Hollywood Legend's Marriage Secrets Revealed
"I'm Guilty as Hell And I'll Carry It with Me for Ever"
Based on a Paul Newman's biography "A Life by Shawn Levy," the British news media uncovered the secret marriage life of the legendary Hollywood actor recently. "I'm guilty as hell - and I'll carry it with me for ever," Newman confessed regarding his marriage life, reported Daily Mail, quoting his biography. The book, to be published by Aurum Press, is exptected to hit the market in the autumn. Paul Newman, who died of lung cancer at age 83 at his Connecticut residence on Sept. 27, 2008, was famous for his piercing blue eyes, boyish good looks, and stellar performances in scores of hit Hollywood movies including "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: 1969)" and "The Sting: 1973)." The following is the full story of Daily Mail.When Paul Newman married actress Joanne Woodward, it was the start of a legendary showbusiness marriage that was to last 50 years. But, as our second extract from a new biography of Newman reveals, the relationship began as an adulterous affair while Newman was married to his first wife, actress Jacqueline Witte, by whom he had three children.
Newman, a 24-year-old Navy veteran, had turned his back on a job in the family firm, a successful business selling sportswear in Cleveland, Ohio, and, inspired by some acting he had done at university, tried to find work in local repertory theatres around the Mid-west.
Jackie was just 19 and yet to graduate from college when they met up at a small town where they both had taken summer stage work. That winter, they moved together to a theatre company in Woodstock in Illinois, and on December 27, 1949, Jackie became the first Mrs Paul Newman. There have been various surmises as to just what led Newman to marry so quickly and to someone so young. Pregnancy is a popular first guess, but no child was imminent. The simplest explanation is that they were a handsome pair and in love. In Woodstock, Newman's theatrical career bumped along. His acting was uninspired and, though he was 'a good-lookin' blue-eyed guy,' in the words of the theatre manager, he was not viewed as 'leading man' material. When Jackie became pregnant, he had to face the prospect of giving up the theatre.
So he gambled all his savings on doing a master's degree in theatre at Yale University, with the thought that, if the acting did not work out, he could at least teach the subject. For the second time in a little more than a year, he loaded his possessions The Newmans rented the top floor of a house and Paul augmented his savings with work as a door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman. Occasionally, Jackie commuted into New York City, which was just a train ride away, to seek work as a model, which was now her chosen career.
The proximity of New York also meant that leading theatrical agents would attend Yale's plays to scout for new talent - and thus it was that a stiff but handsome young actor playing a small part in a student play about Beethoven was noticed in the spring of 1952.
Even more than going to Yale, moving to New York was a leap of faith - especially after Jackie told him that she was expecting their second child. He was a man with growing responsibilities. So he developed a routine. 'I had one decent suit,' he remembered, 'and I'd put it on every morning, take the ferry from Staten Island [where they were living] to Manhattan, make the rounds of the casting agents, follow up all the tips in the trade papers, and then get home in time to peddle encyclopaedias.' His persistence paid off. Before long, he was getting small roles on television and also auditioning for stage plays. Slowly, Newman's career was taking off. In one play - called Picnic and destined for a long run on Broadway - he understudied the lead role of a sexually magnetic vagrant, a renegade who causes havoc among the lonely women in a small Kansas town.To play the part, he had to loosen up, especially in one scene where his character seduces the leading lady at a dance.
Until now, everything Newman did on stage had been clean-cut and largely dependent on his good looks. 'You've got to learn how to be a little dirtier,' the director told him. 'Wiggle your ass a little bit when you're dancing with her.' He did as he was told, and was transformed. A raunchy Paul Newman was born, and the change was particularly noticed by the understudy for the leading lady, with whom he was often dancing in rehearsals. Her name was Joanne Woodward.
To prepare for the role, he trained in seedy gyms and hung around the pool halls and bars frequented by boxers. When actually filming in Hollywood, he spent a lot of time with Joanne.When the film was released, it was a critical triumph, and to celebrate he and Jackie left the children with a babysitter and headed to a party at a restaurant.
But Newman wasn't cheating so much as he was recognising that he'd found his ideal partner. 'They were so young when they married,' a friend said of Newman and Jackie. 'They just grew up to be two different people.' And so he made up his mind to leave, regardless of how Jackie took it, regardless, even, of what it meant to the children. Work now increasingly took him to Hollywood, where Joanne was also making a film, the psychologically daring Three Faces Of Eve, for which she would win an Oscar. They took a beach house together in Malibu with the writer Gore Vidal and his partner Howard Austen - a particularly odd arrangement since it had once been hinted in the gossip pages that Joanne and Vidal were engaged. 'That had been at her insistence,' Vidal later recollected, 'and based entirely on her passion not for me but for Paul.' She thought that a fake engagement might force him to leave Jackie once and for all. Life on the beach was idyllic - apart from the fact that Newman was seeing a psychiatrist to address the genuine pain that was accompanying the break-up of his marriage. But he and Joanne were now increasingly honest about their relationship. They were photographed dining together and attending film premieres. Finally, he worked up the gumption to ask Jackie for a divorce, but despite the ongoing humiliation she faced, she was still unwilling to give in - until another film role forced all their hands. In The Long, Hot Summer, he was cast alongside Joanne herself, and they spent a couple of months on location together in Louisiana. The two stars behaved in front of everyone like a couple in love. While shopping in New Orleans, they bought a gigantic brass bed which Newman speculated can only have come from a bordello, it was so big. They were now the hottest couple around. Everyone was talking about Joanne's tour-de-force performance in Three Faces Of Eve. He had also just been cast in a major role alongside Elizabeth Taylor in Tennessee Williams's steamy classic, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, his biggest part to date. At which point Jackie finally agreed to give up her claim on Paul, and he was arduously working out the terms of the divorce. He knew, too, that Joanne was carrying his baby. Sometime during the shooting of The Long, Hot Summer, perhaps on that voluptuous brass bed, they had conceived a child - the reality of which may have been the final straw in Jackie's agreeing to let him go. The divorce went through, but it remained one of the strangest things about his entire life. He would come to be celebrated for his long and lasting marriage to Joanne, yet it had been built on the foundation of a previous and fecund one that had failed. He danced gingerly around questions about his time with Jackie: 'I was probably too immature to make a success of my first marriage,' was all he would say. When pressed, he replied: 'What happened to us during that period is nobody's business.' He did, however, confess to one emotion. 'Guilty as hell' was how he described himself about his first marriage, adding: 'And I'll carry it with me for the rest of my life.' Extracted from Paul Newman: A Life by Shawn Levy, to be published by Aurum Press in the autumn.
Actor Paul Newman Dead at 83
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