Newman, Paul

views updated May 09 2018


Nationality: American. Born: Cleveland, Ohio, 26 January 1925. Education: Attended Shaker Heights High School; Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, degree in economics and dramatics, 1949; Yale Drama School, New Haven, Connecticut, 1951–52. Military Service: U.S. Navy on torpedo planes as radioman, 1943–46; Family: Married 1) Jackie Witte, 1949, three children (one deceased); 2) the actress Joanne Woodward, 1958, three daughters. Career: 1949—acted in repertory company in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, and with Woodstock Players, Illinois; 1950–51—ran the family sportinggoods business in Cleveland after the death of his father; 1952—worked in television in New York; 1953—Broadway debut in Picnic; 1954—contract with Warner Brothers, and film debut in The Silver Chalice; on New York stage in The Desperate Hours; 1959—on Broadway in Sweet Bird of Youth; 1968—directed first feature film, Rachel, Rachel, starring Joanne Woodward; 1969—founder, with Barbra Streisand and Sidney Poitier, First Artists Production Company; also professional race car driver and owner of food manufacturing company, Newman's Own Inc.; 1995—part owner of The Nation. Awards: Best Actor, Cannes Festival, for The Long Hot Summer, 1958; Best Foreign Actor, British Academy, for The Hustler, 1961; Best Direction, New York Film Critics, for Rachel, Rachel, 1968; Honorary Oscar, "in recognition of his many memorable and compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft," 1985; Best Actor, Academy Award, for The Color of Money, 1986; Doctor of Humane Letters, Yale University, 1988. Address: 1120 5th Avenue #1C, New York, NY 10128, U.S.A.

Films as Actor:


The Silver Chalice (Saville) (as Basil the Defender)


The Rack (Laven) (as Capt. Edward Hall Jr.); Somebody Up There Likes Me (Wise) (as Rocky Graziano)


The Helen Morgan Story (Both Ends of the Candle) (Curtiz) (as Larry); Until They Sail (Wise) (as Capt. Jack Harding)


The Long Hot Summer (Riff) (as Ben Quick); The Left-Handed Gun (Arthur Penn) (as Billy Bonney); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks) (as Brick); Rally 'round the Flag, Boys! (McCarey) (as Harry Bannerman)


The Young Philadelphians (The City Jungle) (Sherman) (as Tony Lawrence)


From the Terrace (Robson) (as Alfred Eaton); Exodus (Preminger) (as Ari Ben Canaan)


Paris Blues (Ritt) (as Ram Bowen); The Hustler (Rossen) (as "Fast Eddie" Felson)


Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (Adventures of a Young Man) (Ritt) (as Ad Francis); Sweet Bird of Youth (Richard Brooks) (as Chance Wayne)


Hud (Ritt) (as Hud Bannon); A New Kind of Love (Shavelson) (as Steve Sherman); The Prize (Robson) (as Andrew Craig)


What a Way to Go! (Thompson) (as Larry Flint); The Outrage (Ritt) (as Juan Carrasco)


Lady L (Ustinov) (as Armand)


Harper (The Moving Target) (Smight) (as Lew Harper); Torn Curtain (Hitchcock) (as Professor Michael Armstrong)


Hombre (Ritt) (as John Russell); Cool Hand Luke (Rosenberg) (as Luke Jackson)


The Secret War of Harry Frigg (Smight) (title role)


Winning (Goldstone) (as Frank Capua); Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Hill) (as Butch Cassidy)


WUSA (Rosenberg) (as Rheinhardt)


Pocket Money (Rosenberg) (as Jim Kane); The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (Huston) (title role)


The Mackintosh Man (Huston) (as Rearden); The Sting (Hill) (as Henry Gondorff)


The Towering Inferno (Guillerman and Irwin Allen) (as Doug Roberts)


The Drowning Pool (Rosenberg) (as Lew Harper)


Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (Altman) (as Buffalo Bill); Silent Movie (Mel Brooks) (cameo)


Slapshot (Hill) (as Reggie Dunlop)


Quintet (Altman) (as Essex)


Absence of Malice (Pollack) (as Gallagher); Fort Apache, the Bronx (Petrie) (as Murphy); When Time Ran Out (Earth's Final Fury) (Goldstone) (as Hank Anderson)


The Verdict (Lumet) (as Frank Galvin)


