Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were a beloved couple in Hollywood, known for their enduring love and partnership. However, like many relationships, theirs was not perfect, and a dark secret loomed over their marriage for years.
In this video, we will delve into the affair that haunted Paul Newman for the rest of his life and left him with a sense of guilt that he could never shake off. Despite their deep love for each other, the shadows of infidelity and regret cast a long shadow over this iconic Hollywood romance.
We’ll explore how Newman and Woodward as young actors on Broadway. How their friendship becomes a passionate affair that leads to the end of his first marriage to Jackie Witte. Take note: Newman’s struggles with alcoholism and self-loathing. Rumors of cheating surround him, including one involving a journalist, Nancy Bacon.
In addition, we’ll examine how Woodward stood by Newman through his personal and professional challenges, and how they raised six children together while making 16 films as a couple. We’ll also reveal how they overcame a brief separation caused by his drinking problem, and how they remained devoted to each other until his death in 2008.
Join us as we uncover the truth behind one of the most celebrated and complicated marriages in Hollywood history.
FactsVerse Presents: ‘Guilty’ Paul Newman Regretted His Affair His Whole Life
Paul Newman and Joanne’s ‘Illicit’ Romance
Paul Newman’s early years were marked by restlessness and a search for purpose. Born on the 26th of January 1925, in Shaker Heights, Ohio, he grew up in a middle-class family and was the second of three sons. After high school, he briefly attended Ohio University before enlisting in the Navy during World War II. However, he was discharged after three years due to a bout of pneumonia.
After leaving the Navy, Newman tried his hand at a variety of jobs, including selling encyclopedias, working as a door-to-door salesman, and even training as a boxer. He eventually found his way to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he studied drama and became involved in the school’s theater program. It was there that he discovered his passion for acting and decided to pursue it as a career. In 1951, he graduated from Kenyon and moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to study at the Yale School of Drama.
The Beginning Of Love Story
Woodward and Newman’s love story began in the bustling city of New York in 1952. Although their initial encounter was unremarkable, fate had more in store for them. Months after their first meeting, they found themselves sharing the stage as understudies in a Broadway production called Picnic. This time, their connection was undeniable.
Newman, who was already a married man with a family, couldn’t resist Woodward’s outgoing personality and southern charm. They tried their best to keep things platonic, but the chemistry between them was too strong to ignore. It wasn’t until they were filming The Long, Hot Summer in 1957 that they gave into their desires and started pursuing a full-blown romantic relationship.
As their love affair blossomed, they discovered that they had much more in common than just their physical attraction. They both had successful fathers who were businessmen, but they also had complicated relationships with their mothers. Newman, in particular, struggled with his mother’s overbearing nature. In a fit of anger, he once threw her out of a taxi and didn’t speak to her for fifteen years after she suggested that Woodward was having an affair with their friend Gore Vidal.
Woodward and Newman’s affair was incredibly passionate and during which time they move to Tinseltown and won studio contracts. However, their love was not without its challenges. Newman marries at the time to his first wife, Jackie Witte, and they had three young children together. The divorce and subsequent marriage to Woodward in 1958 left Jackie feeling betrayed and devastated, but Newman and Woodward did their best to incorporate his older children into their new family.
Trouble In Paradise
As their respective paths in show business unfolded, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward encountered different challenges and successes. While Newman was basking in the glory of critical acclaim for his performances in films like Somebody Up There Likes Me and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, co-starring alongside the legendary Elizabeth Taylor, Woodward was struggling to balance motherhood with her acting career.
Despite their seemingly idyllic public image, the couple faced numerous trials in their personal life. The death of Newman’s son Scott due to a drug overdose in 1978 was a significant blow, and both of them grappled with addiction and mental health issues. Newman battled alcoholism, while Woodward struggled with depression and anxiety. As they tried to navigate through these tough times, they turned to therapy as a way to seek solace and support.
Paul Newman As Heartthrob
Newman rumors to have strayed from their marriage. With his status as a heartthrob and a ladies’ man, he was linked to several of his co-stars and journalists throughout his career. Although he vehemently denied infidelity, he did admit to being tempted by other women. Nevertheless, he maintained that he never acted on those impulses, citing his unwavering devotion to Woodward as the reason. Paul famously joked, “Why go out for a hamburger when you have steak at home?”
Through all the highs and lows, the couple managed to stay together until Newman’s passing in 2008 due to lung cancer, with Woodward following suit six years later at the age of 78. The year of Newman’s death also marked their golden wedding anniversary.
The legacy that Newman and Woodward left behind was one of passion, creativity, activism, and philanthropy. Their joint efforts included the founding of charitable institutions like the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for kids with severe illnesses, the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention, and Newman’s Own, a food company that donated all its profits to a variety of causes. They were also staunch supporters of political and environmental movements, such as nuclear disarmament, civil rights, animal welfare, and organic farming.
Newman and Woodward were celebrated and admired by their colleagues and admirers for their artistry, honesty, and endurance. They were an anomaly in Hollywood, having weathered numerous storms together and inspiring a generation of actors and romantics. Moreover, they were one of the most gorgeous and magnetic couples both on and off the screen. Newman once famously described Woodward as “the last of the great broads,” while she once called him “a very good egg.”
Paul Newman was more than just an actor; he was an icon and a legend, a man who left his mark on the world in ways that went beyond the silver screen. But as much as he was celebrated and adored by his fans, he was plagued by his own demons and insecurities, which he bared in his posthumous memoir, “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.”
In this revealing and unapologetic book, Newman pulled back the curtain on his life and his career, exposing the highs and lows of his journey. He spoke candidly about his conflicted relationship with fame and celebrity, admitting that he often felt trapped and suffocated by the attention and adulation that came with his success. He also shared his thoughts on acting, revealing that he was never entirely comfortable with it and that he saw it more as a means to an end than a calling.
But perhaps the most intimate and revealing part of the memoir was Newman’s account of his marriage to Joanne Woodward, his second wife and the one that he referred to as the love of his life. He described their relationship as passionate, stormy, and enduring, a union that tested their limits and pushed them to their brink, but that also brought them profound joy and fulfillment. He confessed that he was deeply attracted to Woodward from the moment he met her, and that she awakened a sexual hunger in him that he had never felt before.
Alcoholism and Infidelity
Their marriage was not without its challenges, however. Newman struggled with alcoholism and temptation to commit infidelity, and the couple endured the heartbreak of losing their son Scott to a drug overdose. Melissa Newman, their daughter, witnessed the difficulties of their marriage but also saw the depth of their love and commitment to each other. Despite their struggles, Melissa said that her parents never gave up on each other and fought hard to keep their relationship alive.
Newman was also haunted by his decision to leave his first wife, Jackie Witte, for Woodward. He felt that he had betrayed Witte and their children, and he sought therapy to come to terms with his guilt. He also had to contend with rumors of affairs with other women, which he vehemently denied.
Paul and Clea Newman
Clea Newman, his daughter, described her father as a complex and conflicted man who grappled with his inner demons. But she also praised his dedication to Woodward, describing their love as “magical” and saying that it was the foundation of their family’s happiness.
Through his memoir, Newman showed that he was not a perfect man, but he was a man who tried to live an honest and meaningful life. He was a man who loved deeply, who struggled with his flaws, and who left behind a legacy that touched the lives of countless people.
We’re just about out of time for this video, but before you move on to watching another one of our facts-packed videos, we’d love to hear from you. Did you know that Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward’s relationship started out as an affair and that Newman ended up regretting cheating on his first wife Jackie Witte despite the fact that he ended up finding the love of his life? Let us know in the comments. And as always, thanks for watching!