According to ‘Paul Newman: A Life,’ the actor met Joanne Woodward while still married to Jackie Witte, the woman who would become his future wife.
According to the book, Paul Newman battled with the tensions they were going through and felt stuck in his marriage.
When she gave birth to Paul’s children, the actress’s wife lost interest in both performing and life in general. While her husband’s personality developed and he became outgoing when surrounded by the proper people, Witte was described as being reserved and shy.
When the star connected with people who shared his hobbies, his personality truly shone. Like Woodward, Paul liked to go out to late meetings with other actors and authors.
Witte, however, hardly ever appeared in public. He first met Woodward, and the two hit it off because they shared mutual interests, were both rather attractive, and had a ‘obvious sensation of friendship.’
According to ‘Joanne Woodward: Her Life and Career,’ the actress’ autobiography, she struggled in her marriage to Paul. ‘More of a struggle than a romance,’ was used to define their relationship.
Woodward supposedly got along well with Paul’s wife and didn’t want to cause trouble in the house. The actor and his wife had welcomed Stephanie as their third child in 1955, which was at the time the third member of their family.
The welfare of the couple’s children was the other factor keeping Woodward from wanting to assist in the breakup of the Newman marriage. She had experienced growing up in a dysfunctional family personally.
Paul and the actress made the decision to break up, and the actor went back to New York to be with his family. Witte ultimately consented to a divorce from her husband in 1956, and he quickly moved on.
In a Malibu home with Gore Vidal and his longtime boyfriend, Howard Austen, Paul and Woodward began living together. The actress previously revealed to the world that she and Paul were getting married.
However, Witte’s ex-husband felt bad for ending their family and first marriage. Although the guilt followed him for the rest of his life, Paul would have been nowhere and nothing if it weren’t for Woodward.
Paul and his fiancée decided to be married while filming ‘Playhouse 90’ he was 33 and Woodward was 27 at the time. Paul was intoxicated by his ability to marry Woodward because it allowed him to let go of his life’s secrets and worries.
As Woodward’s spouse, he was now free to go about. Sadly, Paul’s new wife started having stomach pains at home, and when she found out she was miscarrying, their marriage ended tragically.
She was brought to St. George’s Hospital, where she gave birth and spent time recuperating. The actress was taken to the airport and flown home after she had sufficiently recovered.
The actor was forthright about his rough upbringing in Paul’s memoir, «The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.» He had previous failed relationships with women and struggled with insecurity as a youth.
The husband of Woodward also talked about their relationship, his reliance on her, and how she influenced him romantically, intellectually, and emotionally. Paul was recorded saying about his wife in a documentary on the marriage that was released in July 2022:
Photoplay magazine named Woodward, a Hollywood star at the time, one of the year’s ‘best new personalities.’ She received an Academy Award nomination in February 1958 for her performance in ‘The Three Faces of Eve.’
The actress had just won an Oscar when she wed Paul. After that, the course of their lives shifted, and Woodward adopted the three children her husband had with Witte.
Over the years, she and the actor also had three of their own children, giving her six kids to raise! Paul continued working while avoiding spending as much time with his family as he would have liked.
The actor turned the tables, becoming an A-list celebrity with a huge fan base. He was constantly identified and accosted by admirers who saw him wearing dark shades or growing a beard as he walked down the street or entered a restaurant!
Paul was in excellent form when he was in his early 40s and appeared in films like ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ and ‘Cool Hand Luke.’ He jogged, swam, and rode a bike almost every day to stay in shape.
After Paul [Newman] died, she [Joanne Woodward] began displaying signs of discomfort and confusion, but her kids thought she was just sad.
He consumed a lot of alcohol, yet he still kept a strict diet and hardly ever had any fat. Paul, who had lost his son Scott, was not only physically fit and attractive, but also wise and self-aware, which made him quite the catch.
Woodward dismissed the idea that her husband had become into a teen dreams person. She remarked that he believed her attractive and deserving of the status and that she didn’t worry about women approaching him because she knew what he thought. Paul responded when asked about his loyalty:
Why would I choose a hamburger when I have steak at home?
The actor adored and even felt obligated to his wife. Despite everything, the Newman marriage endured when Paul began an affair with Nancy Bacon in 1968. Nancy revealed information about their secret visits to each other.
Paul wanted his girls to understand who he really was and why he acted the way he did before he went away. His daughter Melissa recalled how natural her parents’ chemistry was after he passed away in 2008, saying:
‘Every molecule in their bodies was irrevocably bound to the other. a list of the good, terrible, and ugly. They were joined at the hip.’
Woodward was 85 years old and afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. Sadly, she was unable to recall all the special moments she shared with Paul, who passed away from cancer at the age of 83.
The actress’s health was allegedly ‘deteriorating rapidly,’ according to a family insider. The insider claimed that Woodward periodically remembered that she had been married to a handsome man in the past but was unable to identify who he was.
After Paul died, she began displaying signs of anguish and confusion, but her children assumed that she was only unhappy. However, she was unable to recognize her children or grandkids and required daily care. She also hardly spoke.