Biography of Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Paul Newman

American actor and director, born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on January 26, 1925 and died in Connecticut, on September 26, 2008.


Hungarian and Catholic mother and Jewish father German, since his youth was characterized by obtaining an important training, not only in the area of interpretation. The College was something that attracted him since very early. He studied economics at Kenyon College, in Ohio. As a result of the second world war, he served as a seaman in the Navy and, after the war, he studied drama at Yale. He also passed by the Actor´s Studio, where he was one of the most brilliant students of his generation, among which were some who would then reach a special popularity, such as James Dean or Marlon Brando, and the famous method of the school who have moved to performances in a more prominent way, that contributed to popularize it and make people and newspapers will address the, and that the Center rebasase the scope of the exclusively professional.

The beginnings of Newman were theatrical, where he managed to achieve a great success and be in position to take the step to the cinema. After appearing in some television programs, intervened in the Goblet of silver (1954), Victor Saville, debut unfortunate, because the film did not get any kind of recognition.

Two years later, however, came the ascent of Newman to a job that placed him at the forefront of young actors at the time. Robert Wise, gave him the leading role of markup (1956) hate - thought at first to James Dean-, which got into the skin of Boxer Rocky Graziano, who became a leading United States Champion, from a prison and hard childhood.

Then followed a series of excellent performances, which confirmed him as an actor of much worth. Include, among others, his work in the southpaw (1958), Arthur Penn, where he represented the legendary gunfighter in the West, "Billy el Niño". The version of this character, often led to the cinema, emphasized on this occasion, in the psychological aspects of the Bandit and critics felt that Newman was memorable in his work. That same year, he returned to get another great success, to embody the young husband of CAT on the roof of zinc (1958), Richard Brooks, an adaptation of the work of Tennessee Williams in which the frustrations and anxieties of the character, his marriage and family relationship, offered an excellent venue for Newman offered a display of all his dramatic ability at a very high level.

He returned to hit again with his performance in the city opposite to my (1959) by Vincent Sherman, this time as young student that opened out into the world of advocacy, and that kept different relationships. It was one of the tapes that began to give him greater popularity outside the United States.

At the beginning of the 1960s, he collaborated on two films that, for various reasons, had an excellent reception. One was exodus (1960), Otto Preminger, film version of the voluminous novel, specialist in bestsellers Leon Uris, wrote about the formation of the State of Israel. Conceived as a film extravaganza, Preminger got to introduce some moments of great cinema. Newman embodied to Ari Ben Canaan, the Jewish actor who transported the migrants to Israel and there participated in the fight against British and Arab. Tape, important production surrounding him, came to indicate that Paul Newman had reached star status, although he had never been very much agree with this, given that he always showed reluctance with overly commercial consideration that major studios gave to their products (his membership in political positions of radical Court, within the concept that is given to this word in United StatesIt has not prevented that Newman has been integrated, when did lack, at the celebrations of the type of awards of the Academy without any problem).

His other important work at the beginning of the Decade, was the Hustler (1961), of Robert Rossen, a hard film, without concessions, about the life of a professional pool player, who struggled their way into the world full of traps, in the midst of cutting violent and mafia organizations.

When the actor was fully located, his following works were below what could be expected of it. Some of their failures not only competed with him as an actor but also as a producer. Perhaps why it began an activity as director, which began at the end of the sixties and came up to 1987. In this aspect, he made five films, some of which showed the desire to make a "different" film, where ideas and the type of players dominated on the action and the story. Some of them female protagonism corresponded to his wife Joanne Woodward. Rachel, Rachel (1968) and the effect of gamma rays on the daisies (1972) should be mentioned in this regard. Although his work as a director used to be respectfully welcomed, they were far image transmitting in the screen and - sometimes-incorrect - idea that the public had formed of him. Therefore it could not speak is that it would be a success, what not prevented continue as director in new times.

Throughout the sixties and his role as actor, he worked with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock (torn curtain, 1966), and obtained an important success with two man and a destination (1969), George Roy Hill, in which participated as cast Robert Redford, whose work got a great reception. In the 1980s his activity was reduced, among other reasons, because it left aside the roles of young man and sought performances more in line with the years that had. They were works that showed as someone more reflective, skeptical of life and ironic behaviour, not hiding a good dose of cynicism in the best sense of this word.

They were the years in which appeared in unequal, but sometimes important titles such as absence of malice (1981), Sydney Pollack, final verdict (1982), from Sidney Lumet or the color of money (1986), with Martin Scorsese in the direction, film which is conceived as a second part of the Hustler, which Newman plays a veteran player of pool that will guide the steps of a promise, role that played Tom Cruise. This work was especially important, because with him got the Oscar of the Academy, for which it had been proposed up to six times--in 1994 would receive one honorary, for the whole of its career and being one of the actors with the most titles behind him-.