The Color of Money (Scorsese) (as Eddie Felson)


Hello Actors Studio (Tresgot—doc)


Fat Man and Little Boy (Shadow Makers) (Joffé) (as Gen. Leslie R. Groves); Blaze (Shelton) (as Earl K. Long)


Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (Ivory) (as Walter Bridge)


Why Havel? (as himself)


The Hudsucker Proxy (Coen) (as Sidney J. Mussburger); Nobody's Fool (Benton) (as Donald "Sully" Sullivan)


Twilight (Benton) (as Harry Ross)


Message in a Bottle (Mandoki) (as Dodge Blake)


Where the Money Is (Kanievska) (as Henry)

Films as Director:


On the Harmfulness of Tobacco


Rachel, Rachel (+ pr)


Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch) (+ ro as Hank Stamper)


The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (+ pr)


The Shadow Box (for TV)


Harry and Son (+ ro as Harry, co-pr, co-sc)


The Glass Menagerie


By NEWMAN: books—

Hole in the Wall Gang Cookbook: Kid-Friendly Recipies for Families to Make Together, New York, 1998.

Newman's Own Cookbook, New York, 1998.

By NEWMAN: articles—

"Success Begins at Forty," in Films and Filming (London), January 1966.

"Interview: Paul Newman," in Playboy (Chicago), July 1968.

"The Anti-Hero as Director," interview with D. Diehl, in Action (Los Angeles), May-June 1969.

Interview with R. Sklar and A. Horton, in Cineaste (New York), vol. 12, no. 1, 1982.

"Newman on Nukes," interview with J. Goodman, in American Film (Washington, D.C.), October 1982.

Interview with Brian Baxter, in Films and Filming (London), March 1987.

Interview with Michel Cieutat, in Positif (Paris), March 1987.

On NEWMAN: books—

Hamblett, Charles, Paul Newman, London, 1975.

Godfrey, Lionel, Paul Newman, Superstar: A Critical Biography, New York, 1978.

Quick, Lawrence J., The Films of Paul Newman, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1981.

Barbier, Philippe, and Jacques Moreau, Album Photos: Paul Newman, Paris, 1983.

Landry, J. C., Paul Newman, London, 1983.

Guerif, François, Paul Newman, Paris, 1987.

Kerbel, Michael, Paul Newman: Seine Filme, sein Leben, Munich, 1987.

Morella, Joe, and Edward Z. Epstein, Paul and Joanne: A Biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, New York, 1988.

Netter, Susan, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, London, 1989.

Oumano, Elena, Paul Newman, New York, 1989.

Stern, Stewart, No Tricks in My Pocket: Paul Newman Directs, New York, 1989.

Lax, Eric, Paul Newman: A Biography, Atlanta, 1996.

Quirk, Lawrence J., Paul Newman: The Man Behind the Steel Blue Eyes, Dallas, 1997.

On NEWMAN: articles—

Eyles, Allen, "The Other Brando," in Films and Filming (London), January 1965.

Westerbeck, C. L., Jr., "Good Company," in Sight and Sound (London), Autumn 1973.

Gow, Gordon, "Closer to Life," in Films and Filming (London), April 1975.

Farber, Stephen, "Paul Newman," in The Movie Star, edited by Elisabeth Weis, New York, 1981.

Baxter, Brian, "Paul Newman," in Films and Filming (London), August 1984.

Current Biography 1985, New York, 1985.

Eisenberg, Lee, "Paul Newman: Him with His Foot to the Floor," in Esquire (New York), June 1988.

Worrell, Denise, in Icons: Intimate Portraits, New York, 1989.

Scheer, Robert, "The Further Adventures of Paul Newman," in Esquire (New York), October 1989.

Dowd, Maureen, "Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward: A Lifetime of Shared Passions," in McCall's, January 1991.

Carter, Betsy, "Paul Newman Acts His Age," in Harper's Bazaar, April 1994.

Hirschberg, Lynn, "Has Paul Newman Finally Grown Up?," in New York, 12 December 1994.

Ansen, David, "American's Own," in Newsweek, 19 December 1994.

Radio Times (London), 18 June 1994.

Stars (Mariembourg), Spring 1995, Winter 1996.

