Paul Newman Dead
1925 - 2008
I had the privelege in the year 2000 to interview Paul Newman, one of the greatest actors of the big screen - ever! Nominated for 10 competitive Oscars, winner of only one, I sat with Paul Newman for breakfast on an early spring morning at a NYC hotel, where we talked about not only his most recent big screen performance, that of Henry Manning in the comedy-caper "Where The Money Is." But also his hugely successful - then, now and foreseeably for many years to come - "Newman's Own Foundation." And his lovely wife, actress, the Oscar winner Joanne Woodward, (with whom he celebrated his 50th anniversary earlier this year!) My interview with Paul Newman was one of the most memorable of the more than 500 celebrities I have sat with during the past 20 years.
Paul Newman died on Friday, September 26, at his home in Wesport, CT, surrounded by family, after a long battle with lung cancer.
Paul Newman appeared in over 60 movies, including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," (with Elizabeth Taylor); "The Hustler," (with Jackie Gleason); "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," (with Robert Redford); and "The Sting" (with Jackie Gleason). Paul Newman earned nine Oscar nominations for acting and won the best actor honor for 1986's "The Color of Money" (in which he costarred with up and coming superstar Tom Cruise). Paul Newman was also awarded two special Oscars. The actor turned producer and director in the late 60s and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for "Rachel, Rachel." Paul Newman's wife Joanne Woodward starred in the lead, and was also nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Rachel in "Rachel, Rachel."
The "Newman's Own Foundation," takes profits from that company and sponsors numerous charitable organizations. Paul Newman also founded his "Hole in the Wall" Camps, which provides fun summer breaks for children around the world suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Paul Newman was born in a Cleveland suburb on Jan. 26, 1925, and was a Navy radio man in the Pacific during World War Two. Afterward, he went to Kenyon College in Ohio on a football scholarship but took up acting after being cut from the team because of a barroom brawl.
After his father's death, Newman helped run the family sporting goods store before heading to the Yale Drama School. He ended up in New York, finding bit parts in TV and a Broadway role in "Picnic" in 1953. His first major movie role was portraying boxer Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me."
Off the screen, and when not raising hundreds of millions of dollars for charity, Paul Newman loved to race cars. Thus his never-to-be-forgotten role in "Disney's Cars" as the voice of Doc Hudson. Sadly, Paul Newman's voice will be absent from the upcoming "Cars 2." According to Disney, who has known Paul Newman would be unavailable for a repeat performance in the sequel for months, "Paul Newman's character Doc Hudson will not be voiced by anyone else. The passing of his character will be a major part of the "Cars 2" plot." Which leads us to believe it will be a very Bambi-esque, tearful moment.
Paul Newman leaves his wife of 50 years, the award winning actress Joanne Woodward, and their three daughters. (Joanne Woodward has been nominated for four acting Oscars, winning in 1958, the year Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward married, for "The Three Faces Of Eve").
Paul Newman was first married in 1949 to Jackie White. They divorced in 1958 after producing three children, two daughters and his only son, Scott, who died of a drug overdose in 1978.
Complete list of Paul Newman Oscar nominated and winning performance:
1959 - Best Actor Oscar Nominee - Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
1962 - Best Actor Oscar Nominee - The Hustler
1964 - Best Actor Oscar Nominee - Hud
1968 - Best Actor Oscar Nominee - Cool Hand Luke
1969 - Best Picture Oscar Nominee (Producer) - Rachel, Rachel
1982 - Best Actor Oscar Nominee - Absence Of Malice
1983 - Best Actor Oscar Nominee - The Verdict
1986 - Honorary Oscar Award
1987 - Best Actor Oscar WINNER - The Color Of Money*
1994 - Honorary Oscar Award - Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
1995 - Best Actor Oscar Nominee - Nobody's Fool
2003 - Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominee - Road To Perdition
* Sequel to "The Hustler"