Paul Newman Biography

(One of the Most Influential Actors of 20th-Century)

Birthday: January 26, 1925 (Aquarius)

Born In: Shaker Heights, Ohio, United States

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.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Paul Leonard Newman

Died At Age: 83


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

Born Country: United States

Jewish Actors Actors

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

Died on: September 26, 2008

place of death: Westport, Connecticut, United States

U.S. State: Ohio

Ancestry: Indian American, Hungarian American, Polish American, Slovak American

Notable Alumni: Yale School Of Drama

Grouping of People: Smoker

Cause of Death: Lung Cancer

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

More Facts

education: Ohio University, Kenyon College, Yale School Of Drama

  • 1

    What were Paul Newman's most iconic movie roles?

    Some of Paul Newman's most iconic movie roles include "Cool Hand Luke," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting," "The Hustler," and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
  • 2

    Did Paul Newman have any other talents besides acting?

    Yes, Paul Newman was not only a talented actor but also a successful director, race car driver, and entrepreneur. He co-founded the food company Newman's Own, which donates all profits to charity.
  • 3

    What was Paul Newman's involvement in philanthropy?

    Paul Newman was a renowned philanthropist who founded Newman's Own, a company that has donated over $550 million to various charitable organizations. He also established the SeriousFun Children's Network, a global network of camps for children with serious illnesses.
  • 4

    Was Paul Newman known for his political activism?

    Yes, Paul Newman was known for his political activism and advocacy on various social and environmental issues. He was a supporter of civil rights, LGBT rights, and environmental conservation efforts.
  • 5

    How did Paul Newman maintain his youthful looks?

    Paul Newman was known for his striking good looks and youthful appearance throughout his life. He attributed his youthful looks to healthy living, regular exercise, and a positive outlook on life.
Childhood & Early Life
Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, to Arthur Sigmund Newman and Theresa. His father ran a profitable sporting goods store, while his mother was a homemaker. He had one older brother.
His mother loved the theater, an interest which Paul inherited. As a youngster, he dreamed of becoming a professional athlete, and also loved acting in his school plays. He also played football during his school days.
He graduated from ‘Shaker Heights High School’ in 1943 and attended ‘Ohio University’ in Athens for a short while.
Continue Reading Below
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.
Continue Reading Below
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.
Facts About Paul Newman
Paul Newman was an accomplished race car driver and even competed in professional racing events, showcasing his passion for speed and adrenaline outside of acting.
He founded Newman's Own, a food company known for its charitable contributions as all profits are donated to various causes, highlighting his philanthropic spirit and commitment to giving back.
Paul Newman was known for his love of practical jokes and pranks on set, bringing humor and levity to his work environment.
He was an avid supporter of the arts and founded the SeriousFun Children's Network, a global network of camps for children with serious illnesses, demonstrating his dedication to helping those in need.
Paul Newman was a talented and accomplished chef, known for his love of cooking and creating delicious meals for his family and friends, showing his creative and nurturing side beyond his acting career.

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)


9. The Long, Hot Summer (1958)


10. The Young Philadelphians (1959)



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,

People Also Viewed

Joanne Woodward Biography
Joanne Woodward
Dwayne Johnson Biography
Dwayne Johnson
Ryan Reynolds Biography
Ryan Reynolds
Timothée Chalamet Biography
Timothée Chalamet
Jake Gyllenhaal Biography
Jake Gyllenhaal
Clint Eastwood Biography
Clint Eastwood
Ben Affleck Biography
Ben Affleck
Tom Cruise Biography
Tom Cruise