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Paul Newman 1925-2008
 


Country : Shaker Heights, Ohio
Profession : Actor, Philanthropist, Film Director
Date of birth : 1925-01-26
Date of death : 2008-09-26
Cause of Death : Lung cancer

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220px-Paul_Newman_in_Carnation,_Washington_June_2007_cropped

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 for his performance in the 1986 Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money and eight other nomination three Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy award, and 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.

Newman was a co-founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which Newman donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity. As of October 2008, these donations had exceeded US $250 million.

Early life

Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), the son of Theresa and Arthur Samuel Newman, who ran a profitable sporting goods store. Newman's father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Poland and Hungary; Newman's mother, who practiced Christian Science, was born to a Slovak Roman Catholic family at Ptičie (formerly Pticsie) in the former Austria–Hungary (now in Slovakia). Newman had no religion as an adult, but described himself as "a Jew", 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.

Military service

Newman served in the United States Navy in World War II in the Pacific theater. Newman enrolled in the Navy V-12 program at Ohio University, hoping to be accepted for pilot training, but was dropped when it was discovered he was color blind. He was sent instead to boot camp and then received 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. He was 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 turret gunner in an Avenger torpedo bomber. As a radioman-gunner, he served aboard the USS Bunker Hill during the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. He was ordered to the ship with a draft of replacements shortly before the Okinawa campaign, 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 in Gambier, Ohio, graduating in 1949. Newman later studied Drama at Yale University, graduating in 1954, and later studying under Lee Strasberg at the Actors' Studio in New York City.

Oscar Levant wrote that Newman initially was hesitant to leave New York for Hollywood: "Too close to the cake," he reported him saying, "Also, no place to study."

Career

Early work

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 for Hollywood 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. However, predating all of these above was a small but notable part in an August 8, 1952 episode of the science fiction TV series Tales of Tomorrow entitled "Ice from Space", in which he played Sergeant Wilson, his first credited TV or film appearance.

In February 1954, Newman appeared in a screen test with James Dean, directed by Gjon Mili, for East of Eden (1955). Newman was testing for the role of Aron Trask, Dean for the role of Aron's fraternal twin brother Cal. Dean won his part, but Newman lost out to Richard Davalos. The same year, Newman co-starred with Eva Marie Saint and Frank Sinatra in a live —and color —television broadcast of a musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder's stage play Our Town. Newman was a last-minute replacement for James Dean. In 2003, Newman acted in a remake of Our Town, taking on the role of the stage manager.

Major films

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 both also 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).

Twenty-five 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. He told a television interviewer that winning an Oscar at the age of 62 deprived him of his fantasy of formally being presented with it in extreme old age.

Last works

In 2003, he appeared in a Broadway revival of Wilder's Our Town, receiving 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, which turned out to be Newman's final film performance in any form.

Retirement from acting

Newman announced that he would entirely retire from acting on May 25, 2007. He stated that he did not feel he could continue acting at the level he wanted 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."

Philanthropy

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, salsa, and wine, among other things. Newman established a policy that all proceeds, after taxes, would be donated to charity. As of early 2006, the franchise has donated in excess of $250 million. He co-wrote a memoir about the subject with Hotchner, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good. Among other awards, Newman's Own 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. His daughter, Nell Newman, took the helm of the company with his death.

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 co-founded 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 camps serve 13,000 children every year, free of charge.

In June 1999, Newman donated $250,000 to Catholic Relief Services to aid refugees in Kosovo.

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.

Paul Newman was one of the founders of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), a membership organization of CEOs and corporate chairpersons committed to raising the level and quality of global corporate philanthropy. Founded in 1999 by Newman and a few leading CEOs, CECP has grown to include more than 175 members and, through annual executive convenings, extensive benchmarking research, and best practice publications, leads the business community in developing sustainable and strategic community partnerships through philanthropy.

Marriages and family

Newman was married twice. He was married to Jackie Witte from 1949 to 1958. 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. Paul 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 I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), and also a small role opposite her father in Slap Shot. She also received an Emmy nomination as co-producer of his telefilm, The Shadow Box. Newman had two grandsons.

Newman married actress Joanne Woodward on February 2, 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 lived quietly in Westport, Connecticut, 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?"

Political activism

For his strong support of Eugene McCarthy in 1968 (and effective use of television commercials in California) and his strong opposition to the War in Vietnam, Newman was placed nineteenth on Richard Nixon's enemies list, which he claimed was his greatest accomplishment.

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 donated to Chris Dodd's presidential campaign.

He attended the first Earth Day event in Manhattan on April 22, 1970. Newman was also a vocal supporter of gay rights, including same-sex marriage.

Auto racing

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 at the Watkins Glen Racing School for the filming of Winning, a 1969 film. Newman's first professional event was in 1972, in Thompson, Connecticut, and he was a frequent competitor in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) 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 in second place. Newman reunited with Barbour in 2000 to compete in the Petit Le Mans.

From the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, he drove for the Bob Sharp Racing team, racing mainly Datsuns (later rebranded as Nissans) in the Trans-Am Series. He became closely associated with the brand during the 1980s, 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 last races were 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 owned a NASCAR Winston Cup car, before selling it to Penske Racing, where it now serves as the #12 car.

Newman was inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame at the national convention in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 21, 2009.