* * *

Of his movie debut in The Silver Chalice, Paul Newman has been quoted as saying, "to have the honor of being in the worst picture of the fifties and surviving is no mean feat." Whether it really is the worst film of the 1950s is a matter for some debate; the fact of Newman's quite remarkable survival is not.

For in spite of a clutch of poor reviews for his role as "Basil the Defender" in that ignoble epic, Newman—fresh from the Actors Studio and some success in a Broadway production of Picnic—was to become one of the most accomplished of film actors. Reversing the customary relation between the sublime and the ridiculous, he went straight from The Silver Chalice to the role of Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me, and from that film until Hud in 1963 Newman did nothing but learn and improve. In his best performances of these years (The Left-Handed Gun, The Hustler, and Hud rather than the more theatrical material such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Sweet Bird of Youth) he rose to the challenge of movie acting with apparently effortless skill.

Take The Left-Handed Gun. Arthur Penn's neurotically intense Freudian Western presents a young man constantly on the very edge of insanity, a Billy the Kid with all the traditional accoutrements but none of the heroics. Newman, typically, built his performance on detailed physical impressions, his every movement convoluted, his gestures conveying impossible tensions. He really is like a spring ready to snap. This Billy is clearly of the Actors Studio, of a piece with the work of Brando, Steiger, Wallach, and Clift. Expression of character comes from within, "absorbing other people's personalities and adding some of your own," as Newman once put it. The difficulty with this approach, the so-called Method, is that it was designed primarily for the stage and therefore all too easily led its exponents into overstatement on screen. It was essential to tone down Method techniques to meet the singular requirements of movie acting.

For Newman, unlike Rod Steiger and to some extent Marlon Brando, that proved no great problem, and by 1961 and The Hustler he had found the perfect balance. Newman's performance as Fast Eddie Felson, the consummately ambitious pool hustler who ultimately finds self-respect, harnesses the sheer physicality of Method technique to the understatement required of actors playing on the big screen. In The Hustler Newman uses many of the little contrivances on which he was to come to rely: suddenly looking away and turning back with a quizzical expression; restraining that luminous smile then switching it on like a spotlight; furrowing his brow in a way that breathes seriousness into the most trivial exchange. In this film, however, there is much more to his performance than skillful deployment of these techniques.

Partly, of course, that is a product of quality and depth in The Hustler's writing and direction. Looks and smiles convey much more when writer, director, and cinematographer are as skilled as the actor, and it is likely that Fast Eddie would have been fascinating whoever played the role. But there is also a strong sense of involvement from Newman, an engagement with character which has not been found in many of his performances since. In The Hustler Newman the actor is subjugated to Eddie the character: all his considerable skills are placed in the service of the film. In his later big successes (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, and even the rather better Cool Hand Luke) everything is built upon an already established Newman persona. These films are vehicles. Not in the sense that they are made solely to display him, but that they are movies in which his written character is sufficient of a tabula rasa to allow him to play it by resorting to the now familiar array of Newman techniques and mannerisms. These are roles molded by the requirements of the star system and played by reflex.

This is not to suggest that Newman has not given audiences and filmmakers excellent value. He has probably provided more consistent service than any other actor of the Method generation. It is only when you view his work of the 1970s and 1980s in the light of his best performances that you realize how much was lost when he was transformed from actor into star. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to return to The Hustler to make that comparison. Since he turned 60 he seems to have found new commitment and energy, gracing several films with impeccable performances. One such is his hugely enjoyable portrait of the extrovert and eccentric Earl K. Long in Blaze. Another, perhaps the biggest delight to long-term admirers, is his recreation of Eddie Felson 25 years on in The Color of Money, for which he finally received the Academy Award that he merited for its prequel, The Hustler. Scorsese's film may not have the classical narrative qualities of Robert Rossen's original but it does have Newman giving an object lesson in refined movie acting. And the early 1990s have produced a little run of quality performances in Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, The Hudsucker Proxy, and, best of all, as Sully in Nobody's Fool, for which he received yet another Oscar nomination.

—Andrew Tudor

Paul Newman

views updated May 23 2018

Paul Newman

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Paul Newman (born 1925) is one of the most distinguished twentieth-century American actors. Drama, however, is not Newman's sole passion; he is a professional race car driver, owns a food business that donates all proceeds to charity, and is an outspoken proponent of various liberal causes.

