Legendary actor, Paul Newman, was born Paul Leonard Newman on Jan 26, 1925 in Shaker Heights, OH. Newman died at the age of 83 on Sep 26, 2008 in Westport, CT and was cremated and his ashes given to family or friend.
Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 25, 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. His formative years were lived a comfortably in the idyllic Cleveland suburb where is father ran a successful sports supply shop while his mother stayed at home. It was her love of the theatre that would eventually spark an in interest in her sons. By all accounts, Newman was a bright, athletic child who demonstrated a passion for sports and theatre at a young age. While still in grade school, at the tender age of seven, Newman made is stage debut in his school's production of Robin Hood. He played a court jester. Although he continued acting through his high school days, he was generally considered an athlete first with hopes of becoming a professional football player.
After graduating High School in 1943 Newman went on to attend Ohio State University. Three years into his collegiate education Newman was expelled for rolling a keg down a hill that then crashed into the University Presidents car. Afterwards, he enlisted in the Navy. Although he had hopes of becoming a fighter pilot, but upon enlisting was found to be colorblind. He spent the rest of World War II as a radio operator and gunner. Upon his discharge Newman enrolled at Kenyon College, where he double majored in drama and economics. Upon his father's death, Newman sold his share of the family sports company and moved to Connecticut with new wife and son where he attended Yale Drama School.
It would not be long before the attractive young student soon caught the eye of New York talent scouts. They invited Newman to the city to pursuer a career as a professional actor. He immediately began to study at the famed Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg. In 1952 Newman made his television debut in the science fiction series Tales of Tomorrow. Soon after, Newman would begin his successful, but relatively short-lived stage career. In 1953 he made his Broadway debut in the original production of William Inge's Picnic as Alan Seymour. He simultaneously was the understudy for the lead character of Hal Carter, a role he would take over in less than a years time. His impressive work in the Inge play did not go unnoticed by Hollywood. Soon after Newman was under contract with Warner Brothers Studios and headed west.
After signing with Warner Brothers, Newman made his film debut in the 1954 historical epic The Silver Chalice. The film bombed both at the box office and with the critics. Newman hated the film so much that years later he would place a full-page ad in the Hollywood trade papers apologizing for his role and the film in general. The next year Newman would find much greater success when he returned to the stage for the original stage production of The Desperate Hours. In 1956 Newman played boxer Rocky Graziano in the bio-pic Somebody Up There Likes Me. James Dean was originally signed on to play the part, but it was given to Newman after Dean's death. The film was a quiet hit with Newman being well reviewed. Newman was quickly becoming one of Hollywood's fasted rising stars. 1958 he would be turning point for Newman's Career.
First he starred opposite Orson Welles and future wife, Joanne Woodward, in The Long, Hot Summer. It was during the shooting of this film that the two actors fell in-love and, after divorcing his first wife, married later that year. The couple would go to have one of Hollywood most celebrated marriages, lasting over 50 years until Newman's death. The also were frequent professional partners as well, starring in eleven films together. His next film was the revisionist Western The Left Handed Gun, where Newman played a young Billy the Kid; another role originally meant for James Dean. Although the film did not fair very well in the United States, it was praised overseas and he would go on to win Best Actor at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. His final film of that year was the big screen adaption of Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , starring opposite Elizabeth Taylor. In the film he played Brick, an alcoholic ex-footballer who drinks away his familial problems. Despite the films drastic deviations from the original source material, the film was hit and Newman was nominated for his first Best Actor Academy Awards nomination. Newman would end the decade by starring in the Broadway production of Tennessee Williams play Sweet Bird of Youth.
With his rebellious yet entirely charming on screen persona established, Newman would become on of biggest stars of 1960's, creating some of cinemas most memorable characters. The first of those said characters was the fast-talking, cocky pool hustler "fast" Eddie Felson in The Hustler. The film was massive hit and is created for sparking a resurgence in the public's interest in pool. The film was nominated for nine Oscars, included Best Lead Actor for Paul Newman. That year he also teamed with Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll in the Jazz inspired love story, Paris Blues. In 1962 Newman would reprised his Broadway character Chance Wayne in the big Screen adaption of Sweet Bird of Youth. The next year he would star in the anti-Western, Hud. The film follows the self-destructive and selfish acts of Hud Bannon, an arrogant and cock-sure son of hardworking rancher. Once again, Newman was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award. The next year he appeared the black comedy What a Way to Go!, playing one of Shirley MacLaine's comically doomed husbands. In 1966 he starred with Julie Andrews in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Torn Curtain. It's reported Newman and Hitchcock did not get along well during filming thanks to the generational gap that was becoming increasing visible in Hollywood.
