Paul Newman Poster

Trivia (121)

Chosen by Empire magazine as #12 in the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history. [1995]

Said that he burned his tuxedo on his 75th birthday because he was through with formality.

Said the sound he loved most is that of a V-8 engine.

Owned the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp for children with cancer and other blood-related diseases (and their siblings) in Ashford, Connecticut, and also ran a fall "Discovery" program for inner city kids, also in Ashford.

Ranked #19 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Lived in Westport, Connecticut and was known to race at the Lime Rock Road Circuit.

Had his own line of food products, "Newman's Own", featuring mainly spaghetti sauces and salad dressings. The company made more than $100 million in profits over the years, all of which he donated to various charities.

Had three daughters with Joanne Woodward: actress Melissa Newman, Nell Potts and Claire Newman.

Had a son and two girls with his first wife Jacqueline "Jackie" Witte. His only son, Scott Newman, died of a drug overdose in 1978. Daughter, Susan Kendall Newman, is well known for stage acting and her philanthropic activities. His other daughter from his first marriage is named Stephanie and was born in 1954.

Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1990).

He was the visual inspiration for the illustrations of superhero Green Lantern/Hal Jordan (when the character was reintroduced in 1959). Newman was 34 years old at the time.

Finished second in the 1979 Le Mans 24-hour race in a Porsche 935.

In June 2002, Newman returned to live theater for the first time in 35 years in Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" at the Westport Country Playhouse near his Connecticut home. He directed and starred as the Stage Manager. His wife, Joanne Woodward, was the Playhouse's then-Artistic Director. He opened a restaurant called "Dressing Room", with co-owner and chef Michael Nischan, in Westport to help subsidize the Playhouse, which is next door.

He was among the celebrities on the famous "Enemies List" kept by President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

Was training to be a pilot while in the United States Navy, but was discovered to be colorblind, ending his flying aspirations.

Was mentioned in La Dolce Vita (1960), in a discussion about salaries paid to film stars.

Within a space of five months in 2003, he was nominated for an Oscar (for Road to Perdition (2002)), a Tony (for "Our Town") and an Emmy (for Our Town (2003)).

Although he played the lead male roles in the original productions of three Broadway classics near the beginning of his career - "The Desperate Hours", "Picnic" and "Sweet Bird of Youth" - Newman did not receive a Tony Award nomination until 2003, when at age 78, he was nominated as Best Actor for his performance in the 2002 revival of the "Our Town".

His father was Ashkenazi Jewish. Paul's paternal grandparents were Simon Newman, from Hungary, and Hannah Cohn, from Poland. Paul's mother was from an ethnic Slovak family, and was born in Homonna, Pticie, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to Stefan Fetsko and Mária Polenak. As an adult, while Paul was not religious, he described himself as Jewish because it's "more of a challenge".

He was voted the 13th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

The fourth nomination on Empire magazine's "Gods Among Us" series along with Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.

Students at Princeton University have named 24 April Newman's Day. Students try to drink 24 beers over the 24 hours of the day. The tradition stems from a comment that Newman is alleged to have made; "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not." The event is not officially sponsored by the university, and Newman stated that he would "like to bring an end to the tradition".

He and Frank Sinatra are the only actors to win an acting Academy Award, a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Special/Honorary Academy Award. Sinatra won the Best Supporting Actor Award (1953), the Humanitarian Award (1970) and a Special Award (1945, Best Short Subject The House I Live In (1945)). Newman won the Best Actor Award (1986), the Humanitarian Award (1993) and an Honorary Award (1985) for lifetime achievement.

Lee Strasberg, who trained Newman at the Actors Studio, said the actor could have been as great as Marlon Brando but too often relied on his good looks to coast through a role.

Stumped the United States for Eugene McCarthy during his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1968. Newman made the cover of Life magazine with a McCarthy pin on his jacket on the May 10, 1968 issue.

Appeared on Quigley Publications' annual poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars 14 times from 1963 to 1986, which ranks him #7 for all-time in appearances in the top 10. He trails Bing Crosby, who made the list 15 times, Clark Gable (16 appearances on the list), Gary Cooper and Tom Cruise (18 times each), Clint Eastwood (21 times) and John Wayne (25 times).