Illness and death

Newman was scheduled to make his professional stage directing 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 the Newman's Own company in the 1980s, told the Associated Press that Newman told him about the disease about eighteen months prior to the interview. Newman's spokesman told the press that the star was "doing nicely," but neither confirmed nor denied that he had cancer. In August, after reportedly finishing chemotherapy, Newman told his family he wished to die at home. He died on September 26, 2008, aged 83, surrounded by his family and close friends. His remains were subsequently cremated after a private funeral service near his home in Westport.

Filmography, awards, and nominations

As actor

Year

Film

Role

Notes

1954

The Silver Chalice

Basil

1956

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Rocky Graziano

The Rack

Capt. Edward W. Hall Jr.

1957

The Helen Morgan Story

Larry Maddux

Until They Sail

Capt. Jack Harding

1958

The Long, Hot Summer

Ben Quick

The Left Handed Gun

Billy the Kid

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Brick Pollitt

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!

Harry Bannerman

1959

The Young Philadelphians

Anthony Judson Lawrence

1960

From the Terrace

David Alfred Eaton

Exodus

Ari Ben Canaan

1961

The Hustler

Eddie Felson

BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

Paris Blues

Ram Bowen

1962

Sweet Bird of Youth

Chance Wayne

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man

Ad Francis, 'The Battler'

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture

1963

Hud

Hud Bannon

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

A New Kind of Love

Steve Sherman

The Prize

Andrew Craig

1964

What a Way to Go!

Larry Flint

The Outrage

Juan Carrasco

1965

Lady L

Armand Denis

1966

Harper

Lew Harper

Torn Curtain

Prof. Michael Armstrong

1967

Hombre

John Russell

Cool Hand Luke

Luke Jackson

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

1968

The Secret War of Harry Frigg

Pvt. Harry Frigg

1969

Winning

Frank Capua

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy

Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

1970

WUSA

Rheinhardt

1971

Sometimes a Great Notion

Hank Stamper

Once Upon a Wheel (1971 TV program)

Himself

Winner: World Television Festival Award,

Winner: Best International Sports Documentary

1972

Pocket Money

Jim Kane

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

Judge Roy Bean

1973

The Mackintosh Man

Joseph Rearden

The Sting

Henry Gondorff

1974

The Towering Inferno

Doug Roberts

1975

The Drowning Pool

Lew Harper

1976

Buffalo Bill and the Indians

William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody

1977

Slap Shot

Reggie "Reg" Dunlop

1979

Quintet

Essex

1980

When Time Ran Out...

Hank Anderson

1981

Fort Apache, The Bronx

Murphy

Absence of Malice

Michael Colin Gallagher

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor

1982

Come Along with Me

TV

The Verdict

Frank Galvin

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

1984

Harry & Son

Harry Keach

1986

The Color of Money

Fast Eddie Felson

Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

1989

Fat Man and Little Boy

Gen. Leslie R. Groves

Blaze

Gov. Earl K. Long

1990

Mr. and Mrs. Bridge

Walter Bridge

1993

La Classe américaine

Dave

in redubbed archive footage only

1994

The Hudsucker Proxy

Sidney J. Mussburger

Nobody's Fool

Donald J. "Sully" Sullivan

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

1998

Twilight

Harry Ross

1999

Message in a Bottle

Dodge Blake

2000

Where the Money Is

Henry Manning

2002

Road to Perdition

John Rooney

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture

2003

Our Town

Stage Manager

Nominated - Emmy Award

2005

Empire Falls

Max Roby

Emmy Award; Golden Globe

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

Dave Scott

voice

2006

Cars

Doc Hudson

voice

2007

Dale

Narrator

voice

As director or producer

Year

Film

Notes

1968

Rachel, Rachel

Golden Globe Award for Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Picture
New York Film Critics Circle Award (best director)

1969

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Co-executive producer (uncredited)

Winning

Co-executive producer (uncredited)

1970

WUSA

Co-producer

1971

Sometimes a Great Notion

Director and co-executive producer

They Might Be Giants

producer

1972

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

Director and producer

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

Co-executive producer (uncredited)

1980

The Shadow Box

Nominated - Emmy Award for Best Director for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special

1984

Harry & Son

Director and producer

1984

The Glass Menagerie

2005

Empire Falls

Producer, Nominated: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries

Additional awards and honors

In addition to the awards Newman won for specific roles, he received an honorary Academy Award in 1986 for his "many and memorable and compelling screen performances" and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his charity work in 1994.

He received the Golden Globe New Star of the Year — Actor award for The Silver Chalice (1957), the Henrietta Award World Film Favorite — Male in 1964 and 1966 and the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in 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. In 2004, Newman requested that Princeton University disassociate the event from his name, due to the fact that he did not endorse the behaviors, citing his creation of the Scott Newman Centre in 1980, which is "dedicated to the prevention of substance abuse through education".

Posthumously, Newman was inducted into the Connecticut Hall of Fame, and was honored with a 37 acre nature preserve in Westport named in his honor. He was also honored by the House of Representatives following his death.

Published work

  • Newman, Paul; Hotchner, A.E. Newman's Own Cookbook. Simon & Schuster, 1998.
  • Newman, Paul; Hotchner, A.E. Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good. Doubleday Publishing, 2003.

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