In 1967 Newman starred as the titular role in one of his most iconic film Cool Hand Luke. In the film Newman plays a loveable rogue and decorated war veteran, Luke, who refuses to conform to the rural prison system. The character's charm, determination, anti-authoritative stance and ability to eat fifty eggs made Luke one of the most endearing and iconic screen characters of all time. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Paul Newman. In 1968 he made his directorial debut with the film Rachel, Rachel starring Joanne Woodward. The next year he would star opposite Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy in the box-office blockbuster Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. That year Newman also starred in a lesser-known film, Winning, that sparked his interest in auto racing.
Continued Success and Activism
By the end of 1960's, not only was Newman one of the world's biggest box-office draws, but he also became more forceful in his political activism. In 1968, he campaigned tirelessly for Democrats Eugene McCarthy and was strong, vocal opponent of the Vietnam War. Because of his liberal activism, Newman was the nineteenth name placed on Richard Nixon's enemies list, an accomplishment he states was one of his greatest.
By the 1970's, Newman was the biggest box office draw in America. Because of his popularity, Newman was able to one more interesting and experimental roles. In 1970 he and Joanne Woodward starred in the Political drama, WUSA. In 1972 he starred in John Huston film The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. The next year he reteamed with Robert Redford starred in one of best capper films of all time, The Sting. The film was an incredible success, making over 150 million dollars and earning 10 Oscar nominations. The next year he starred in the ensemble disaster film The Towering Inferno with stars like Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Jennifer Jones and O.J Simpson. The film would go to be highest grossing of the year. In 1976 Newman starred as an aging hockey star that coaches a rag-tag farm team in the cult classic Slap Shots.
Later Career and Philanthropy
In 1978 tragedy struck when Newman's eldest son, Scott, died of a drug overdose. He immediately slowed his busy film schedule to set up the Scott Newman Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating youths about drug and alcohol abuse. In 1982 Newman founded his own brand of food products, Newman's Own, donating all the post-tax profits to charity. The brand has since raised over 360 millions dollars for charitable causes including Hole in the Wall camps, a residential summer camp for serious ill children. When he returned to acting, Newman gave some of his best performances of his life. In 1981 he starred opposite Sally Fields as a victim of a false media assault in Sydney Pollack's Absence of Malice. The next year he starred as down and drunk lawyer given once last chance for redemption in Sidney Lumet's The Verdict. For the both roles Newman was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. By this point in his career, Newman had been nominated seven times but never won. In 1985 he received an Honorary Oscar for his entire body of work. The next year, however, Newman finally won a completive Oscar for reprising his role of Fast Eddie in the Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money.
By the 1990's, Newman began to slow his acting career. I 1994 he appeared in the Coen Brother's The Hudsucker Proxy as an over-the-top, morally challenged director of large company. In 2002 he starred opposite Tom Hanks and Jude Law in the mob movie Road to Perdition as a mob boss seeking vengeance. For his work, Newman was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. It would be his last live action performance in a theatrical release. In 2005 he appeared in the HBO film Empire Falls. The next year he lent his voice to the hit Disney and Pixar film Cars as former racing car Doc Hudson. It would be his last performance. Paul Newman died on September 26, 2008 in his Westport Connecticut home. He was 83 years old.(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).
HONORS and AWARDS:.
Paul Newman was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning one for Best Actor for The Color of Money (as Eddie Felson) in 1986. He also won two Honorary Awards in 1985 and 1993 Paul Newman .
|1958||Best Actor||Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)||Brick Pollitt||Nominated|
|1961||Best Actor||The Hustler (1961)||Eddie Felson||Nominated|
|1963||Best Actor||Hud (1963)||Hud Bannon||Nominated|
|1967||Best Actor||Cool Hand Luke (1967)||Luke Jackson||Nominated|
|1981||Best Actor||Absence of Malice (1981)||Michael Gallagher||Nominated|
|1982||Best Actor||The Verdict (1982)||Frank Galvin||Nominated|
|1986||Best Actor||The Color of Money (1986)||Eddie Felson||Won|
|1994||Best Actor||Nobody's Fool||Sully||Nominated|
|2002||Best Supporting Actor||Road to Perdition (2002)||John Rooney||Nominated|
Academy Awards (Honorary Oscars)
|1985||Honorary Award||in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft|
|1993||JEAN HERSHOLT HUMANITARIAN AWARD||Paul Newman|
He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. Paul Newman'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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