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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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The next year, Newman stepped behind the cameras to direct his wife in Rachel, Rachel (1968). Woodward starred as an older schoolteacher who dreams of love. A critical success, the film earned four Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
A lesser-known film from this time helped trigger a new passion for the actor. While working on the car racing film, Winning (1969),
Newman went to a professional driving program as part of his preparation for the role. He discovered that he loved racing and started to devote some of his time to the sport.
That same year, Newman starred alongside Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). He played Butch to Redford’s Sundance, and the pairing was a huge success with audiences, bringing in more than $46 million domestically. Recapturing their on-screen camaraderie, Newman and Redford played suave con men in The Sting (1973), another hit at the box office.
During the 1980s Newman continued to amass critical praise for his work. In Sydney Pollack’s Absence of Malice (1981), he played a man victimized by the media. The following year he starred as a down-and-out lawyer as The Verdict (1982). Both films earned Newman Academy Award nominations.
While he was widely considered one of the finest actors of his time, Paul Newman had never won an Academy Award. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to correct this error by giving Newman an honorary award for his contributions to film in 1985. With his trademark sense of humor, Newman said in his acceptance speech that “I am especially grateful that this did not come wrapped in a gift certificate to Forest Lawn [a famous cemetery].”
He returned to the character of Fast Eddie from The Hustler in 1986's The Color of Money. This time around, his character was no longer the up-and-coming hustler, but a worn-out liquor salesman. He is drawn back in the world of pool by mentoring a young upstart (Tom Cruise). For his work on the film, Paul Newman finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Approaching his seventies, Newman continued to delight audiences with more character-driven roles. He played an aging, but crafty rascal who struggles with renewing a relationship with his estranged son in Nobody's Fool (1994).
Newman played a crime boss in Road to Perdition (2002), which starred Tom Hanks as a hit man who must protect his son from Newman's character. This role brought him another Academy Award nomination -- this time for Best Supporting Actor.
In his later years, Paul Newman took fewer acting roles, but was still able to deliver impressive performances. He earned an Emmy Award for his nuanced depiction of a lay-about father in the television miniseries Empire Falls (2005), which was adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Russo novel. The miniseries also provided him the opportunity to work with his wife, Joanne Woodward.
Around this time, Paul Newman scored his first racing victory at a Connecticut track in 1972.
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