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Inside the love story of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, the couple that managed to remain together for 50 years

Several golden couples have come and gone in Hollywood. Such examples are Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart; Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner; and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

Yet, when it comes to iconic celebrity couples, the late Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, now 92, must be included.

Paul and Joanne married in 1958 and remained together until Newman died in 2008 at the age of 83. Joanne and Paul were married for 50 years, appearing in films, traveling, and raising a family.

But did you know that when Woodward and her future husband first met, she wasn’t impressed?

Paul Newman is one of his generation’s most beloved actors and entertainers. With Joanne Woodward, they were a timeless golden Hollywood couple.

Many may believe that Newman was the sole focus of the relationship. Yet Joanne Woodward has had a brilliant career, collecting several honors and shining brightly among Hollywood’s biggest and brightest performers.

She was well-known for her believable and fantastic performances in cinema, theater, and television. Joanne separated herself from other actors in 1950s Hollywood by playing strong and independent characters rather than the numerous hapless ones that were frequently assigned to women at the time.
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Joanne Woodward was born in Thomasville, Georgia, on February 27, 1930.

Joanne attended Greenville High School in Greenville, South Carolina, and while still a youngster, she won numerous beauty pageants.

Her acting career began in high school, when she appeared in a number of theater shows.

In The Glass Menagerie, she played Laura Wingfield. In the 1970s, she went back to Greenville to play Amanda Wingfield in the same play.

Joanne returned to Greenville in 1955, at the age of 25, for the opening of her debut film, “Count Three and Pray.”

Joanne relocated to Louisiana after graduating from high school, where she studied acting at Louisiana State University. She later went to New York City and performed on stage.

Joanne’s decision to visit New York proved to be a wise one. In 1953, she met Paul Newman, who would become her future husband.

Newman was married to his first wife, Jackie Witte, at the time.

Joanne had recently graduated from Louisiana State University and was working as an understudy in the Broadway production of Picnic. Newman was featured in the program, and there were bound to be romantic sparks.

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward discussed their first date on “Today” many years ago.

It was a hot summer day, and Newman was dressed in a seersucker suit, not sweating and looking like an “ice cream ad,” according to Joanne.

“I felt hot and sweating, and my hair was all stringy around my neck,” Joanne explained afterward.

She also said that she wasn’t initially interested, but Newman was. Joanne was an “extraordinarily attractive girl,” and Newman couldn’t get her off his mind.

Marian Edelman Borden recalled in her biography of Newman that Woodard said:

“I despised him at first sight, but he was so hilarious, attractive, and tidy.”

It would take Newman and Woodward four years to take it to the next level. They were buddies from the minute they met, but things changed when they co-starred in The Long, Hot Summer (1957).

Shortly after finishing The Long, Hot Summer, Newman divorced his wife Jackie. The couple shared three children.

Paul married Joanne on January 29, 1858, shortly after his divorce from Jackie.

Joanne and Paul married in Las Vegas and honeymooned throughout Europe.

The press couldn’t get enough of the newlywed Hollywood stars. Journalists followed the two on their honeymoon, making them a popular celebrity couple among the general public.

It was the start of a joyful, fascinating, and fantastic love story.

Paul and Joanne moved into their 18th-century Connecticut farmhouse after a six-week honeymoon.

Joanna told the Daily News in 2001 that the decision to go to the house rather than Los Angeles was critical to their marriage.

“We were never celebrities. We simply prefer it here. “It also helped that we always enjoyed each other’s company,” Joanne said.

1958 would also be remembered as the year that immortalized Woodward in Hollywood. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Three Faces of Eve, and she was nominated for another in 1969 for her work in Rachel, Rachel. The latter was directed by Paul Newman.

She was then nominated for an Oscar Award for Best Actress for Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams in 1974, and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge in 1991.

Her spouse went on to win the Oscar for best actor. He won it in 1987 for his performance in “The Color of Money.”

Woodward also won two Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in Do You Remember Love (1978) and See How She Runs (1978). (1985). She was nominated five more times.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a well-known monument in Hollywood, with hundreds of stars awarded to actors, filmmakers, and artists.

So who was the first to be named after the ancient walkway? Yeah, you guessed correctly. According to history, Joanne Woodward received her star during the formal groundbreaking event on Feb. 9, 1960.

Paul Newman and Joanna Woodward chose to raise their family in Connecticut, away from the hectic pace of Hollywood.

Clea, 55, spoke about her mother in an interview with the Daily Mail.