Was named the #1 Box Office Star by Quigley Publications in its annual Top Ten Money Making Stars poll of movie exhibitors two years in a row, 1969 and 1970. Newman had been #2 in 1968 and #3 in '67 and would rank #3 in both 1971 and 1974. Newman, who entered the list for the first time in 1963 at #9 and the last time in 1986 at #10, has made the list 17 times.

Early in his acting career, he was often mistaken for Marlon Brando. He claims to have signed around 500 autographs reading, "Best wishes, Marlon Brando".

Premiere magazine ranked him as the #6 Greatest Movie Star of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).

Otto Preminger, Jewish himself, cast him in Exodus (1960) because he wanted someone of Jewish heritage who did not "look Jewish".

He was nominated for nine acting Academy Awards in five different decades - the 1950s (Best Lead Actor for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)), 1960s (Best Lead Actor for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967)), the 1980s (Best Lead Actor for Absence of Malice (1981), The Verdict (1982) and The Color of Money (1986) winning for this last film), the 1990s (Best Lead Actor for Nobody's Fool (1994)) and finally in Road to Perdition (2002) for Best Supporting Actor.

He and his daughter Nell Potts were supposed to be in Paper Moon (1973) in the leading roles, but this changed when original director John Huston bowed out and was replaced by Peter Bogdanovich.

The role of Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) was originally awarded to James Dean, who died before filming began. Due to Dean's untimely death, Newman was cast in the role. Dean also was signed to play Billy the Kid in The Left Handed Gun (1958), but that role was also inherited by Newman after Dean's death. Dean and Newman had shot their last screen tests for East of Eden (1955) together; the six-years-younger Dean got the role and Newman went on to star in The Silver Chalice (1954), a notorious turkey.

He is only one of six performers to be nominated for an Oscar twice for playing the same role in two separate films. He was nominated as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986). The other five are Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley in Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), Peter O'Toole as Henry II in Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968), Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974), Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in Rocky (1976) and Creed (2015).

Michelle Pfeiffer wanted Newman to play her father, patriarch Larry Cook, in the drama A Thousand Acres (1997), which she produced. Newman turned down the role, which went to Jason Robards.

When Premiere magazine does a list of 24 Great Performances from each year, they often ask the actors who their idols are. Newman has been the most frequently cited idol so far.

Was nominated 10 times for the Academy Award, including eight times as Best Actor, once as Best Supporting Actor, and once for Best Picture (the latter coming the same year he famously did not receive a Best Director nomination despite having won the then-equally prestigious New York Critics Award as Best Director for Rachel, Rachel (1968). In the acting field, the only actors with more nominations are Jack Nicholson with 12 nominations (8 Best Actor and 4 Best Supporting Actor nominations) and Laurence Olivier (nine Best Actor nominations and 1 Best Supporting Actor nod). On the distaff side, Bette Davis, who was nominated 10 times for an Academy Award, all of them Best Actress nods. Katharine Hepburn, with 12 nods (all in the Best Actress category) and Meryl Streep, with 21 nods have more acting nominations than Newman.

Is one of only six actors to be nominated for acting honors by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over five decades (1950s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s). Laurence Olivier (1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s), Katharine Hepburn (1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1980s), Jack Nicholson (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s) and Michael Caine (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s) Meryl Streep (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s) are the others who have turned the trick.

Donated between $150 million-$175 million to charity since the 1980s.

His performance as Frank Galvin in The Verdict (1982) is ranked #19 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

His performance as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) is ranked #64 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

Was director Robert Wise's first pick for the lead in The Sand Pebbles (1966), eventually played by Steve McQueen, who won his only Oscar nomination for the role. Wise had earlier directed Newman in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) and Until They Sail (1957).

Turned down the role of the shark hunter Quint in Jaws (1975), which went to Robert Shaw.

His performance as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) is ranked #20 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains. This is a ranking which he shares with Robert Redford, who played the Sundance Kid.

His performance as Luke Jackson in Cool Hand Luke (1967) is ranked #30 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains.

