US film actor, director, and producer.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Newman turned to acting after World War II, in which he served with the navy air corps. After spending some time at Kenyon College, Ohio, studying economics, he moved on to the Yale Drama School and the New York Actors' Studio. In 1953 he made his successful Broadway debut in Picnic and two years later he made his first film, The Silver Chalice (1955). This was quickly followed by such notable films as The Long Hot Summer (1958), for which he received a Cannes Festival Award, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), and Cool Hand Luke (1967) brought further Oscar nominations. In both Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), he played opposite Robert Redford. Successes since then have included The Verdict (1982), The Color of Money (1986), for which he won an Oscar, Mr and Mrs Bridge (1990), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), and Nobody's Fool (1994), which earned him his seventh Oscar nomination. In 1986 he received an honorary Oscar for career achievement. The last film he appeared in was Road to Perdition 2002, for which he also received an Oscar nomination.
His first film as director was Rachel, Rachel (1968), starring his wife Joanne Woodward (1930– ). Newman and Woodward have co-starred in many films since 1958, when they made The Long Hot Summer and Rally Round the Flag Boys! together. With Sidney Poitier (1924– ), Steve McQueen (1930–80), Barbra Streisand, and others, he founded the production company First Artists. Politically active, Newman served as US delegate to the UN conference on disarmament in 1978. After his son died of a drug overdose, he set up the Scott Newman Foundation to make films highlighting the dangers of drug abuse. He was also chairman of Newman's Own, a company making his own brand of salad dressing, the substantial profits of which (over 6 million dollars in 1994) go to charity.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).