“My mom was really ahead of her time,” she recalls. “She was in women’s liberation before it was cool, and she was a hands-on mother; when I was a baby, she breastfed me on set.” She’d stop filming in the middle of a scene and say, “Sorry, I have to feed the baby.”

Paul had three children from his previous marriage: Scott (born in 1950), Susan (born in 1953), and Stephanie Kendall (born in 1954).

In 1975, the family experienced a devastating loss when Scott died of a heroin overdose following a motorcycle accident.

Paul founded the Scott Newman Center five years later. Its mission is to teach youngsters about the hazards of alc*hol and dr*g use.

Nothing you can say will make my guilt about Scott go away. “That will be with me for the rest of my life,” Paul Newman stated when his son died, according to The Times.

Joanne was the mother of three girls. Ellinor Teresa (born 1959), Melissa Stewart (born 1961), and Claire Olivia are three sisters (born 1965).

Melissa participated in various TV programs as a youngster, as well as the film Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990), which also starred her parents.

In Connecticut, Joanne and Paul continued to have a lovely life together.

Many people liked how well they worked together, and actor Liev Schreiber told a touching story about how deeply in love they were even after 40 years of marriage.

That happened while he was working on the film Twilight (1998), and Joanne was on set.

“He threw his arm around my shoulder and asked, “Would you look at her ass?” That struck me as the ideal connection. “I love the idea of an 80-year-old man still loving his wife’s a$$,” Schreiber told Elle.

Despite their age, Paul and Joanne never slowed down. She was the creative director of the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut from 2001 to 2005, and she co-starred in the TV series Empire Falls alongside her husband.

Sadly, the love story came to an end in 2008, after 50 years of marriage.

Paul Newman died in 2008 at the age of 83, following a battle with cancer. The renowned Butch Cassidy actor was recognized and lauded by the film industry.

Upon her loving husband’s death, the Newman estate was bequeathed to Joanne and several organizations.

Joanne and Paul were one of Hollywood’s true golden couples, with such a lengthy and happy marriage being unusual in the industry.

The pair kept their love for each other humorous and were recognized for their commitment to politics and charity while managing their jobs and families.

In addition, the pair founded the well-known salad dressing company Newman’s Own, which donates 100% of its profits to charity.

“They had the love of newlyweds,” said family friend Bob Forrester of the pair. “Even after 50 years of marriage, when I would go with him all over the world, the instant the plane arrived, Paul would phone Joanne and say, ‘I love you,’” she says. She was his entire world. “They have a soul connection.”

Upon her loving husband’s death, the Newman estate was bequeathed to Joanne and several organizations.

According to Joanne, their marriage’s success was rather straightforward.

“We could talk to each other and tell each other everything without fear of scorn or rejection.” “There was trust,” she explained to Honey Nine.

Clea, the daughter, spoke to the Daily Mail about her mother, Joanne, who is now 92 years old, and how they resemble each other.

“I wish I had my mother’s skin,” she commented. “I’ve got more wrinkles than she does, and she’s 86!” Her skin is irritating because it is so gorgeous. Yet she was sunblocking long before sunblock existed. “I’ve never seen her without a hat in the sun.”

Three years ago, it was revealed that Ethan Hawke would make a documentary on Joanne and Paul’s lives and achievements. According to Deadline, the family has given its OK.

Hawke promises a “unique and exclusive look at both performers’ careers and a complex 50-year relationship that eventually managed to conquer extraordinary odds” in a statement.

Joanna Woodward has retired from acting as of 2023. The 92-year-old provided the voice of Doris in 2013’s Lucky Them, but she has had no acting credits since.

The legendary actress has not been seen in public since 2013, and there are media claims that she is battling a serious health problem.

Woodward is battling Alzheimer’s disease, according to Closer Magazine. According to USA Today, Joanne was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, only days before Paul Newman was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

When Ethan Hawke’s intimate six-part docuseries on Woodward and Newman appeared in 2022, Joanne was thrust back into the spotlight.

Joanne should be able to appreciate it.

“That’s why the family asked me to do it now,” Hawke said in 2020, before adding:

“They wanted it to come out while she’s still alive and can see this, to encourage her.”

According to Closer, Joanne Woodward still resides in the Connecticut house where her husband died in 2008 at the age of 83.

Joanna Woodward and Paul Newman’s love story is very unique. We’re overjoyed that they were able to spend more than 50 years together. The world may never see another golden Hollywood pair like them again.