Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, both of whom have won Academy Awards, are considered to be one of the most famous golden couples in Hollywood. Their romance is distinctive for a variety of reasons, one of which is the fact that she detested him from the moment she first laid eyes on him.
When they first met, Newman’s intentions were not to find a romantic partner. He was a married man with two children, and his wife’s name was Jackie Witte. Despite this, it seemed inevitable that Woodward and Newman would end up together.
Even in the 1950s, ephemeral relationships were the norm in Hollywood, but Newman and Woodward demonstrated that happily ever afters could be found in the entertainment industry as well.
In 1953, when they happened to run into one other by chance at an agent’s office, Newman was already married to his first wife, Jackie Witte, and had two children, Scott and Stephanie, waiting for him at home. The meeting between them was a complete coincidence.
During an appearance on the “Today” program, Woodward gave a lengthy interview in which he discussed in great depth their first encounter. It was such a hot day in August that 22-year-old Woodward, who was sweating in her high heels and gloves, sought respite in the air-conditioned office of her agency. Woodward’s agent’s office was located in the building next door.
Soon after, Newman, 28, entered the room wearing an immaculate seersucker suit and looked like he stepped out of an “ice-cream soda commercial.” The guy’s thick, wavy hair and lovely blue eyes were amazing, but what most shocked Woodward was that the actor did not have any signs of perspiration on his body
It was Woodward and Newman’s first time on Broadway, and she was only an understudy in the play “Picnic,” but they had no idea that they would end up working together on the production.
Even though the actor had the kind of good looks that could make anybody swoon, Woodward was not in the least bit taken with him. She said the words “that’s filthy” to herself and was certain that Newman was nothing more than a lovely face.
After seeing Woodward, Newman had the complete opposite emotion. He recognized that she was stunning, up-to-date, and self-reliant, which was a sharp contrast to the “shy” and “conservative” mentality he had.
It would take some time for him to prove to her that he was not “as boring” as he seemed to be. Despite this, there was no romantic development between the two since Woodward did not want to sacrifice his family for a relationship.
The situation was especially difficult for Newman’s three children from his previous marriage.
Aside from that, Newman and Witte became parents for the third time to their daughter Susan in the year 1953. However, Newman and Woodward met again four years later for the production of “The Long, Hot Summer,” and they found that they were unable to conceal their affections for one another.
In 1958, Newman and Witte got a divorce, and the following year, on January 29, 1958, the actor tied the knot with Woodward. Nell, Melissa, and Claire were their three beautiful kids in that order. Unfortunately, it was difficult for his six children to adapt to life following in the footsteps of their renowned father.
The star of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” cherished his career as an actor but detested his celebrity status due to the constant scrutiny that was cast on his private life as a result of his fame. In restaurants, public restrooms, and other public places, his admirers would beg for his autograph.
Others’ fixation on his blue eyes served only to humiliate him and make him feel self-conscious. To prevent this, he always carried sunglasses with him. He had such a strong desire to conceal his identity that he even grew a beard. Nevertheless, many were aware of him.
The worst of it fell on Newman’s six children. During gatherings with his family, his followers would act “as if they don’t count” or “as if they were nothing in themselves,” as Woodward freely admitted in his memoir.
Sadly, it was especially difficult on his three children from his previous marriage. They were the ones who suffered the most. They lived with both their mother and their father regularly and had feelings of alienation as a result. This was mostly because their three younger sisters spent the majority of their time with Newman.
All of the attention that was shown to Newman by his daughters was something that they detested. At first, it was funny to consider the fact that the vast majority of women would have sacrificed everything just to be with him. After some time, it caused disruptions in their perceptions of themselves. Woodward elaborated as follows:
“Can you imagine how upsetting it must be for the girls to find out that their best friends are over heels in love with their dad?”
Even if it wasn’t challenging enough, Newman was hardly the model dad. His parenting skills were far from ideal. While Woodward was mostly responsible for the upbringing of their children, including his three eldest, the majority of the time, he concentrated on his work.
Newman had the feeling that he might have been more involved in his son’s life.
Newman said that he lacked “any skill to be a parent.”Because he never developed a relationship with his father, he found it impossible to do so with any of his six children.
As a direct consequence of this, his children struggled through difficult times. Some of them did not complete their education and ended up having no successful career options. Sadly, it was more than Newman’s only son, Scott, could handle and he committed himself as a result.
Scott, who was born in 1950, used illicit substances and drank alcohol as a means of coping with the stress of being continually eclipsed by his dad’s perpetually young looks and success. As a result, Scott was expelled from multiple schools.
After having several run-ins with the authorities, not being able to maintain permanent employment, and unsuccessfully trying his luck as an actor and singer, Scott took his own life in November of 1978 by accidentally overdosing on drugs. He had reached the age of 28.
Newman’s life was profoundly altered as a result of Scott’s demise. He was inconsolable because he believed he should have been able to provide his kid with greater support. On the other hand, considering that Newman was a fully functioning alcoholic, he felt that he had no business giving Scott advice.
For the instance of Stephanie, was born in 1951 and has evaded public attention for the better part of sixty years. As a kid, she participated in a few film roles with her father, but she finally cut all ties with the entertainment industry.
Susan, who was the youngest of the two sisters, was born in 1953. Susan has had a very successful career as an actor, producer, and director; but, she has also held the position of Executive Director at many non-profit organizations that focus on the prevention of alcohol and drug misuse.
Nell was the first child to be born to Newman and Woodward, and she began her acting career when she was just a few years old. In the end, she decided to pursue a career in entrepreneurship and launched Newman’s Own Organic, a production firm that specializes in organic food and food for pets.
Melissa Newman Woodward was born in 1961 and is the middle child of Newman and Woodward. She is noted for her roles in “Time Patrol,” “Revenge of the Stepford Wives,” and “Lou Grant,” all of which showcase her talents as an actor, singer, and composer.
In 1965, Clea was welcomed into the family as the youngest member of the brood. She could have pursued a career as an actor, but she decided that working in the editing department of series like “Big Little Lies,” “Mad Med,” and “Raising the Bar” was more her style. Unfortunately, Newman went away in 2008, but he was able to raise two wonderful children.