Ranked the #1 Box Office star of 1969 and 1970 by Quigley Publications' annual poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars. He was ranked #2 in 1968 and at #3 in 1967, 1971 and 1974. In all, he made the Top Ten list 14 times from 1963, when he entered it at #9, and 1986, when he bowed out of the Top 10 at #10. He was ranked in the Top Ten for 10 straight years from 1966-75, peaking in the Top Three from 1967 to 1971. Inducted posthumously into the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Hall of Fame in 2009.

The GI Bill got him through his first three months at Yale University. To pay tuition for the rest of his time there, he sold Encyclopedia Britannica. He claims he was very good at it.

For a Mother's Day gift, he gave wife Joanne Woodward two hours of uninterrupted driving around the roads of Westport, Connecticut that they had never seen before.

Said he did not want his epitaph to say two things: "Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown" and "Here lies the old man who wasn't a part of his time." (1960s).

Godfather of Jake Gyllenhaal.

Great admirer of Jim Carrey.

While campaigning for the Democrats in the 1968 U.S. Presidential election, Newman would rent a Jaguar on the weekends. When he found out that opponent Richard Nixon, who was known to his naysayers as "Tricky Dick", was renting the same car during the week, Newman left a note in it saying "This clutch is tricky, so you won't have any trouble with it.".

Prior to filming The Hustler (1961), Newman lacked talent at playing pool. But after brushing up on it for the role, he felt very confident in his ability. So he bet co-star Jackie Gleason $50 on a game of pool. Being the excellent pool player he was, Gleason beat Newman. Instead of paying him in dollar bills, Newman dumped $50 worth of pennies on the table for Gleason to take.

When Newman failed to receive an Oscar nomination for his performance in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), producer Charles Schnee and director Robert Wise gave him what they called a "Noscar". The engraving says, "The Schnee-Wise Noscar award to Paul Newman for best portraying a terrible no-good, for turning him into a charming and lovable sprite, and for thereby doing what Lincoln said should never be done, i.e. fooling all of the people all of the time.".

After being asked so many times what the secret was to being married for so long to Joanne Woodward, he finally responded, "I don't know what she puts in my food".

One of the most sought after and valuable collectible Rolex watches, the early "Daytona" model, from the 1960s, is known unofficially and passionately worldwide, as the Rolex "Paul Newman", which in steel can fetch as much as $100,000 in auctions. This nickname was adopted as he sported one in film.

A film poster of him in Hud (1963) appears in Midnight Cowboy (1969).

During the 1950s and 1960s, he was close friends with fellow Democrat and civil rights activist Charlton Heston. In 1983, after Heston's political beliefs had moved to the Right, both actors took opposing sides in a television debate on President Ronald Reagan's Star Wars defense missile program. Heston, much better briefed and prepared than Newman, was judged to have won the debate easily. Some years later, when Newman learned that Heston was supposed to introduce him at an awards ceremony, Newman insisted that his one-time friend be replaced by the liberal Donald Sutherland.

Supported Senator Ted Kennedy's campaign to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 1980.

In 2007, his auto racing team, known as Newman-Haas, became Newman/Haas/Lanigan after Chicago businessman Michael Lanigan became a partner. Later that same year, it was announced that Newman's Champ Car team was merging with NASCAR team Robert Yates Racing, and has since been known as Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. Newman said the deal "in no way lessens our commitment to open-wheel racing. We want to broaden our horizons".

Turned down the role of Bernie White in The Paper (1994), which went to Robert Duvall.

He was a vocal supporter of gay marriage.

Was offered the role of Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur (1959), which he turned down because he said he did not have the legs to wear a tunic.

Got two roles which were first offered to Elvis Presley but which were turned down by Presley's manager: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1962).

The Eiger Sanction (1975) was originally intended as a vehicle for him.

Ranked #19 in Empire magazine's 100 Sexiest Movie Stars of All Time (2007).

Became a rear gunner of a TBF Avenger torpedo bomber when his color blindness disqualified him from being a pilot.

Longtime supporter of gun control, and a member of Handgun Control Inc.

Supported anti-war Senator Eugene McCarthy's bid to win the Democratic nomination from incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, and actively campaigned for George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election.

According to Joe McGinnis' book about the advertising industry's participation in Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign, the first telethon for the Eugene McCarthy Campaign, which was emceed by Newman, raised $125,000 (about $800,000 in 2008 money, when factored for inflation, a good sum for the time). Nixon's advertising people attributed the success of the telethon to Newman's participation.

