- Category : Actor
- Type : PE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (12)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Alpha 2
Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008) was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian and auto racing enthusiast. He won numerous awards, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and an Emmy award, along with many honorary awards. He also won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing and his race teams won several championships in open wheel IndyCar racing. He was also the founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which Newman donated all profits and royalties to charity. As of May 2007, these donations have exceeded US$220 million. On September 26th, 2008, Newman died at his long-time home in Westport, Connecticut succumbing to complications arising from lung cancer.
Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), the son of Theresa (née Fetzer or Fetsko) and Arthur S. Newman, who ran a profitable sporting goods store. His father was Jewish Hungarian and his mother was born to a Slovak Catholic family at Pti?ie (formerly Peticse) in the former Kingdom of Hungary, now in Slovakia, and converted to Christian Science when Paul was five. Newman had described himself as Jewish, stating that, "it's more of a challenge". Newman's mother worked in his father's store, while raising Paul and his brother Arthur (who later became a producer and production manager).
Newman showed an early interest in the theater, which his mother encouraged. At the age of seven, he made his acting debut, playing the court jester in a school production of Robin Hood. Graduating from Shaker Heights High School in 1943, he briefly attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he was initiated into the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.
Newman served in the Navy in World War II in the Pacific theater. Newman was sent to the Navy V-12 program at Ohio University, with hope of being accepted for pilot training, but this plan was foiled when a flight physical revealed him to be colorblind. He was sent instead to boot camp and then on to further training as a radioman and gunner. Qualifying as a rear-seat radioman and gunner in torpedo bombers, in 1944, Aviation Radioman Third Class Newman was sent to Barber's Point, Hawaii, and subsequently assigned to Pacific-based replacement torpedo squadrons (VT-98, VT-99, and VT-100). These torpedo squadrons were responsible primarily for training replacement pilots and combat air crewmen, placing particular importance on carrier landings. He later flew from aircraft carriers as a tail gunner in the Avenger. As a radioman/gunner, he served aboard the USS Bunker Hill during the battle for Okinawa in the spring of 1945. He was ordered to the ship as radioman/gunner in an Avenger with a draft of replacements shortly before the attack, but by a fluke of war was held back because his pilot had an ear infection. The rest of his detail died.
After the war, he completed his degree at Kenyon College, graduating in 1949. Newman later studied acting at Yale University and under Lee Strasberg at the Actors' Studio in New York City.
Oscar Levant wrote that Newman was initially hesitant to leave New York for Hollywood: "Too close to the cake," he reported him saying, "Also, no place to study."
Newman made his Broadway theater debut in the original production of William Inge's Picnic, with Kim Stanley. He later appeared in the original Broadway productions of The Desperate Hours and Sweet Bird of Youth with Geraldine Page. He would later star in the film version of Sweet Bird of Youth, which also starred Page.
His first movie was The Silver Chalice (1954), followed by acclaimed roles in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), as boxer Rocky Graziano; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), opposite Elizabeth Taylor; and The Young Philadelphians (1959), with Barbara Rush and Robert Vaughn.
Newman appeared in a screen test with James Dean for East of Eden (1955). Newman was testing for the role of Aron Trask, Dean was testing for the role of Aron's fraternal twin brother Cal Trask. Dean won the part of Cal, while the role Newman was up for went to Richard Davalos. The same year Newman would co-star with Eva Marie Saint and Frank Sinatra in a live — and color - television broadcast of the Thornton Wilder stage play Our Town. In 2003 Newman would act in a remake of Our Town, taking on Sinatra's role as the stage manager.
Newman was one of the few actors who successfully made the transition from 1950s cinema to that of the 1960s and 1970s. His rebellious persona translated well to a subsequent generation. Newman starred in Exodus (1960), The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Harper (1966), Hombre (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Towering Inferno (1974), Slap Shot (1977) and The Verdict (1982). He teamed with fellow actor Robert Redford and director George Roy Hill for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973).
He appeared with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in the feature films The Long, Hot Summer (1958), Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!, (1958), From the Terrace (1960), Paris Blues (1961), A New Kind of Love (1963), Winning (1969), WUSA (1970), The Drowning Pool (1975), Harry & Son (1984) and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990). They also both starred in the HBO miniseries Empire Falls, but did not have any scenes together.
In addition to starring in and directing Harry & Son, Newman also directed four feature films (in which he did not act) starring Woodward. They were Rachel, Rachel (1968), based on Margaret Laurence's A Jest of God, the screen version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972), the television screen version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Shadow Box (1980) and a screen version of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie (1987).
25 years after "The Hustler", Newman reprised his role of "Fast" Eddie Felson in the Martin Scorsese directed The Color of Money (1986) for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
In 2003, he appeared in a Broadway theatre revival of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. He received his first Tony Award nomination for his performance. PBS and the cable network Showtime aired a taping of the production, and Newman was nominated for an Emmy Award, for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie.
His last screen appearance was as a conflicted mob boss in the 2002 film Road to Perdition opposite Tom Hanks, although he continued to provide voice work for films. In keeping with his strong interest in car racing, he provided the voice of Doc Hudson, a retired race car in Disney/Pixar's Cars. Similarly, he served as narrator for the 2007 film Dale, about the life of the legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.
