Joanne Woodward: American actress and producer (1930-)
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Joanne Woodward
American actress and producer

Joanne Woodward

Joanne Woodward
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress and producer
Is Actor Television actor Film actor Voice actor Theater professional Television director Film producer Television producer Stage actor
From United States of America
Field Arts Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 27 February 1930, Thomasville, USA
Age 93 years
Star sign Pisces
Residence Thomasville, USA; Westport, USA; Marietta, USA
Spouse: Paul Newman
Children: Nell NewmanMelissa Newman
Louisiana State University
Sarah Lawrence College
Greenville High School
Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre
Four Freedoms Award  
Academy Award for Best Actress  
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress 1957
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama 1957
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress 1957
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama 1968
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress 1973
Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress 1973
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role 1974
Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award 1985
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie 1985
The details (from wikipedia)


Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward (born February 27, 1930) is an American actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her performance in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. In a career spanning over six decades, she received four Oscar nominations (winning one), ten Golden Globe Award nominations (winning three), four BAFTA Film Award nominations (winning one), and nine Primetime Emmy Award nominations (winning three). She is the widow of actor Paul Newman.

Early life

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930, in Thomasville, Georgia, the daughter of Elinor (née Trimmier) and Wade Woodward, Jr., who was vice president of publishing company Charles Scribner's Sons. Her middle and maiden names, "Gignilliat Trimmier", are of Huguenot origin. She was influenced to become an actress by her mother's love of movies. Her mother named her after Joan Crawford – "Joanne".

Attending the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta, 9-year-old Woodward rushed into the parade of stars and sat on the lap of Laurence Olivier, star Vivien Leigh's partner. She eventually worked with Olivier in 1977 in a television production of Come Back, Little Sheba. During rehearsals, she mentioned this incident to him, and he told her he remembered.

Woodward lived in Thomasville until she was in the second grade, when her family relocated to Marietta, Georgia, where she attended Marietta High School. She remains a booster of Marietta High School and of the city's Strand Theater.

They moved once again when she was a junior in high school after her parents divorced. She graduated from Greenville High School in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1947. Woodward won many beauty contests as a teenager.

She appeared in theatrical productions at Greenville High and in Greenville's Little Theatre, playing Laura Wingfield in the staging of The Glass Menagerie. (She returned to Greenville in 1976 to play Amanda Wingfield in another Little Theatre production of The Glass Menagerie. She also returned in 1955 for the première of Count Three And Pray, her debut movie, at the Paris Theatre on North Main Street.)

Woodward majored in drama at Louisiana State University, where she was an initiate of Chi Omega sorority, then headed to New York City to perform on the stage.

Documents declassified in 2017 show that the National Security Agency had created a biographical file on Woodward as part of its monitoring of prominent US citizens whose names appeared in Signals intelligence.


Early career

Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), displaying "Eve Black", the "bad girl" personality

Woodward managed to get roles on TV shows such as Tales of Tomorrow, Goodyear Playhouse, Danger, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, You Are There, The Web, The Ford Television Theatre, The Elgin Hour, Robert Montgomery Presents, Armstrong Circle Theatre, The Star and the Story, Omnibus, Star Tonight, and Ponds Theater.

In 1953-1954, she understudied in the New York production of Picnic, which featured her future husband Paul Newman.

Woodward's first film was a post-Civil War Western, Count Three and Pray (1955). Woodward was billed second.

She was signed to a long term contract by 20th Century Fox in January 1956.

Woodward guest starred on The 20th Century-Fox Hour, The United States Steel Hour, General Electric Theater, Four Star Playhouse, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Kraft Theatre, The Alcoa Hour, Studio One in Hollywood, and Climax!.

Woodward's second feature film was A Kiss Before Dying (1956) with Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter. These three actors were all under contract to Fox, and were loaned out to United Artists.

In 1956, Woodward returned to Broadway to star in The Lovers which only had a brief run (but was later filmed as The War Lord (1965)).

Film stardom

Woodward was given the lead role in her third feature, The Three Faces of Eve (1957). This was a commercial and critical success, and Woodward won the Best Actress Oscar.

Fox gave her top billing in No Down Payment (1957), directed by Martin Ritt and produced by Jerry Wald. Woodward returned to TV to do "The 80 Yard Run" for Playhouse 90.

Relationship with Paul Newman

Woodward starred in The Long, Hot Summer (1958) directed by Ritt and produced by Wald, based on a novel by William Faulkner. It co-starred Paul Newman, whom Woodward would go on to marry.

Fox promptly re-teamed Woodward and Newman on Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958), a comedy.

She was re-united with Ritt on another Faulkner adaptation, The Sound and the Fury (1959), with Yul Brynner.

Sidney Lumet cast Woodward alongside Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani in The Fugitive Kind (1960), a box office disappointment. More popular was a third film with Newman, From the Terrace (1960), which Woodward later admitted to having "affection" for "because of the way I looked like Lana Turner".

They then made Paris Blues (1961) with Ritt.

Woodward played the title role in The Stripper (1963) at Fox, the directorial debut of Franklin Schaffner.

She and Newman did a comedy for Paramount, A New Kind of Love (1963).

She later said: "Initially, I probably had a real movie-star dream. It faded somewhere in my mid-30s, when I realized I wasn't going to be that kind of actor. It was painful. Also, I curtailed my career because of my children. Quite a bit. I resented it at the time, which was not a good way to be around the children. Paul was away on location a lot. I wouldn't go on location because of the children. I did once, and felt overwhelmed with guilt."

They returned to Broadway in Baby Want a Kiss (1964), which ran for over a hundred performances.

