation of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.
Paul Newman was also nominated for an Emmy Award for his lead role in a 2003 production of Our Town.
In 2006, he won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor (Television) for his work in Empire Falls.
Paul Newman first became interested in the sport ("the first thing that I ever found I had any grace in") while filming Winning, a 1968 film, despite the fact that he is color-blind.
Paul Newman's first professional event was in 1972, in Thompson, Connecticut. He ran the 24 hours of Le Mans once in 1979 and finished second in a Porsche 935 of Dick Barbour thanks to the driving skills of German team mate Rolf Stommelen.
Onward from the mid seventies to the early nineties, he would drive for the Bob Sharp Racing team, racing mainly Nissans. He however would become heavily associated with the brand during the eighties, even appearing in commercials for them. Although they named a Skyline model after him, calling it the Newman, he was most of all associated with the Z series, where he got most of his race victories and championship titles from.
At the age of 70, he became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a major sanctioned race, the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995. Newman told an Associated Press journalist in March 2005 that he'll "probably race for another year".
Also, Newman co-founded Newman/Haas Racing with Carl Haas, a CART Championship auto racing team, in 1983.
Paul Newman founded Newman's Own, a line of food products, in 1982. The brand started with salad dressing, and has expanded to include pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, and salsa, among other things. Newman donates the proceeds, after taxes, to charity. As of early 2005, the franchise has resulted in $175 million in donations. He co-wrote a memoir about the subject, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good (ISBN 0385508026).
One beneficiary of Paul Newman's philanthropy is the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp for seriously ill children, which is located between Ashford and Eastford in Connecticut. Newman co-founded the camp in 1986; it was named after the gang in his film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Newman's college fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, adopted "Hole in the Wall" as their "national philanthropy" in 1995. One camp has expanded to become several Hole in the Wall Camps in the U.S., Ireland, France and Israel.
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