Job Actress
Years active 1955-present
Top Roles Lillian Corning, Eve White / Eve Black / Jane, Rhoda Shillitoe, Mary St. John / Mrs. Alfred Eaton, Rachel Cameron
Top GenresDrama, Film Adaptation, Romance, Comedy, Mystery, Western
Top TopicsBook-Based, Romance (Drama), Based on Play
Top Collaborators , (Producer), (Director), (Director)
Shares birthday with Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Bennett, Franchot Tone  see more..

Joanne Woodward Overview:

Actress, Joanne Woodward, was born Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward on Feb 27, 1930 in Thomasville, GA. As of December 2023, Joanne Woodward was 93 years old.

Early Life

Joanne Woodward was born Joanne Gigniliat Trimmier on February 27th, 1930 in Thomasville, Georgia. She named after Joan Crawford but took the southern enunciation of Joanne. Her father, Wade, was an educator who then became the vice president of the publishing company Charles Scribner's Son while her mother, Elinor, was a homemaker. As child, Woodward's love of the movies was instilled into her thanks to her mother, who was an avid film buff. When Joanne was nine years she and her mother traveled to Atlanta to attend the premiere of Gone of with Wind. During the parade of stars the young Joanne rushed into celebration, taking a seat right in Laurence Olivier's lap without cause or warning. When the two worked together in the 1977 television production of Come Back, Little Sheba, Woodward asked if he remembered the incident, which he did.

When Joanne was in second grade her family relocated to Marietta, Georgia and then to Greenville, South Carolina after her parents divorced. She would spend the rest of her junior and high school years in Greenville, where she was quick to developed the acting bug. She appeared in her school's stage productions as well as a slew of beauty contests, hoping her many wins would help her on her journey to becoming an actress. After graduating from Greenville High School in 1947, she went on to attend Louisianan State University and graduated with a major in acting. After returning home Woodward became a member of the Greenville's Little Theater, where she played Laura in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie. She continued to small plays at the theater for a short time before packing her bags and heading north to New York City in hopes of bigger and better opportunities.

Early Career

Upon her arrival in the big apple, Woodward immediately began studying at the Actor's Studio with Sanford Meisner. After spending time ridding herself of her southern accent,  Woodward was quick to find success and made her television debut in 1952 on an episode of Robert Montgomery Present called "Penny."She would continue to appear on similar television anthologies such as Tales of Tomorrow, Goodyear Playhouse, and The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse. She also tirelessly auditioned for stage roles and eventually was cast an understudy for the Broadway production of William Inge's  Picnic. Also cast was the then-unknown actor Paul Newman. The two became fast friends and romantically attracted to each other, despite the fact that Newman was already married and had three children. Because he could not get a divorce from his wife at the time, the two did not pursue their feelings any further. Meanwhile, Woodward continued working on her career and was soon signed to 20th Century Fox. In 1955 she made her film debut as Lissy in the Civil War Western Count Three and Pray opposite Van Heflin. The next year she traveled to New York to appear in the short lived Broadway play The Lovers, before returning to Hollywood to star opposite Robert Wagner in the crime thriller A Kiss Before Dying. In the film Woodward plays an unsuspecting heiress who is the target of poor student looking for an easy pay-day. She remained in Hollywood and continued to appear on television series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the Alcoa Hour. It would not take long, however, before Joanne would get her break through role.

Breakthrough and Paul Newman

In 1957 Woodward was cast in the Nunnally Johnson film The Three Faces of Eve, playing a young Georgina mother/wife suffering from multiple personality disorder. Her performance, which encompassed the three separate personalities of Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane, was as complex and dynamic as it was unnerving. For her efforts she was awarded the Best Actress Academy Award of 1958. It would be only win of four nominations. After completing The Three Faces of Eve, Woodward immediately began work on her next film The Long, Hot Summer. For the film, she was reunited with Paul Newman, who co-starred in the film with her. The two soon became engaged in a romantic relationship, unable to resolve their feelings for one another. It was at this point that Newman's wife, Jackie, granted him a divorce and during the films production, Woodward and Newman were married. The union would become one of Hollywood's longest lasting and most productive, with the pair collaborating with each other on over 15 films together, 10 in which they starred.


In 1958 Woodward collaborated with Newman for the Leo McCarey film Rally ˜Round the Flag, Boys and followed that up with the Martin Ritt drama The Sound and the Fury opposite Yul Brynner. She would star with Newman again for the melodramatic From the Terrace, featuring Myrna Loy and Leon Ames. In 1961 Woodward and Newman once again collaborated with director Martin Ritt for the romance Paris Blues, opposite Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll. The story centers around two American Jazz players in Paris (Newman and Poiter) and follows their romantic encounters with two American women living in France (Woodward and Carroll). The next year she starred in The Stripper, a part originally meant for Marilyn Monroe. In the film she plays an aspiring actress, Lila Green, who finds little success and thus must make end meet by becoming a stripper. For her work, she was nominated for a Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance. That same year she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in the romantic comedy A New Kind of Love, again opposite Paul Newman.