Paul Newman has been described as the quintessential American on-screen male. His sometimes gruff, sometimes duplicitous, nearly always captivating characterizations have earned him a place in the pantheon of celebrated and beloved American film stars. In a 1994 assessment of Newman's career, Newsweek writer David Ansen mused that "the great mystery of his stardom is how he has managed to play so many heels-driven, ambitious, solipsistic men-that the audience falls in love with."

Paul Leonard Newman was born to Arthur and Theresa Newman in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 26, 1925. He was raised in Shaker Heights, a well-to-do suburb, where the family enjoyed a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. His father was a partner in a sporting goods store which Newman was expected to eventually take over. As a child, however, Newman was far more interested in extracurricular activities than in achieving good grades and acquiring a head for business. He loved sports and dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. Around this time, he began acting. At the age of ten, he won the lead role in a production of St. George and the Dragon at the Cleveland Playhouse. Still, to Newman his flaws were numerous: "When I was a kid, I was not a good scholar, and I really wanted to be one, " Newman once said to Esquire. "I was not a good athlete, and I really wanted to be one; I was not a good conversationalist, and to this day I have difficulty talking."

An injury ended Newman's dream of a sports career. When he graduated from high school in 1943, in the midst of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Newman had hoped for the heroic role of a fighter pilot, but this dream also disappeared when it was determined that he was slightly colorblind. Newman instead served as a radioman in the South Pacific for three years. After his discharge, he returned to Ohio and enrolled at Kenyon College on the G.I. Bill, which provided tuition assistance to returning veterans. Once more, Newman displayed a proclivity for everything but academics, running a lucrative beer and laundry business that was a hit with Kenyon students. He also began to contemplate a career on the stage at this point and devoted much of his energy to roles in Kenyon's drama department productions.

Newman graduated in 1949 and joined a summer stock company in Wisconsin, then an Illinois repertory theater. He also married fellow actress, Jacqueline Witte, that same year; the couple would have three children. When Newman's father passed away, he returned to the Cleveland area to take over the sporting goods store. It was a life and career path to which he was deeply averse. Fortunately for him, the store was sold and he took his wife and growing family to New Haven, Connecticut, where he was accepted at the prestigious Yale School of Drama.

At Yale, Newman honed his stage skills and sold encyclopedias on the side for cash. His talents landed him a place with the acclaimed New York drama workshop, the Actors Studio, where he studied with such luminaries of the craft as Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan in the early 1950s. Soon Newman found work in television plays, then a fresh and innovative union of the two arts that was attracting stellar writers, directors, and performers. His success in this medium led to Broadway work, and, in 1953, he was cast as the understudy for the lead in the play Picnic. Hungry for a chance to prove himself, Newman asked the director if he could play the part on the road, to which the director, Joshua Logan, refused. Newman, Logan said, did not possess the sexual charisma required for the character.

Crushed, Newman adopted a new attitude. He began working out, but more importantly, he began observing others and their behavior. It was also around this time that he met actress Joanne Woodward, and the chemistry between the two dissolved Newman's first marriage. Film seemed the next logical career move, but he was wary. He finally accepted the lead in the 1955 biblical drama The Silver Chalice. It was a disastrous move and almost ended his acting career in one fell swoop. Newman played a Greek slave who hammered the cup from which Jesus and the apostles allegedly drank at the Last Supper. "That I survived that picture is a testament to something, " Newman declared in an interview with New York writer Lynn Hirschberg. He wore a short toga through most of it. When a network bought The Silver Chalice and planned to broadcast it, Newman bought newspaper advertisements urging people not to watch.

Newman returned to New York and devoted his energies to more gratifying stage work. He was next cast alongside James Dean in a teleplay, but when Dean died in a car crash in September of 1955, Newman was asked to take the lead. He hesitated, but his role in the adaptation of a story by Ernest Hemingway revived his reputation and his faith in his abilities. Hollywood beckoned again, but this time with an offer to play the boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me. The 1957 hit made the actor into an overnight sensation, and Warner Brothers signed Newman to seven-year contract.

Newman's next film, The Long Hot Summer, also starred his new wife, Woodward, in the tale of small town Southern politics and a malevolent drifter. The role would come to typify the characterization in which the tougher, now battle-scarred actor would excel and build his career upon. Other films included Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which was also released in 1958 and earned him his first Academy Award (Oscar) nomination, and another biblical drama, Exodus. Still, Newman was unhappy with the Hollywood system and managed to be released from his contract through the help of his savvy agent. Now an independent actor not influenced by studio whims, he was able to take a role that offered a well-written dramatic challenge: the smooth talking pool shark Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler. The 1961 role brought Newman his second Academy Award nomination.

