Birth Date: January 26, 1925 / Age: 88
Birth Place: Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA
Biography: Paul Leonard Newman (born January 26, 1925) is an American actor and film director.
Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland, to an Irish-Catholic mother and a German-Jewish father who owned a successful sporting goods store. He served in the Navy in World War II, in the Pacific theater. When he returned to America he attended Ohio University, Kenyon College and Yale University. While he was attending graduate school at Yale, he became a successful stage actor on Broadway. His first movie, The Silver Chalice (1954) has been described by Newman as the "worst movie of the entire 1950s decade," but he rebounded with a series of acclaimed roles. Newman was one of the few actors who successfully made the transition from 1950s to the 1960s and 1970s cinema. His rebellious persona translated well to a subsequent generation.
He has married twice:
1) Jackie Witte (1949-1958) by whom he had a son Scott Newman who died in 1978 and two daughters Susan Kendall Newman and Stephanie Newman. Susan is a stage actress and philanthropist.
2) Joanne Woodward on 29 January 1958. They have three daughters: Melissa Newman, Nell Potts and Clea Newman. Paul has directed Joanne in several films, such as the 1968 film Rachel, Rachel, a film for which he was nominated for an Oscar as producer.
He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for his lead role in a 2003 production of Our Town.
Newman has been nominated for an Academy Award nine times as an actor, in addition to the producer nomination he received for Rachel, Rachel. Of his acting nominations, he won once, for his leading role on The Color of Money in 1986. That award came a year after he won an honorary Oscar for his "many and memorable and compelling screen performances."
In 1994, the Motion Picture Academy awarded him The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in recognition of his charitable work. He has used his considerable name recognition to sell a series of sauces, popcorn, and lemonade which is used to support his hole in the wall charity. The latter is named after his gang in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Newman co-founded Newman/Haas Racing with Carl Haas, a CART Championship auto racing team, in 1983. He first became interested in the sport ("the first thing that I ever found I had any grace in") while filming Winning, a 1968 film.
Newman's first professional event was in 1972, in Thompson, Connecticut. He ran the 24 hours of Le Mans once in 1979, finished second in a Porsche 935. He is the oldest driver to win a major sanctioned race, having won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995 at the age of 70. Newman told an Associated Press journalist in March 2005 that he'll "probably race for another year".
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, among other things. Newman donates the proceeds, after taxes, to charity. As of early 2005, the franchise has resulted in $175 million in donations. He cowrote a memoir about the subject, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good (ISBN 0385508026).
One beneficiary of his philanthropy is the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp for seriously ill children located between Ashford and Eastford in Connecticut. Newman cofounded the camp in 1986; 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.
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. He has said that this is one of his life's proudest achievements.
In recent years, students at Bates College and Princeton University have marked a day (called "Newman Day" at Bates, "Newman's Day" at Princeton) during which students try to drink 24 beers in 24 hours while continuing with their regular activities. The newfound tradition has been held in January at Bates since the early 1990s, and on April 24 at Princeton since the late 1990s. The event is named after Newman for unknown reasons, though most often cited are a comment attributed to him ("24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.") and a well-known egg-eating contest in Cool Hand Luke (1967). Through his attorney, Newman has asked both universities to end the tradition, a request they have difficulty honouring since the event has no official campus sponsor.