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Paul Newman came to be known as one of the finest actors of his time. He also started the Newman's Own food company, which donates all profits to charity.
Paul Newman - Heartthrob (2:42)
Paul Newman - Philanthropist (2:21)
An inside look at Paul Newmans role in Martin Scorseses film "The Color of Money."
Watch a short video about Paul Newman whose acting career earned him eight Oscar nominations. In his later years, he became a prolific philanthropist, launching his own successful charity.
Paul Newman was born on January 26, 1925. As Paul grew into a handsome teenager, his good looks won him female admirers wherever he went. But, to his friends, he never showed an ounce of conceit.
After tasting oily salad dressing in a restaurant, Paul Newman, almost as a joke, took his Newman?s Own salad dressing to supermarkets and donated the profits to charity.
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During the run of the hit play, he and his wife added a third child -- a daughter named Stephanie -- to their family.
A winning turn on television helped pave the way for Newman’s return to Hollywood. Working with director Arthur Penn, he appeared in an episode of Philco Playhouse, “The Death of Billy the Kid,
” written by Gore Vidal. Newman teamed up with Penn again for an episode of Playwrights '56 for a story about a worn-down and battered boxer. Two projects became feature films: Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) and The Left-Handed Gun (1958).
In Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), Newman again played a boxer. This time he took on the role of real-life prizefighter Rocky Graziano -- and demonstrated his considered acting talents to movie-goers and critics alike. His reputation was further magnified with Penn’s The Left-Handed Gun, an adaptation of Gore Vidal’s earlier teleplay about Billy the Kid.
That same year, Paul Newman starred as Brick in the film version of Tennessee Williams' play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), opposite Elizabeth Taylor. He gave another strong performance as a hard-drinking former athlete and disinterested husband who struggles against different types of pressures exerted on him by his wife (Taylor) and his overpowering father (Burl Ives). Once dismissed as just another handsome face, Newman showed that he could handle the challenges of such a complex character. He was nominated for his first Academy Award for this role.
The Long Hot Summer (1958) marked the first big-screen pairing of Newman and Joanne Woodward. The two had already become a couple off-screen while he was still married to his first wife, and they wed in 1958 soon after his divorce was finalized. The next year, Newman returned to Broadway to star in the original production of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth. The production saw Newman acting opposite the great Geraldine Page, and was directed by Elia Kazan.
Newman continued to thrive professionally. He starred in Otto Preminger’s Exodus (1960) about the founding of the state of Israel. The following year, he took on one of his most famous roles. In The Hustler (1961), Newman played Fast Eddie, a slick, small-time pool shark who takes on the legendary Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). For his work on the film, Paul Newman received his second Academy Award nomination.
Taking on another remarkable part, Newman played the title character -- an arrogant, unprincipled cowboy -- in Hud (1963). The movie posters for the film described the character as “the man with the barbed wire soul,” and Newman earned critical acclaim and another Academy Award nomination for his work as yet another on-screen antihero.
In Cool Hand Luke (1967), Newman played a rebellious inmate at a southern prison. His convincing and charming portrayal led audiences to cheer on this convict in his battle against prison authorities. No matter how hard they leaned on Luke, he refused to bend to their will. This thoroughly enjoyable and realistic performance led to Paul Newman’s fourth Academy Award nomination.
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