In the 1970s, long before Brokeback Mountain (2005), he was thwarted by Hollywood in his desire to star in the movie version of the best-selling novel "The Front Runner", about the love affair between a male coach and a male star runner. The project remains unmade.

Supported Al Franken's campaign for election as United States Senator from Minnesota.

Attended the main Democratic fundraiser for Senator John Kerry before the Democratic National Convention at Radio City Music Hall, along with Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Bon Jovi, Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary J. Blige, Chevy Chase and Jessica Lange (August 13, 2004).

Donated $1 million to "The Nation" magazine in order to keep it going.

Attended the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1977.

Recorded a television advertisement for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. [June 2007]

As of 2007, he is one of six directors who has directed his wife to a Best Actress Oscar nomination (Joanne Woodward in Rachel, Rachel (1968)). The other five are Joel Coen directing Frances McDormand in Fargo (1996), John Cassavetes directing Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence (1974) & Gloria (1980), Blake Edwards directing Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria (1982), Paul Czinner directing Elisabeth Bergner in Escape Me Never (1935) and Richard Brooks directing Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending (1969). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in an Oscar-nominated performance (Never on Sunday (1960)), but they weren't married yet at the time of the nomination.

Turned down the role of Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971) because he thought the screenplay was too right-wing, and recommended Clint Eastwood for the role instead.

Grandfather of Peter (born May 1996) and Henry Elkind, the sons of his daughter Melissa "Lissy" Newman and her husband Raphael "Raphe" Elkind.

Father-in-law to Gary Irving (husband of Elinor "Nell" Newman), Raphael "Raphe" Elkind (husband of Melissa "Lissy" Newman) and Kurt Soderlund (husband of Claire "Clea" Newman).

Known as an inveterate prankster, he and Robert Redford in particular played numerous pranks on each other. One time, Redford, who was also into car racing, had a beaten-up Porsche shell delivered to Newman's porch for Newman's 50th birthday. Newman never said anything, but not long after, Redford found a crate of the (now) molten metal delivered to the living room of a house Redford rented, which dented the floor. Not to be outdone, Redford then had the metal turned into an incredibly ugly sculpture and dropped into Newman's garden.

He and Frank Sinatra are the only people who were awarded a competitive Oscar, an Honorary Award and a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

Once, when he was handing out punch at a Westport charity event, a dowager asked him to stir her drink with his finger. "I'd be glad to," Newman replied, "but I just took it out of a cyanide bottle.".

Newman did all of his own driving in films despite his color blindness.

Said in an interview that a film had never made any special impact on him until he saw On the Waterfront (1954).

The animated comedy Cars (2006), his last film, was the highest-grossing film of his career.

The Simpsons series episode The Simpsons: Lost Verizon (2008), was dedicated to his memory.

Turned down Donald Sutherland's role in A Time to Kill (1996) because he found the film's justification of murder distasteful.

Chosen by GQ magazine as one of the 50 Most Stylish Men in the Past 50 Years.

He was director William Friedkin's first choice for the lead role of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection (1971), but he was deemed too expensive. The role went to Newman's good friend Gene Hackman.

Turned down the lead role of Jackie Scanlon in Sorcerer (1977), which eventually went to Roy Scheider.

Profiled in "American Classic Screen Interviews" (Scarecrow Press) (2010).

Directed three actors to Oscar nominations: Joanne Woodward (Best Actress, Rachel, Rachel (1968)), Estelle Parsons (Best Supporting Actress, Rachel, Rachel (1968)), and Richard Jaeckel (Best Supporting Actor, Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)).

Like his dear friend Robert Redford, both men had firstborn sons named Scott who predeceased their fathers.

He was the only performer, to date, to receive an Oscar for a repeated role. He won as Fast Eddie Felson in The Color of Money (1986), having been previously nominated as the same character in The Hustler (1961).

Was announced as co-star with Spencer Tracy and Robert Mitchum in the Jerry Wald production of "The Enemy Within", based on the book by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, which at 1962/63 was in preparation for 20th Century Fox.

