Inside Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward’s love story, the couple that managed to stay together for 50 years

There have been a lot of famous golden couples in Hollywood. Just a few examples include Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

But you can’t forget about the late Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who are now 92, when talking about renowned celebrity couples.

Paul and Joanne were wed in 1958 and remained so till Newman passed away in 2008 at the age of 83. Together over 50 years, Joanne and Paul traveled, made movies, and raised a family.

There have been a lot of famous golden couples in Hollywood. Just a few examples include Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

But you can’t forget about the late Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who are now 92, when talking about renowned celebrity couples.

Paul and Joanne were wed in 1958 and remained so till Newman passed away in 2008 at the age of 83. Together over 50 years, Joanne and Paul traveled, made movies, and raised a family.

She earned a lot of recognition for her fantastic and believable performances in theater, film, and television. In contrast to the numerous vulnerable roles that were frequently given to women at the time, Joanne separated herself from other actresses in 1950s Hollywood by playing strong and independent characters.

In Thomasville, Georgia, on February 27, 1930, Joanne Woodward was born.

When Joanne was still a teen, she participated in beauty pageants and went to Greenville High School in Greenville, South Carolina.

She participated in various theater performances while still in high school, which launched her acting career.

She portrayed Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, and when she later returned to Greenville, she portrayed Amanda Wingfield in the same play.

Joanne, then 25 years old, visited Greenville once again for the premiere of her first motion picture, Count Three and Pray, in 1955.

Joanne came to Louisiana after finishing high school and studied in theater at Louisiana State University. Then, she took a trip to New York City and gave a stage performance.

It was a wise choice for Joanne to travel to New York. She first met Paul Newman, the man who would become her husband, in 1953.

At the time, Newman was wed to Jackie Witte, his first wife.

Joanne was an understudy in the Broadway production of Picnic and had just received her degree from Louisiana State. The show included Newman, and there will soon be love sparks.

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward discussed their first date with Today many years ago.

It was a humid summer day, and Newman was dressed in a seersucker suit, looking like a “ice cream ad,” according to Joanne. He was also not perspiring.

”I was hot, sweaty and my hair was all stringy around my neck,” Joanne later said.

She acknowledged that at first she wasn’t interested, but that Newman eventually became captivated to her. The “extraordinarily lovely girl” that was Joanne was all Newman could think about.

According to Newman’s biography by Marian Edelman Borden, Woodard reportedly said:

“I hated him on sight, but he was so funny and pretty and neat.”

Four years would pass before Newman and Woodward advanced the situation. Although they had been friends since they first met, their friendship changed once they appeared together in The Long, Hot Summer (1957).

Immediately following the 1957 filming of The Long, Hot Summer, Newman and Jackie got married. Three kids were born to the couple.

Paul and Joanne were married on January 29, 1858, a few time after their split from Jackie.

Paul and Joanne got hitched in Las Vegas, and then honeymooned in Europe.

Press coverage of the newlywed Hollywood celebs was insatiable. The two were trailed by journalists while they were on their honeymoon, which helped them become a well-liked celebrity couple.

It was the start of a joyous, endearing, and lovely love tale.

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

Joanna remarked to the Daily News in 2001 that choosing to relocate to the mansion rather than Los Angeles was important for their marriage.

“We were never Hollywood people. We just liked it better here. It also probably helps that we always enjoyed each other’s company,” Joanne said.

As the year that cemented Woodward’s status as a Hollywood legend, 1958 will also be remembered. She starred in The Three Faces of Eve, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and received a further nod in 1969 for her performance in Rachel, Rachel. In the latter, Paul Newman served as the director.

Academy Award winner
Later, she was nominated for two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress: in 1991 for Mr. & Mrs. Bridge and in 1974 for Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams.

Her husband would go on to become the Best Actor winner of the Academy Awards. He earned it in 1987 for his performance in The Color of Money.

Moreover, Woodward won two Emmys for her performances in the 1978 films Do You Remember Love and Watch How She Runs for Outstanding Lead Actress (1985). She received five more nominations overall.

A well-known monument in Hollywood is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where thousands of actors, musicians, and other creatives have gotten stars.

So who was the first to dedicate themselves to the ancient walkway? You did indeed guess correctly. According to History, Joanne Woodward received her star during the official groundbreaking event on February 9, 1960.

Joanna Woodward and Paul Newman made the choice to raise their family in Connecticut, far from the hectic pace of Hollywood.