Similar roles followed, with similar results. For the 1963 drama Hud and the mournful prison picture Cool Hand Luke, one of 1967's biggest box-office successes, Newman again won nominations, but did not win the Oscar in either instance. Subsequent roles in period pieces, such as 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and 1973's The Sting, again teamed him with Robert Redford and did phenomenally well. Later in the decade, Newman's career took a slight downturn. His only admirable portrayal came as a vicious minor league hockey coach in the 1977 cult classic Slap Shot.

Personal tragedy also visited Newman. In 1978, his son from his first marriage, Scott, died of a drug and alcohol overdose. Newman would later fund a drug rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles in honor of his son. The veteran actor also began to take an active role in other issues of personal significance to him, most notably liberal politics. Though he had always been politically active, by marching in civil rights protests and publicly supporting Democratic presidential campaigns, Newman grew more outspoken. President Jimmy Carter appointed him as his delegate to nuclear disarmament talks at the United Nations, and Newman once took on fellow actor and noted Republican Charlton Heston in a television debate.

In 1995, Newman bought a controlling interest in The Nation, a liberal political journal, and even began writing for it occasionally. One essay spoke out against a prominent United States senator who had supported dictatorial regimes in Latin America, for example. Newman is also on the board of Cease Fire, a gun control group funded by prominent celebrities. He also sponsors an annual free speech award by the writers' organization PEN. "Your sense of yourself comes from what you're doing today, not what you did yesterday, " Newman told Hirschberg in the New York interview.

Newman continued to command respect with his film roles as well, especially with the 1981 drama Absence of Malice, for which he earned his fifth Oscar nomination. The role of a wretched alcoholic lawyer in 1982's The Verdict landed him his sixth. His Oscar losing streak became a joke among Newman and his circle of family and friends. "I had this wonderful scenario worked out in my head that somehow I would never win, " Newman confessed to Hirschberg, "and then, finally, in a terrible state of physical disrepair, I'd be nominated and I'd win and I'd be carried up by two paramedics on a stretcher…." When he was nominated for reprising his "Fast Eddie" role in the sequel to The Hustler, the 1986 Tom Cruise movie The Color of Money, he didn't even travel to Los Angeles for the ceremony. This time, he won.

Newman remains grounded on the East Coast, far away from the celebrity glamour of Hollywood. "Hollywood breeds insecurity, " Newman told New York's Hirschberg. "When I was a young actor, I delighted in the dailies, " referring to the unedited footage from the a movie shoot. "I used to bathe in the idea of watching that image on the screen. I'm uneasy about it now. I'm afraid I will be so critical that I will be immobilized for the next day's shooting." He and Woodward, with whom he has three daughters, live in a 200-year-old farmhouse in Connecticut and also keep a home on New York's Upper East Side. The actor is well-known personality on the automobile racing circuit, and owns an Indy car competitor with a partner. He is also a famed prankster feared by his film set colleagues. He once had a Porsche demolished, wrapped, and sneaked into Robert Redford's house. Film director Robert Altman was paid back for exploding nine feet of popcorn in Newman's dressing room on a film set with a series of attacks that included 200 live chickens installed in Altman's personal trailer.

Perhaps Newman's proudest achievement, however, is the food company he launched in the 1980s with his friend A. E. Hotchner, a writer. "Newman's Own" began with their bottling of a vinaigrette they concocted that had been a hit with friends. "Giving the profits away was a philosophy that evolved with the company, " Newman told Pam Janis for USA Weekend, noting that he was strongly urged by all involved to lend his name and visage to the label. "With that, it would be tacky not to give the money away." Over the next decade, Newman's Own expanded to over 40 different products, including salsa, lemonade, and the prank inducing popcorn. His daughter, Nell, and her devotion to organic foods helped launch a second line. All proceeds are donated to charitable organizations. By 1997 Newman's Own had given more than $80 million away to projects chosen by the actor and his wife, such as a school for children of migrant laborers and AIDS research.