Was so ashamed of his debut in the failed costume drama The Silver Chalice (1954), that he took out an ad in Variety apologizing for his performance. Years later, he was presented with the Golden Turkey Award for the Most Embarrassing Movie Debut of All Time for his performance in The Silver Chalice (1954). His response was that he fully agreed with the award.

Often said that of all the films he had performed in, Slap Shot (1977) was the most fun and his personal favorite.

Attended the month long festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in support of the Indianapolis 500. [May 2008]

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 1, 1994.

The longest period he had gone without an Oscar nomination was 13 years between his Best Picture nomination for Rachel, Rachel (1968) and his Best Actor nomination for Absence of Malice (1981).

Had appeared in six films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), The Hustler (1961), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Verdict (1982). Only The Sting (1973) won in the category. He was nominated for Best Actor for his performances in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler and The Verdict.

This was little known that he was a skilled jazz and blue piano player, like Clint Eastwood. One photo was taken which appears to show him playing while Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin sing, while Robert Mitchum and James Garner look on.

Did not start training to be an actor until he was age 26.

Pictured on a USA 'forever' postage stamp issued 18 September 2015. Price on day of issue was 49¢.

The births of Newman and Woodward's daughters were announced in the Milestones columns of the Time magazine issues for 20 April 1959, 6 October 1961, and 30 April 1965, respectively. They were named, respectively, for their mother, for the first character their mother played on film, and for a character in Lawrence Durrell's novel, "The Alexandria Quartet". During her last pregnancy they had hoped for a boy so when it was another girl they chose Claire "Clea" from the Durrell novel which Joanne had been reading in the weeks before she gave birth. The birthday of the couple's eldest grandson, Peter, was announced in the Passages column of People Magazine (3 June 1996).

Pro-Palestinian advocates claimed that Newman later regretting making Exodus (1960) but no record of this exists anywhere.

Separated from his wife during the filming of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) due to his affair with journalist Nancy Bacon.

A longtime vocal supporter of the Democratic Party, in a television interview his wife Joanne Woodward said that when she first met him (in 1953) he was "a Bob Taft Republican". Senator Taft was the conservative but mainstream leader of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

Became friends with future Prime Minister of Sweden, Olof Palme when they were students at Kenyon College in Ohio in 1940s.

In May 2007, Newman announced he was retiring from acting. He had previously announced his retirement in 1995, but came back to make four more movies. Newman passed away on September 26, 2008, aged 83. A heavy smoker for thirty years, he died of lung cancer.

Nine years after his death, he reprised his role as Doc Hudson in Cars 3 (2017): unused recordings from Cars (2006) were used as new dialogue.

Was friends with Angela Lansbury, and Martha Stewart.

Was one of the many Hollywood celebrities who liked to make regular weekend visits to Ralph Helfer Africa U.S.A. Exotic Animal Ranch in Soledad Canyon, California to pitch in with the chores and play with the animals.

A significant number of the characters that he has played have first names, surnames, or nicknames that begin with the letter 'H': Captain Edward Hall, Jr. in The Rack (1956), Captain Jack Harding in Until They Sail (1957), Harry Bannerman in Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958), the title character in The Hustler (1961), Hud Bannon in Hud (1963), Lew Harper in Harper (1966) and The Drowning Pool (1975), the title character in Hombre (1967), Harry Frigg in The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968), Hank Stamper in Sometimes a Great Notion (1971), Henry Gondorff in The Sting (1973), Hank Anderson in When Time Ran Out... (1980), Harry Ross in Twilight (1998), Harry Keach in Harry & Son (1984) and Doc Hudson in Cars (2006).

He was the first actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for his performance in a comic book adaptation, which he received for Road to Perdition (2002).

He has appeared in six films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (1970) and The Sting (1973).

Derek Kolstad has said that he had Newman in mind for the title role in John Wick (2014) when he originally thought of the film.

In the 1980 book "The Golden Turkey Awards" by Harry and Michael Medved, Paul won the award for "The Most Embarrassing Movie Debut of All Time" for his performance in the 1954 film "The Silver Chalice".

Stars in two of the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies: Cool Hand Luke (1967) at #71 and The Verdict (1982) at #75.

Attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on 28 August 1963, where Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Sammy Davis Jr., Rita Moreno, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Marlon Brando also attended.