In 1968 Woodward starred in Paul Newman's directorial debut, Rachel, Rachel. In the film Woodward plays the titular role of Rachel, a shy, insular 35-year-old schoolteacher still living with her possessive mother who finally decides to start living her own life. Woodward received great critical acclaim for her role for her nuanced performance as the melancholy spinster and was nominated for second Academy Award. She followed that up with the racing drama Winning, opposite Paul Newman and would star opposite Newman again in the 1970 with the political drama WUSA. In 1972 Newman would direct Woodward again, this time in the drama The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, which would earn her the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award.


Television and Directing

By the mid-1970s and through to the 1908s, Woodward was active in three mediums, acting for film and television while taking to directing on the stage. On the big screen she starred in films such as The Drowning Pool and Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams but mostly found herself on the small screen, acting in TV movies such as Sybil, Come Back, Little Sheba, opposite Lawrence Olivier, and The Shadow Box. During this time Woodward also became the artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut, where she and Newman lived. In 1978 she won her first Emmy for her role in See How She Runs and would gain another nomination just three years later for role as educator Elizabeth Hucksby in Crisis at Central High.  She won her second Emmy for her portrayal of a popular and brilliant college professor suffering fro Alzheimer's in 1985's Do You Remember Love. Two years later her hubby would direct her once again, this time as Amanda in The Glass Menagerie.

By 1990s she began to take fewer but more choice roles. In 1993 she appeared as the mother of AIDS stricken Tom Hanks in Philadelphia and was the narrator for the Martin Scorsese romance The Age of Innocence. She gained her eighth Emmy nomination for her role in the CBS original film Breathing Lessons opposite James Garner and by the mid-1990s  began focusing mostly on her stage career, acting and directing both for the off-Broadway circuit and at the Westport Playhouse. In 1992 Woodward and Newman received a joint Kennedy Center Honors Award.

Later Career and Life

By the 2000s Woodward dedicated most of time either to the stage or with her husband advocating their liberal causes and charities. They would often fund-raise for Newman's  summer camp, Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which offers a safe and fun summer camp experience for children with life-threatening diseases.  In 2005 Woodward and Newman appeared in the Award Winning HBO mini-series Empire Falls, although the two didn't  have any screen time together. She nominated for both and Emmy and a Golden Globe. It would be their last project together before his death in 2008. After Newman's death Woodward remained busy, mainly doing voice-overs for films and continuing with her stage work. She currently remains in Westport, Connecticut. 

(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).



Joanne Woodward was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one for Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve (as Eve White/Eve Black/Jane) in 1957.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1957Best ActressThe Three Faces of Eve (1957)Eve White/Eve Black/JaneWon
1968Best ActressRachel, Rachel (1968)Rachel CameronNominated
1973Best ActressSummer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973)Rita WaldenNominated
1990Best ActressMr. & Mrs. BridgeIndia BridgeNominated

She was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. Joanne Woodward's handprints and footprints were 'set in stone' at Grauman's Chinese Theater during imprint ceremony #122 on May 25, 1963.

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Joanne Woodward Quotes:

Lillian Corning: You know, everybody's always waiting for everybody else to take a chance because they're so afraid!

Carol Cutrere: Juking? Oh! Well, that's when you get in a car, which is preferably open in any kind of weather. And then you drink a little bit and you drive a little bit, and then you stop and you dance a little bit with a jukebox. And then you drink a little bit more and you drive a little bit more, you stop and you dance a little bit more to another juke box! And then you stop dancing and you just drink and you drive. And then, you stop driving.

Rachel Cameron: [On the phone with her mother in the room] Hello?
Nick Kazlik: [On the other line] Hello.
Rachel Cameron: Oh, hello!
Nick Kazlik: My folks are away for the weekend. So, I thought maybe you'd like to play house. We got, like, three bedrooms, so we can chase each other from room to room between... you know.
Rachel Cameron: I mean, yes, I'd love to read that book. That sounds very interesting. Can you get it from the public library?
Nick Kazlik: Oh, you can't talk, right?
Rachel Cameron: Right. At this moment, I'm Venus observed.

read more quotes from Joanne Woodward...

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Joanne Woodward Facts
In 1960 she became the first actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Lived next door to her idol, Bette Davis, for awhile.

Became pregnant by Paul Newman prior to their marriage but she suffered a miscarriage.

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