Newman continues to choose outstanding film roles when he does enter into the Hollywood sphere. One such effort was the critically acclaimed 1994 drama Nobody's Fool. His character, wrote Ansen in Newsweek, "is a classic Newman type, the older relative of all the intransigent outsiders he played in the '50s and '60s." Ansen likened Newman's tragicomic Sully to the "rebellious rakes who cut themselves off from women, from family, from community to pursue their private dreams and demons…. Sully's selfish, self-involved and a loser. He's also, like all Newman antiheroes, enormously likeable." Newman admitted that Nobody's Fool and his role as Sully, who learns to connect when he establishes a shaky relationship with his grandson, tapped into some emotional defenses that were not altogether unfamiliar to him. "An actor who's successful develops a certain shield to protect that part of his life which isn't up for public examination, " he told Bonnie Churchill in the Christian Science Monitor. "It bleeds over into your private life."

Further Reading

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 14, Gale, 1996.

Newsmakers, 1995 Cumulation, Gale, 1995.

Christian Science Monitor, December 27, 1994, p. 14; March 5, 1996, p. 8.

Good Housekeeping, May 1995, p. 147.

Newsweek, December 19, 1994, pp. 56-62.

New York, December 12, 1994, pp. 36-45.

Sunday Times (London), June 22, 1997.

USA Weekend, October 17-19, 1997.

Wall Street Journal, November 20, 1997, p. B1.

Newman, Paul

views updated May 29 2018


NEWMAN, PAUL (1925– ), U.S. actor. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Newman was the son of an Irish-Catholic mother and a German-Jewish father who owned a successful sporting goods store. After high school he served in the navy until 1946. After graduating from Kenyon College, Newman spent a year at the Yale Drama School and then went to New York, where he attended the Actors Studio.

Newman first appeared on Broadway in Picnic (1953) and won a Theater World Award. His first film was The Silver Chalice (1954). His performance in the biblical costume epic proved to be such an embarrassment to him that he placed a full-page ad in Variety, apologizing for his appearance in the film. His career improved immeasurably after his impressive performance in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956).

Among Newman's many notable films are The Long, Hot Summer (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1958), Exodus (1960), From the Terrace (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962), The Hustler (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1961), Hud (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1963), The Prize (1963), Torn Curtain (1966), Hombre (1967), Cool Hand Luke (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1967), Rachel, Rachel (director, 1968), Winning (1969), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Sometimes a Great Notion (and director, 1971), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (director, 1972), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), The Mackintosh Man (1973), The Sting (1973), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Drowning Pool (1975), Fort Apache, the Bronx (1981), Absence of Malice (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1981), The Verdict (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1982), The Color of Money (Academy Award for Best Actor, 1986), The Glass Menagerie (director, 1987), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Nobody's Fool (Oscar nomination for Best Actor, 1994), Message in a Bottle (1999), Twilight (1998), Where the Money Is (2000), and Road to Perdition (Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, 2002).

On the Broadway stage, Newman appeared in The Desperate Hours (1955), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), Baby Want a Kiss (1964), and Our Town (Tony nomination for Best Actor, 2003).

In 1994 Newman was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and in 1986 he was given an Honorary Academy Award "in recognition of his many and memorable and compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft."

In 1990 he was named by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.

In 1982 he founded Newman's Own, a successful line of food products (salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, microwave popcorn, etc.) that has earned in excess of $150 million, all of which he donates to charity and education.

Newman has been married to actress Joanne Woodward since 1958.

Books written by Newman include Speed: Indy Car Racing (with C. Jezierski, 1985), Newman's Own Cookbook (with A.E. Hotchner, 1999), and Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good (with A.E. Hotchner, 2003).

add. bibliography:

L. Quirk, Paul Newman (1996); E. Oumano, Paul Newman (1990); J. Morella and E. Epstein, Paul and Joanne (1988); E. Lax, Paul Newman: A Biography (1996).

[Jonathan Licht /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

Newman, Paul

views updated May 23 2018

Newman, Paul (1925– ) US film actor, director, and producer. Newman made his big breakthrough in 1958 with The Left-Handed Gun, The Long Hot Summer, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He was nominated for Academy Awards for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), and Cool Hand Luke (1967). In 1968 Newman made his directorial debut, Rachel, Rachel. He won a best actor Oscar for The Color of Money (1986). Other films include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), and The Hudsucker Proxy (1994).