Woodward went to MGM for Signpost to Murder (1964), a low-budget thriller. She was in two comedies: A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1965) with Henry Fonda, and A Fine Madness (1966) with Sean Connery.

Rachel, Rachel

Woodward's 1960s publicity photo

Newman directed, but did not appear with, Woodward in Rachel, Rachel (1968). It was Newman's directorial debut, and both he and Woodward earned Golden Globe Awards and Oscar nominations.

The two of them acted together in Winning (1969) and WUSA (1970).

Woodward teamed with George C. Scott in They Might Be Giants (1971). She did an adaptation of the play All the Way Home (1971) for TV.

Newman directed Woodward a second time in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972), which earned her another Golden Globe and Best Actress at Cannes.

She then starred in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973), written by Stewart Stern, for which she received an Oscar nomination.

She was to have co-starred with Robert Shaw in Strindberg's Dance of Death at Lincoln Center in 1974, but withdrew from the production during rehearsals. "New York puts a pressure on you that I don't react well to, with the critics and all that", she later said. "I like to act in a relaxed atmosphere."

Woodward supported Newman in The Drowning Pool (1975).

She received excellent reviews for Sybil (1976), with Sally Field, and was Marmee in a ballet version of Little Women (1976).

For TV, Woodward did Come Back, Little Sheba (1977) with Laurence Olivier, and See How She Runs (1978). The latter won her an Emmy.

Woodward supported Burt Reynolds in The End (1978), and did A Christmas to Remember (1979) on TV. The decade ended with The Streets of L.A. (1979). She also directed an episode of Family in 1979.


Woodward's credits in the 1980s included The Shadow Box (1980), directed by Newman, and Crisis at Central High (1981) for TV.

She returned to Broadway for Candida (1981–1982), a production directed by Michael Cristofer that was filmed in 1982.

She did Harry & Son (1984), directed by and co-starring Newman; and some TV movies, Passions (1984) and Do You Remember Love (1985).

She wrote the teleplay and directed a 1982 production of Shirley Jackson's story Come Along with Me, for which husband Newman provided the voice of the character Hughie under the screen name of P.L. Neuman.

For Newman, she starred in The Glass Menagerie (1987).


Newman and Woodward starred in Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990), garnering Woodward an Academy Award nomination. She did some TV movies, Foreign Affairs (1993) and Blind Spot (1993). Woodward was a co-producer of Blind Spot, a drama about drug addiction, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Mini-Series or a Movie.

She narrated The Age of Innocence (1993) and had a supporting role in Philadelphia (1993). She did Breathing Lessons (1995) for TV.

In 1995, Woodward directed off-Broadway revivals of Clifford Odets' Golden Boy and Waiting for Lefty at the Blue Light Theater Company in New York.

Later career

Woodward served as the artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse from 2001 to 2005.

She was executive producer of the 2003 television production of Our Town, featuring Newman as the stage manager (for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.) She and Newman also appeared in Empire Falls (2005) for TV.

She recorded a reading of singer John Mellencamp's song "The Real Life" for his box set On the Rural Route 7609.

She had the lead in Change in the Wind (2010).

In 2011, she narrated the Scholastic/Weston Woods film All the World.

Personal life

Woodward was reported to have been engaged to author Gore Vidal before she married Paul Newman. However, there was no real engagement: Woodward claimed it was a pretend relationship. Woodward shared a house with Vidal in Los Angeles for a short time, and they remained friends.

Woodward first met Newman in 1953. They later reconnected on the set of The Long, Hot Summer in 1957. Newman divorced his wife Jackie Witte, with whom he already had 3 children, and married Woodward on January 29, 1958, in Las Vegas. On March 28 of the same year, Woodward won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve. The couple remained married for 50 years until Newman's death from lung cancer on September 26, 2008.

Woodward's Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Woodward and Newman have three daughters: Elinor Teresa "Nell" (1959), Melissa Stewart (1961), who has two sons and Claire Olivia "Clea" (1965). In 2012 Clea started running the not-for-profit center Hole-in-the-Wall, started by her parents.

In 1988, Newman and Woodward established the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nonprofit residential summer camp, and year-round center named after the Wyoming mountain hideaway of the outlaws in Newman's film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The camp, located in Ashford, Connecticut provides services free of charge to 20,000 children and their families coping with cancer as well as other serious illnesses and conditions.

In 1990, Woodward graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, along with her daughter Clea. Newman delivered the commencement address, during which he said he dreamed that a woman had asked, "How dare you accept this invitation to give the commencement address when you are merely hanging on to the coattails of the accomplishments of your wife?"

Woodward, widowed since 2008, makes her home in Westport, Connecticut, where she and Newman raised their daughters. Woodward and Newman were one of the first "Hollywood star" power couples that decided to raise their children outside California.


In 1958, Woodward won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve. In 1960, she won the Silver Shell for Best Actress at the San Sebastián International Film Festival for her work on The Fugitive Kind . She was nominated for Best Actress in 1969 for Rachel, Rachel; in 1974 for Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams; and in 1991 for Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. She was named Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974 for her performance in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.

Woodward won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie: for See How She Runs (1978), as a divorced teacher who trains for a marathon; and in Do You Remember Love? (1985), as a professor who begins to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. She has been nominated an additional five times for her roles on television.

A popular (but untrue) bit of Hollywood lore is that Woodward was the first celebrity to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In fact, the original 1,550 stars were created and installed as a unit in 1960; no one star was officially "first". The first star actually completed was director Stanley Kramer's. The origin of this legend is not known with certainty, but according to Johnny Grant, the long-time Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, Woodward was the first celebrity to agree to pose with her star for photographers, and therefore was singled out in the collective public imagination as the first awardee.

In 1994, she and her husband were jointly presented the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 11 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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