Retirement from acting
Newman announced that he would entirely retire from acting on May 25, 2007. He stated that he didn't feel he could continue acting on the level that he would want to. "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."
With writer A.E. Hotchner, 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, and wine among other things. Newman donates the proceeds, after taxes, to charity. As of early 2006, the franchise has resulted in excess of $200 million in donations. He co-wrote a memoir about the subject with Hotchner, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good. Among other awards, Newman co-sponsors the PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award, a $25,000 reward designed to recognize those who protect the first amendment as it applies to the written word.
One beneficiary of his philanthropy is the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp for seriously ill children, which is located in Ashford, Connecticut. Newman cofounded the camp in 1988; 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. The camp serves 13,000 children every year, free of charge.
In June 1999 Newman donated $250,000 to the relief of Kosovo refugees.
On June 1, 2007, Kenyon College announced that Newman had donated $10 million to the school to establish a scholarship fund as part of the college's current $230 million fund-raising campaign. Newman and Woodward were honorary co-chairs of a previous campaign.
Marriages and family
Newman was married twice. His first marriage was to Jackie Witte and lasted from 1949 to 1958. Together they had a son, Scott (1950), and two daughters, Susan Kendall (1953) and Stephanie. Scott Newman, who died in November 1978 from an accidental drug overdose, appeared in the films Breakheart Pass, The Towering Inferno and the 1977 film Fraternity Row. Newman started the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention in memory of his son. Susan is a documentary filmmaker and philanthropist and has Broadway and screen credits, including a starring role as one of four Beatles fans in 1978's I Wanna Hold Your Hand. She also received an Emmy nomination as co-producer of his telefilm, The Shadow Box. Newman had eight grandchildren, all by his daughters.
Newman married actress Joanne Woodward on January 29, 1958. They had three daughters: Elinor "Nell" Teresa (1959), Melissa "Lissy" Stewart (1961), and Claire "Clea" Olivia (1965). Newman directed Elinor (stage name Nell Potts) in the central role alongside her mother in the film The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.
Newman lived away from the Hollywood environment. He made his home quietly in Westport, Connecticut, took a monogamous stance toward marriage, and was devoted to his wife and family. When asked about infidelity, he quipped, "Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?"
For his strong support of Eugene McCarthy in 1968 (and effective use of television commercials in California), Newman was 19th on Richard Nixon's enemies list.
Consistent with his work for liberal causes, Newman publicly supported Ned Lamont's candidacy in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Primary against Senator Joe Lieberman, and was even rumored as a candidate himself until Lamont emerged as a credible alternative. He has donated to Chris Dodd's presidential campaign.
Newman was an avid auto racing enthusiast, and first became interested in motorsports ("the first thing that I ever found I had any grace in") while training for and filming Winning, a 1969 film. Newman's first professional event was in 1972, in Thompson, Connecticut, and he was a common competitor in Sports Car Club of America events for the rest of the decade, eventually winning several championships. He later drove in the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans in Dick Barbour's Porsche 935 and finished the race in second. Newman rejoined Dick Barbour in 2000 to compete in the Petit Le Mans.
From the mid-'70s to the early '90s, he drove for the Bob Sharp Racing team, racing mainly Nissans in the Trans-Am Series. He became heavily associated with the brand during the '80s, even appearing in commercials for them. At the age of 70 he became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a major sanctioned race, winning in his class at the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona. Among his final experiences in racing was competing in the Baja 1000 in 2004 and the 24 Hours of Daytona once again in 2005.
Newman initially owned his own racing team which competed in the Can-Am series, but later co-founded Newman/Haas Racing with Carl Haas, a Champ Car team, in 1983. The 1996 racing season was chronicled in the IMAX film Super Speedway, which Newman narrated. He was also a partner in the Atlantic Championship team Newman Wachs Racing. Newman also owned a car NASCAR Winston Cup before selling it to Penske Racing, where it now serves as the #12 car.
Illness and death
Newman was scheduled to make his professional directorial stage debut with the Westport Country Playhouse's 2008 production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, but he stepped down on May 23, 2008, citing health issues.
In June 2008 it was widely reported that Newman, a former chain smoker, had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was receiving treatment at Sloan-Kettering hospital in New York City. Photographs taken of Newman in May and June showed him looking gaunt. Writer A.E. Hotchner, who partnered with Newman to start Newman's Own salad dressing company in the 1980s, was quoted in the media as saying that Newman told him about the disease about 18 months ago. Newman's spokesman told the press that the star is "doing nicely," but neither confirmed nor denied that he had cancer. In August, Newman reportedly had finished chemotherapy and had told his family he wished to die at home. His daughter, Nell Newman, is poised to take over Newman's Own.
Paul Newman died of lung cancer on September 26, 2008 aged 83 at his long-time home in Westport, Connecticut. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.
Lifetime Achievement (1984)
Newman won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for The Long, Hot Summer and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Nobody's Fool.
In 1968, Newman was named "Man of the Year" by Harvard University's performance group, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.
Newman Day has been celebrated at Kenyon College, Bates College, Princeton University, and other American colleges since the 1970s.