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Paul Newman's Biography

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Paul Newman was born on 26 January 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Actor, director, producer, Paul Newman's career spans fully fifty years. From his earliest appearances in films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), to his more recent roles like in 2002's The Road to Perdition, Newman has been a major player in the cinema and TV and the winner of major awards.

After serving in the Second World War Paul Newman won an athletic scholarship but an injury put an end to any thoughts of a sports career. He turned his attention to acting and went to the Yale School of Drama.

On a trip to New York Newman won a role in a CBS television series called The Aldrich Family. The young Newman was soon spotted by Warner Brothers and moved to Hollywood upon signing his first contract with them. Although his screen debut was in the poorly received The Silver Chalice (1954), Warners kept faith with him and in his third movie Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), the story of the boxer Rocky Graziano, he hit the jackpot; it was both a commercial and critical success.

Whilst making The Long Hot Summer in 1958 Paul Newman met his future wife Joanne Woodward who also starred in the film. Indeed, even after the pair were married they continued to appear together on screen throughout their careers.

Shortly after making The Hustler in 1961, in which Newman played one of his most compelling performances as pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson, he bought himself out of his Warner Bros contract.

In 1963 he made Hud playing a Texas rancher and for this he gained his third Golden Globe nomination. Cool Hand Luke (1967) earned him another but still the award eluded him. However, the following year had rich rewards as Newman won the Best Director award for his directorial debut Rachel, Rachel starring his wife in the lead role. Another notable appearance during this time was in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) with Robert Redford.

During the Seventies, Newman set up a production company with Barbra Streisand and Steve McQueen to help actors produce their own projects.

His acting career continued and in 1973 Paul Newman again teamed up with Robert Redford to make The Sting, which won the Best Picture award. In 1986 Newman finally won the Best Actor award for his performance in The Color of Money alongside Tom Cruise, with Newman reprising the role of Felson he played in The Hustler.

Since that time his film output reduced less in number but 2002's The Road to Perdition earned him his tenth Best Actor nomination.

In addition to his stellar movie career Paul Newman was a tireless worker for charity including donating the proceeds from his Newman’s Own brand of foodstuffs to sick children.

In March 2005 Paul Newman announced that he was "winding down" his acting and his other passion, motor racing, although Newman added that he wanted to make another film "for good luck".

Newman said he would probably race for one more year. He had a narrow escape when a sports car he was testing caught fire at Daytona Beach.

Paul Newman's wife Joanne Woodward is set to retire as artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse in 2005.

Newman and Woodward were nominated in the 2005 Emmys for their roles in the same work, the HBO series Empire Falls and Paul Newman ended up winning the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Paul Newman was the voice of Doc Hudson in the animated film Cars, which won the best film prize at the 34th Annie Awards.

Paul Newman came 16th in Channel 4's list of the 100 Greatest Movie Stars.

In May 2007, Paul Newman, in an interview with ABC, announced that he was giving up acting.

In September 2008, Paul Newman died aged 83.

Numerous interview transcripts that had been lost were discovered in storage and, in 2022, were edited into a book The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.

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