Paul Newman was a renowned American actor, Film Producer, Film Director, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Activist, Voice Actor, Philanthropist, and a Race car driver. At the time of his death in 2008, he had a net worth of $80 million. He gained the reputation of being one of Hollywood’s renowned leading men playing roles in films like, “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and “The Verdict”. The actor was nominated for a record ten times before finally winning the award of Best Actor in the mid 1980s for “The Color of Money”. Other awards he received included an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, a Silver Bear, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Paul Newman was the second of two boys born to Arthur Sigmund Newman and Theresa Fetsko. His father was a Jewish businessman who owned successful sporting goods store. His father was the son of emigrant parents from Poland. Paul Newman’s mother was a Roman Catholic Slovak from Homonna, Pticie formerly of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His mother became a practicing Christian Scientist.
His interest in the theatre became evident at a very young age of 10. At the tender age of 10, Newman performed in a stage production of Saint George and the Dragon at the Cleveland Play House. Newman pursued a degree in drama and economics at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1949. Briefly after his graduation, Newman toured with several theatre companies before attending Yale School of Drama. Paul Newman had a stint with the Navy’s V-12 program with the intent to become a pilot.
In 1953, Newman debuted for Broadway with the production of “Picnic” shortly after arriving in New York City. During the same period, he featured in “Tales of Tomorrow”. He starred in the film “Our Town” together with Frank Sinatra and Eva Marie Saint. He had also participated in “The Silver Chalice” in 1954. Some notable works of his film career include “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and “The Long, Hot Summer”.
The 1960s were very lucky years for Newman as he started to command lead roles in major films with rapidity. He is fondly remembered for roles in movies like “The Hustler”, “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Towering Inferno”. The film, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” were very famous during this time.
In 1972, he took part in what would be his first professional event in Motorsport at the Thompson International Speedway. A few years later, Newman became very popular for competing in Sports Car Club of America events. He bagged four national championships. His popularity in the Motorsport received a major boost in 1979 when he drove a Porsche 935 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans finishing as the first runner up.
Paul Newman was a member of the Bob Sharp Racing team during which time he competed in the Trans-Am Series in the mid 1970s to early 1990s. His continued to race even at the age of 70 winning the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Baja 1000 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2005 marked his last major events in racing. After his death in 2008, Newman was posthumously inducted into the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame.
In 2000, Newman made a comeback to Broadway in the film, “Our Town”. The movie “Road to Perdition” marked his last role in a movie. In 2005, Newman had his last TV role in HBO mini-series “Empire Falls. in 2006, Newman did the voice for Doc Hudson in the animated film “Cars”. The American actor resigned in 2007.
Paul Newman founded an organic food company called Newman’s own in 1982. The company started out selling pasta sauces, lemonade, and salsa before adding other product lines later on. Proceeds from the company go to charity. Till date, a total of $580 million (USD) has been donated to numerous charities around the world
Newman got married to Jackie White in 1949, they were blessed with three children. The couple separated in 1958. In 1958, Paul married Joanne Woodward who he met during the production of a Broadway play five years prior. The couple were also blessed with three children. The couple lived together as husband and wife before Paul’s demise in2008.
Paul Newman died on 26 September, 2008 after battling lung cancer for over a year.
In 2017, Newman’s Rolex watch expected to go for $1 million at an auction went for an astounding $18 million – a record-breaking auction for a wrist watch.