Paul Newman

On this date in 1925, actor and philanthropist Paul Newman was born in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, to a Catholic mother and a Jewish father. Newman enlisted in the Naval Air Corps, but his career there was cut short due to color-blindness. He served in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. Upon his return from the war, Newman enrolled at Kenyon College, Ohio, and received his B.A. in 1949. He worked in summer stock, married Jackie Witte, with whom he had three children, enrolled at the Yale University grad program in acting, then left it for Broadway. His first Broadway success was playing the lead in "Picnic." Newman was admitted to the Actor's Studio, studying "method" acting. His first film, a biblio-epic flop, "The Silver Chalice," came out in 1954. Newman's breakthrough role was portraying Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (1956). He met actress Joanne Woodward while making "The Long, Hot Summer" (1957), and married her in 1958. They had three daughters. Newman was nominated often for "best actor" Oscars for such movie classics as: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958), "The Hustler" (1961), "Hud" (1963), and "Cool Hand Luke" (1967). He won for "The Color of Money" (1987). Other films include "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting," in which he was paired with Robert Redford. Newman ran "Newman's Own" line of food, donating much of the proceeds to charity. Newman was listed on the website of the Unitarian Universalists, which is creedless, as one of its famous members. According to Who's Who in Hell, edited by Warren Allen Smith, Newman once told TV interviewer Barbara Walters that he didn't believe in an afterlife. D. 2008.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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