In an interview, daughter Clea, 55, spoke about her mother,

‘My mother was way ahead of her time,’ she says. ‘She was in the women’s lib before it became a big thing and she was a hands-on mother; when I was a baby she nursed me on set. She’d stop the cameras rolling in the middle of scenes and say, “Sorry, I’ve got to feed the baby.”’

Paul had three children from his first marriage, with son Scott, (born in 1950) and daughters Susan (born 1953) and Stephanie Kendall (born 1954).

In 1975, the family suffered a tragic loss with Scott passing away from a drug overdose after suffering from a motorcycle accident.

Five years later, Paul established the Scott Newman Center. It’s dedicated to help educate children about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.

There’s nothing you can say that will repair my guilt about Scott. It will be with me as long as I live,” Paul Newman said following his son’s death, according to The Times.

Joanne gave birth to three daughters. Ellinor Teresa (born 1959), Melissa Stewart (born 1961) and Claire Olivia (born 1965).

As a child, Melissa had roles in several TV-series and also appeared in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990), which also starred her parents.

Joanne and Paul continued living a wonderful life together in Connecticut.

People admired their loving relationship, with actor Liev Schreiber sharing a wonderful story about the two were deeply in love even after 40 years of marriage.

It happened during the time he worked on the movie Twilight (1998), with Joanne coming on set.

“He put his arm around my shoulder and said to me, ‘Will you look at the ass on her.’ That really struck me as an ideal relationship. I love the idea that a guy approaching 80 still loved his wife’s ass,” Schreiber said in an interview with Elle.

Despite growing older, Paul and Joanne never slowed down. She was the artistic director at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut from 2001-2005, and also stared with her husband in the TV series Empire Falls.

However, in 2008, after 50 years of marriage, the love story ended.

Paul Newman died in 2008 after battling cancer at age 83. The legendary Butch Cassidy actor was honored and hailed throughout the movie business.

The Newman estate was left to Joanne and various charities following her beloved husband’s death.

Joanne and Paul was one of the real golden couples of Hollywood, with having such a long and happy marriage being pretty rare in showbiz.

The couple sustained their affection for each other with playfulness and became known for their involvement in politics and charities, balancing their work with family.

Also, the couple created the famous salad dressing Newman’s Own, which sends all its contributions to charity.

“They had the love of newlyweds,” family friend Bob Forrester told People about the couple. “When I would fly with him all over the world, the moment the plane landed, Paul would call Joanne and he always said, ‘I love you,’ even after 50 years of marriage. She was his everything. They were soulmates.”

Joanne and other charity received the Newman inheritance after the passing of her devoted husband.

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

“We could talk to each other, we could tell each other anything without fear of ridicule or rejection. There was trust,” she said, according to Honey Nine.

Speaking with the Daily Mail, daughter Clea talks about her mother Joanne, now 92 years old, and how they resemble each other.

‘I wish I had my mother’s skin,’ she said. ‘I have more wrinkles than she does and she is 86! Her skin is annoying, it is so beautiful. But then she was sun-blocking before sun block existed. I have never known her to not wear a hat in the sun.’

Three years ago, it was revealed that Ethan Hawke would helm a documentary about Joanne and Paul’s lives and careers. According to Deadline, the family has approved it.

In a statement, Hawke said he promises a “rare and exclusive look at the careers of both actors and a complex 50-year relationship that ultimately managed to beat incredible odds.”

Joanna Woodward has stopped acting as of 2023. The 92-year-old provided the voice of Doris in the 2013 film Lucky Them, but she hasn’t received any acting recognition since.

The renowned actress has not been spotted in public since 2013, and media rumors claim that she is battling a serious health issue.

Woodward, according to Closer Magazine, is coping with Alzheimer’s. According to USA Today, Joanne received her diagnosis in 2007, just a few days before Paul Newman received his fatal cancer diagnosis.

When Ethan Hawke’s intimate six-part docuseries on Woodward and Newman debuted in 2022, Joanne once more found herself in the spotlight.

Joanne might be able to enjoy it, I hope.

”That’s why the family wanted me to do it now,” Hawke said in 2020 and continued:

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

According to Closer, Joanne Woodward continues to reside in the Connecticut house in Westport where her late husband passed away in 2008 at the age of 83.

Joanna Woodward and Paul Newman’s love story is undoubtedly unique. We’re overjoyed that they were able to cohabitate for more than 50 years. Possibly the last truly golden Hollywood pair the world will ever witness.

Please, share their story with friends and family.