His last works, show you as an old glory, by which time has not passed in vain, but that retains the elegance and the memory of one of the most important players in the second half of the 20th century. Very attractive, Newman has been able to go beyond being a simple "pretty face", to demonstrate professionalism, interest and concern by the way of interpreting and analyzing the inner workings of his characters, while it has been estimated that cinema is more than pure entertainment. His performances have almost always had commitment dye and although diversity has been something logical on someone so extensive as the activity, has always felt attracted and has shone in uncomfortable, conflicting types in a society that does not like them even though they are not obliged to live in it and having to adapt to an environment that is considered highly questionable. It was, without a doubt, one of the pioneers of the concept of anti-estrella and so demonstrated in 2002 when, on the verge of reaching the age of 78, returned to the Broadway stage, after nearly four decades of absence, with a new adaptation of the classic of Thornton Wilder, Our Town.

Great amateur to automobiles, has participated in professional racing, at the time that has mounted various kinds of business which, with coverage of his popularity, has sought, at times, that part of the profits revert on collective need; He has also held positions in United Nations, though for a short time. Her love life has been discreet to what is usual in Hollywood and his marriage to the actress Joanne Woodward is an example of stability.

No doubt, his experience has made him one of the legends of the cinema of the United States, in the same style as the most famous actors of the past. Intelligent and exceptional physical appeal, for many years its only name was enough to bring people to the movies, while some of his works are among the most important in the Middle made from the 1950s. With half a century of running his back and 57 movies in his filmography, Newman announced his retirement, which was not final in 2003. In May 2007, at the age of 82, announced that he leaves the film to focus on their businesses. Shortly thereafter he announced that he was ill, forcing him to abandon his projects in theatre.

After an ineffective treatment of chemotherapy to fight lung cancer he suffered, in the month of August 2008 he decided to leave the hospital to finish his days surrounded by his family at his home in Westport, Connecticut, where he died on 26 September.


1954: The Goblet of plata.1956: marked by hatred; Traitor to his homeland. 1957: Guilty women; Her for a single hombre.1958: Southpaw; Cat on the roof of zinc; The long and warm summer. 1959: A husband in trouble; The city front mi.1960: from the terrace; Exodo.1961: The Hustler; One day I'll be back. 1962: Sweet bird of youth; When you have twenty years. 1963: Samantha; The prize; HUD, the wildest thousand. 1964: Four confessions; She and her maridos.1965: Lady l 1966: Harper, research private; Torn curtain; A Year Toward Tomorrow (Narrator only). 1967: the legend of the indomitable, a hombre.1968: secret command; Rachel, Rachel (director and producer). 1969: 500 miles (and Executive coprod.); Two men and a destination (and coprod. Executive). 1970: A man of today (and co-producer). 1971: invincible breed (and director and Executive coprod.); The detective and the doctor (producer only). 1972: undesirable; The judge of the gallows (and Executive coprod.); The effect of gamma rays on the daisies (director and producer) 1973: the coup; Mackintosh.1974 man: the Colossus in llamas.1975: with the water to the cuello.1976: the last madness; Buffalo Bill. 1977: The slap. 1979: Quinteto.1980: the day of the end of the world. 1981: District apache; Absence of malicia.1982: final verdict. 1984: Harry and son (and director, producer and screenwriter). 1986: the color of money. 1987: Zoo of glass (only director) 1989: creators of shadow; The Blaze scandal. 1990: waiting for Mr. Bridge. 1994: Nor a fool hair; The big jump. 1997: Super Speedway.1998: at sunset. 1999: where is the money?; Message in a bottle. 2002: The way of perdition. 2005: Empire Falls. 2006: Cars (voice).

Other work in film: 1970: King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis; The Making of ' Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'. 1988: John Huston. 1994: Twister: A Ritual Reality.

Works for television: 1949: The Aldrich Family (series). 1951: Tales of Tomorrow. 1953: You Are There.1954: The Web; The Mask; Goodyear Television Playhouse; Danger.1955: Our Town; Appointment with Adventure; The Philco Television Playhouse; Producers' Showcase; Playwrights 56 ". 1956: Bang the Drum Slowly; The Kaiser Aluminum Hour; The United States Steel Hour; Playhouse 90 ". 1976: The Gong Show.1980: The Shadow Box (only director). 1987: Hello Actors Studio.1994: Baseball (series); Inside the Actors Studio.


Guérif, François. Paul Newman. Paris, PAC, 1975.

Urrero, Guzmán. Paul Newman. Barcelona, Royal Books, 1994.