Actor, philanthropist, and race car driver Paul Newman was born on this day in 1925
Remembering Hollywood Legend Paul Newman
Oscar-winning actor and philanthropist Paul Newman was born Paul Leonard Newman on January 26, 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio, U.S and rose to fame during the 1950’s as one of Hollywood’s most talented actors, that together with his good looks earned him worldwide fame. Newman served in the US Navy in WWII, training as a radioman and gunner and eventually seeing action as a turret gunner in a torpedo bomber. After the war ended he completed a B.A. in economics and drama in his home state of Ohio, before moving to New York City in 1951, with his first wife Jackie Witte. He met 2nd wife Joanne Woodward while they were both understudying for the leads in a New York stage play in 1953. Joanne, became pregnant while they were filming “The Long Hot Summer” together in 1957. He would win the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance in the film. They married in 1958 and went on to star in 9 more feature films together over 5 decades. Some of the movies included: “Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!” (1958), “The Hustler” (1961) , “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Drowning Pool” (1975), and “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge” (1990). Newman earned his first Academy Award nomination opposite Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in (1958). The actor earned several Oscar nominations during his career but just one win, for “The Color of Money” in (1986) where he reprise Fast Eddie Felson, a character he had played before in 1961 on one of his most iconic movies, “The Hustler”. Newman became a car racing enthusiast while training as a race driver for his film “Winning”(1969), which also starred his wife Joanne Woodward.At age 70, he won the GT1 championship at the Daytona Rolex 24. As a philanthropist, he co-founded Newman’s Own line of food products (popcorn, salad dressings, etc.) in 1982, with all proceeds after taxes being donated to charities – such as establishing the Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children, and a $10 million scholarship fund donation to his alma mater Kenyon College. Newman set the bar for actors that is unlikely to be surpassed. Paul Newman died September 26, 2008, surrounded by his friends and family at his home in Westport, Connecticut. Dying of lung cancer at age 83 and was survived by his wife of 50 years, and the mother of 3 of his 6 children, Academy Award Winning Best Actress Joanne Woodward. Sally Field sad upon hearing of the actors passing in 2008 “Sometimes God makes perfect people, and Paul Newman was one of them.”
By Ken Warren, 2017
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