Paul Newman Biography

Paul Newman was an Academy Award winning American actor and also a prominent philanthropist. This biography of Paul Newman provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: January 26, 1925

Nationality: American

Famous: Jewish Actors Actors

Died At Age: 83

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Paul Leonard Newman

Born Country: United States

Born in: Shaker Heights, Ohio, United States

Famous as: Actor

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Joanne Woodward (m. 1958), Jackie Witte (m. 1949–1958)

father: Arthur Sigmund Newman

mother: Theresa Newman

siblings: Arthur Newman

children: Claire Olivia Newman, Melissa Newman, Nell Newman, Scott Newman, Stephanie Newman, Susan Kendall Newman

Died on: September 26, 2008

place of death: Westport

U.S. State: Ohio

Cause of Death: Cancer

Founder/Co-Founder: Newman's Own, Victory Junction Gang Camp, Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

More Facts

education: Ohio University, 1949 - Kenyon College, Yale University, Shaker Heights High School, Actors Studio, Yale School of Drama

Continue Reading Below

Paul Newman was an Academy Award-winning American actor, accomplished entrepreneur, professional race driver, activist, and philanthropist. Famous for his dashing looks and striking blue eyes, he is regarded as one of the most handsome men to have graced Hollywood. A highly talented actor with multiple awards for his performances, he was also a successful race driver with several national championships to his name. The son of a sports store owner, he acquired his penchant for acting from his theater-loving mother. Though he was more interested in athletics, he went on to participate in many school plays. As a young man, he enlisted in the U.S. ‘Navy Air Corps,’ and served as a radio operator during ‘World War II.’ After the war, he studied drama and ventured into Broadway. He got noticed for his good looks and well-built physique which landed him film roles in Hollywood. It did not take him long to establish himself as a successful actor, and he went on to appear in films like ‘The Hustler’ and ‘The Color of Money.’ In addition to being an actor, he was also an entrepreneur who co-founded a food company called ‘Newman's Own.’ The legendary actor was also well-known for his involvement in philanthropic activities.

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Childhood & Early Life
  • Paul Newman enlisted in the U.S. ‘Navy Air Corps,’ and served as a radio operator during ‘World War II.’ Upon his return, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in drama and economics from ‘Kenyon College’ in 1949.
  • He started working with summer stock companies and toured with them, developing his acting skills in the process. He furthered his skills at the ‘Yale School of Drama’ and then moved to New York City to study under Lee Strasberg at the ‘Actors Studio.’
  • He made his Broadway debut in William Inge's ‘Picnic’ in 1953. During this time, he also started appearing on television, and made his Hollywood debut as well. Unfortunately, his first film ‘The Silver Chalice’ (1954) was a flop.
  • He finally gained attention for his good looks and acting skills in 1956 when he appeared as ‘Rocky Graziano’ in ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me.’ He followed it up with another hit in 1958, starring opposite Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.’
  • In 1960, he appeared in Otto Preminger’s epic film ‘Exodus’ which was based on Leon Uris’ novel. His career thrived during the 1960s with the release of films like ‘The Hustler’ (1961), ‘Hud’ (1963), ‘Harper’ (1966), ‘Hombre’ (1967), and ‘Cool Hand Luke’ (1967).
  • He tried his hand at film direction, and directed the drama film ‘Rachel, Rachel’ (1968) which starred his wife Joanne Woodward in title character. The film earned him the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Director - Motion Picture’ and ‘New York Film Critics Circle Award’ for ‘Best Director.’
  • His successful career continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1986, he appeared in ‘The Color of Money’ in which he played the role of ‘Eddie Felson.’ His performance in the film won him many awards and accolades. He remained active in films well into the last decade of his life.
  • Apart from being passionate about movies, he also had a deep interest for motorsports. He was a frequent competitor in the events organized by ‘Sports Car Club of America’ (SCCA), and won several national championships as a race driver.
Major Works
  • In 1986, he portrayed pool hustler and stakehorse ‘Edward “Fast Eddie” Felson’ in the drama film ‘The Color of Money,’ which was based on the 1984 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. The film received critical praise and Newman’s performance was lauded.
  • Continue Reading Below
  • His role as ‘Donald J. "Sully" Sullivan’ in the 1994 comedy-drama film ‘Nobody's Fool’ was one of his memorable performances. Appreciated by film critics, Newman’s performance was said to be “the single best of this year and among the finest he has ever given."
Philanthropic Works
  • Along with writer A. E. Hotchner, Newman co-founded a line of food products called ‘Newman's Own’ in 1982. He donated all post-tax profits and royalties from the business to charity. As of December 2018, donations from his business had exceeded $535 million.
  • In 1988, he co-founded the ‘SeriousFun Children's Network,’ a program which funds camps for children suffering from HIV/AIDS, Sickle-cell disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses. The network has served more than 732,306 children since its inception.
Awards & Achievements
  • Paul Newman won the ‘BAFTA Award’ for ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role,’ ‘Laurel Award’ for ‘Top Male Dramatic Performance,’ and ‘Mar del Plata Film Festival Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ for his performance as ‘Eddie Felson’ in ‘The Hustler’ (1961).
  • He received an honorary ‘Academy Award’ in 1986 for his "many and memorable and compelling screen performances."
  • In 1986, he also won the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ for his performance as ‘Fast Eddie Felson’ in ‘The Color of Money.’
  • For the film ‘Nobody's Fool’ (1994), he won several awards, including ‘National Society of Film Critics Award’ for ‘Best Actor,’ ‘New York Film Critics Circle Award’ for ‘Best Actor,’ and ‘Silver Bear’ for ‘Best Actor’ at the ‘Berlin International Film Festival.’
  • In 1994, Paul Newman and his wife received the ‘Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged,’ an award given out annually by ‘Jefferson Awards.’
  • In 2015, ‘The US Postal Service’ honored him by issuing a stamp called ‘forever stamp,’ featuring his photograph.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • His first marriage was with Jackie Witte from 1949 to 1958. This union produced three children.
  • He married actor Joanne Woodward in 1958. They had three daughters. His second marriage proved to be a happy one, and the couple remained together for 50 years until Newman’s death in 2008.
  • He was an ordained minister of the ‘Universal Life Church.’
  • Paul Newman suffered from lung cancer during his later years, and died on September 26, 2008, aged 83.

Paul Newman Movies

1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

  (Crime, Western, Biography, Drama)

2. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

  (Crime, Drama)

3. The Sting (1973)

  (Comedy, Crime, Drama)

4. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

  (Drama, Romance)

5. The Hustler (1961)

  (Sport, Drama)

6. The Verdict (1982)


7. Hud (1963)


8. Hombre (1967)



Academy Awards(Oscars)
1987 Best Actor in a Leading Role The Color of Money (1986)
Golden Globe Awards
2006 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Empire Falls (2005)
1969 Best Director Rachel, Rachel (1968)
1966 World Film Favorite - Male Winner
1964 World Film Favorite - Male Winner
1957 Most Promising Newcomer - Male The Silver Chalice (1954)
Primetime Emmy Awards
2005 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Empire Falls (2005)
BAFTA Awards
1962 Best Foreign Actor The Hustler (1961)

See the events in life of Paul Newman in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Paul Newman Biography
- Editors,
Paul Newman

People Also Viewed

Joanne Woodward
Melissa Newman
Tom Hanks
Dwayne Johnson

Rock Hudson
Timothée Chalamet
Jason Bateman
Leonardo DiCaprio