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Paul Newman Affair: The Real Story Behind Paul Newman’s Relationship With Joanne Woodward

paul newman affair

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s love is as visible and vibrant in old black-and-white photographs as if they were standing right in front of you. Many consider the Academy Award-winning actors “Hollywood’s golden couple,” and their marriage lasted five decades until Newman died in 2008.

Joanne has remained out of the spotlight since her husband’s death, and the couple’s three daughters fiercely guard the privacy she has fought to maintain. While a 50-year marriage is no small feat in an industry notorious for messy divorces, Woodward and Newman didn’t seem to think so. “People stay married because they want to,” Newman once said. Furthermore, as he famously said, “At home, I have steak. Why should I eat a hamburger?”

paul newman affair

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s love is as visible and vibrant in old black-and-white photographs as if they were standing right in front of you. Many consider the Academy Award-winning actors “Hollywood’s golden couple,” and their marriage lasted five decades until Newman died in 2008. Joanne has remained out of the spotlight since her husband’s death, and the couple’s three daughters fiercely guard the privacy she has fought to maintain.

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While a 50-year marriage is no small feat in an industry notorious for messy divorces, Woodward and Newman didn’t seem to think so. “People stay married because they want to,” Newman once said. Furthermore, as he famously said, “At home, I have steak. Why should I eat a hamburger?” Newman, on the other hand, was taken with the lovely blonde from Thomasville, Georgia. “She was modern and self-sufficient, whereas I was shy and conservative.

It took a long time for me to persuade her that I wasn’t as dull as I appeared “In Paul Newman: A Life, Shawn Levy quotes him. The timing was also an issue—after all, he was already married, and Woodward didn’t want to break up a family. Despite this, they became friends and stayed in touch. However, when they reunited in 1957 to film The Long, Hot Summer, the chemistry was undeniable, both on and off-screen.

paul newman affair

Finally, Witte agreed to divorce, and Newman and Woodward married on January 29, 1958, in Las Vegas, and honeymooned at the Connaught Hotel in London. Despite his newfound joy, Newman felt “guilty as hell” for leaving his first wife. In Paul Newman: A Life, he says, “And I’ll carry it with me for the rest of my life.”

Nonetheless, he and Woodward went on to have a mostly happy relationship, eventually settling down in an 18th-century Connecticut farmhouse. “He’s very good looking and very sexy and all of that goes out the window, and what’s left is, if you can make somebody laugh,” Woodward told Today. “And he certainly keeps me laughing.” Meanwhile, Newman attributed their success to “some mixture of lust, respect, and patience And perseverance.” The actors reunited for two more films, Paris Blues (1961) and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1962). (1990).

paul newman affair

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Elinor “Nell” Newman, Melissa “Lissy” Newman, and Claire “Clea” Olivia Newman were their three daughters. In 1968, Newman directed his wife in Rachel, Rachel, for which she received her second of four Academy Award nominations (she won in 1958 for The Three Faces of Eve). In 1987, Newman won his own Academy Award for The Color of Money. Off-screen, the power couple became active in charitable organizations, most notably Newman’s Own Foundation, which was founded when Newman and writer A.E. Hotchner made salad dressing for friends. They eventually turned it into a business because it was so popular. “Let’s give it all to those in need!” Newman stated.

paul newman affair

Soon, they were selling pasta sauce, popcorn, salsa, and other items, with all proceeds benefiting nonprofit organizations (over $485 million to date). Newman also began racing and went on to become a reasonably successful driver. Things may not have been perfect all of the time. According to the New York Times, the couple admitted their marriage was rocky at times. Newman was rumored to have had an affair and a taste for beer (despite being an anti-drug and alcohol activist following his son’s tragic overdose death in 1978). However, according to most accounts (and there are many, ranging from celebrities like Liev Schreiber to average Joes), Newman and Woodward were the pictures of a happy husband and wife.

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Carol Joynt, an author, wrote about seeing them together once: “Joanne Woodward sat on the ground, her back to a large tree’s trunk, her legs stretched out in front of her. Paul Newman’s head sat on her lap, occasionally reaching up to touch her face and hair as he savored the music. I could have gaped. It’s still the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen.” And it appears that they remained that way well into old age.

paul newman affair

“I had a driver once, and I asked him, ‘Who was your favorite person you ever drove?'” actor Ansel Elgort said in a Town and Country interview. “‘The nicest guy was Paul Newman,’ he said. He asked me about myself, but he also had his wife [Joanne Woodward] in the back seat, and this guy was like 80 and he was kissing his wife. They were just having some PDA and giggling, and his arm was around her and he was kissing her. ‘” Unfortunately, Newman died of lung cancer at the age of 83 in 2008, but not before he and Woodward celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary—a golden anniversary for Hollywood’s golden couple.

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