It was a first marriage for Woodward and a second for Newman. Years later he said he’d never lost his guilt over the circumstances of the break-up of his first marriage. He and first wife Jacki married young and had three children. Newman said, “I was probably too immature to make a success of my first marriage.”
Paul Newman was born in 1925, Joanne Woodward in 1930. They met in 1953 doing “Picnic” on Broadway. He was captivated from the start with Joanne but it took her a little longer to warm up, casting him as just a pretty face when they met. Gradually a friendship sprang up between them which led to a romance. In 1957 he divorced Jackie and in 1958 he and Joanne were married, honeymooning in London.
Newman said about the success of their life together, “For people who have as little in common as Joanne and I, we have an uncommonly good marriage.” For instance she hated his race car driving, yet still supported him. Joanne said, “From the beginning Paul and I had an advantage; we were friends before we were lovers. I mean we really liked each other.” She also said, ‘Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.”
Woodward and Newman appeared in eleven films together as well as many individually. She is probably best known for Three Faces of Eve, for which she won an Academy award. Newman is remembered for the Hustler, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, among others. He was also a race car driver, served in the Navy in WWII, and developed his own food line of Newman’s Own. All the profits from this company go to charity. He also founded a summer camp for sick children and in later years was as well-known and admired for his philanthropy as for his artistic endeavours.
The often used and paraphrased comment about marriage “Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?” was first attributed to Newman. The Newmans spent most of their married life at their home in Connecticut, not becoming part of the “Hollywood Scene,’ a fact that may have helped keep their marriage in the real world.
Newman became ill with cancer and after exhausting the treatments available, decided to die at home, surrounded by his family and friends. He was 83 when he died on Sept. 26, 2008. Joanne still lives in their Connecticut home.