{great love stories № 09 | paul newman & joanne woodward}

by joey bailey for {this is glamorous} | editing & image compilation by roséline | view previous articles


"It is a risk to love. What if it doesn't work out?
Ah, but what if it does?"

-- Peter McWilliams


Golden : adj \ˈgōl-dən\ radiantly youthful & vigorous; of a high degree of excellence.

Fifty years, for any marriage is an extraordinary feat -- but, a Hollywood marriage?Why, it’s an eternity! Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward were famously dubbed the golden couple of Hollywood, and a better description could not be given -- blissfully happy, wonderfully grounded, and a charmingly lovely great love story by any standard . . .


Paul Newman met the beautiful blonde, Joanne Woodward, in 1953 during his Broadway debut starring in the romantic drama, Picnic. Joanne, an understudy to the female lead, was instantly captivated Paul -- however, unfortunately for them both, Paul was already married.


Further to their shared love of Broadway, the pair had much in common: they were both members of Lee Strasberg’s prestigious Actors Studio, and after finalising the play, both took to Hollywood to take on the silver screen.


Despite not working together again for the next 4 years, they remained firm friends. Finally, in 1957, after Paul had divorced his first wife, they were cast opposite one another in the movie The Long, Hot Summer [trailer]. Passion immediately reignited, and an intimate love affair began. On January 29th, 1958 the pair married.



The marriage of Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward was not grand or ostentatious, but a lovely, quiet affair at the Hotel El Ranch Vegas, in Las Vegas, Nevada -- but it was nonetheless, very ‘them’. As a wedding gift to his beautiful new wife, Paul gifted Joanne a silver cup that he had inscribed with the words, "So you wound up with Apollo/ If he's sometimes hard to swallow/Use this." Following the intimate ceremony, the couple honeymooned at London’s Connaught Hotel before returning to the US to make their home in an 18th-century Connecticut farmhouse -- very atypical for a celebrity couple of the fifty’s.


When asked about their unique choice of residence, Joanne responded "We were never Hollywood people; we just liked it better here. It also probably helps that we always enjoyed each other's company."

"From the Terrace", 1960


Not only were they blissfully happy in their comfortable little abode in Westport, Connecticut, they also completely immersed themselves into the local community -- most prominently, restoring the Westport Country Playhouse [of which, Joanne remained the Artistic Director until 2009].


"Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat." --Joanne Woodward


Joanne described her marriage to Paul as, "Being married to the most considerate, romantic man".



Throughout their wonderful fifty-year marriage, Paul & Joanne starred in numerous films together, as well as Paul directing several films Joanne acted in. One of the secrets to the lasting relationship of this down-to-earth couple would have been the fact that they never ‘sugar-coated’ their weakness’ -- they openly admitted that working together, especially on The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the Moon Marigolds caused strain on their marriage. But their respect and adoration of each other pushed them to work through the tension and learn from their mistakes.



It was in January of 2008 that the steadfast couple celebrated their ‘golden’ 50th wedding anniversary. Still as happy as ever, Newman was set to direct a stage production at the Westport Country Playhouse, Of Mice and Men -- however, quite unfortunately had to withdraw in June of that year due to ‘health reasons’. It was tragically announced that Paul had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The hearts of fans the world over went out to this beautiful couple as the future looked bleak. The suffering did not last long -- Paul sadly passed away on September 26th, 2008 at the age of 83.


When asked the secret to their long & happy marriage, Paul attributed it to the "correct amounts of lust and respect." And ". . . because of great impatience tempered by patience. When you have been together this long, sometimes you drive each other nuts, but underneath that is some core of affection and respect."


When asked why he never was unfaithful to Joanne, Paul famously replied, "Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?"



Indeed, they were the golden couple of Hollywood -- but seemingly with a lot more sensibility and prudence then normally seen. Paul & Joanne were completely smitten with one another, but knew it would take more then that to create a long and happy marriage.


Sagacious, but wonderfully happy until the very end, this great love story is based on judicious principles which are a wonderful lesson to any romance -- celebrity or otherwise.


At their 1958 nuptials, The Art of Marriage was recited, and in itself, could quite possibly be the ultimate secret to their long and happy marriage. . .


In the Art of Marriage the little things are the important things.
It means never being too old to hold hands, or to say I love you.
It's never going to bed angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon.
Allow it to continue through the years.
It's having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It's standing together facing the world.
It's forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It's doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It's speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other and yet seeing each other perfect as you are.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It's having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It's giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It's not only marrying the right partner, it's being the right partner.




* great love stories № 01 : grace kelly & prince rainer III of monaco
* great love stories № 02 : nacho figueras & delfina blaquier
* great love stories № 03 : shah jahan & mumtaz mahal
* great love stories № 04 : elizabeth taylor & richard burton
* great love stories № 05 : prince william & kate middleton
* great love stories № 06 : audrey hepburn & robert wolders
* great love stories № 07 : napoleon bonaparte & maria walewska

* great love stories № 08 : john f. kennedy jr. & carolyn bessette

[images : rebecca mcwattie /// jake's rolex world /// give him hear and soul /// sheffield says... /// art skool damage /// irina makarenkova /// film detail /// Пол Ньюман /// yes, liza minnelli for beyonce please. /// a good man is hard to find /// quotes from marriage.about.com]

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Blogger Melissa said...

The amount of research into these posts is so impressive! I just love this series! Keep it up!

May 26, 2012  
Blogger lorenabr said...

The long hot Summer was great :) loved it! They were such a great couple! Lovely post as always! :)
Have a great Weekend!

May 26, 2012  
Anonymous Carla Coulson said...

What a wonderful marriage rarely seen in Hollywood lessons could be learnt. I had never read "The Art of Marriage" but every line is loaded with wisdom for any relationship!
Carla x
Love this series

May 26, 2012  
Blogger Absolutely Fabulous said...

this is so beautiful.....xoxo

May 26, 2012  
Blogger ashleyavd said...

Beautiful. Really loving this series - thank you!

May 26, 2012  
Blogger Georgina said...

I love this article - so well written and full of timeless relationship advice.

May 26, 2012  
Anonymous Rachel C said...

Can I just say I *love* this series? Every single love story is so romantic and inspiring. Thank you for sharing them! :)

May 26, 2012  
Blogger Elizabeth {Ms Classic Glamour} said...

Beautiful! We could all learn something from this amazing couple. They were such legends, but they seemed down to earth as well.

May 26, 2012  
Blogger Jill Seidner | Interior Design said...

What a great story - love this! Thanks for sharing!

May 26, 2012  
Blogger Audrey said...

What a great series!! love how you put them all so nice together and so well written. Oh my..especially that picture of him in that boat! Smashing!

May 27, 2012  
Blogger Megs said...

How wonderful! Thank you for posting this, I loved every bit of it!

May 27, 2012  
Blogger Margarita Bloom said...

Oh, goodness, how I adore this post!! I simply love Paul & Joanne. We'd all be so lucky to be able to find a love like that. Gosh, you could really see the love they had for each other when they looked at each other in these photos...le sigh...

May 27, 2012  
Blogger Helen said...

This love story is my favorite ♡
xo, Helen

May 27, 2012  
Blogger shyne said...

Great post! My favorite one of the series thus far.

May 27, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love these stories, but, this one is incredible. He was just too beautiful for words x

May 28, 2012  
Blogger Bostonista said...

I love your great love story posts. its a perfect series :)

I honestly didn't know much about their love story until read this- they were terribly glamorous!

Great job!


May 28, 2012  
Blogger Eleni said...

Beautiful story.. so inspiring and blissful. It's good to see that real love is not only lust and passion but admiration and patience and work. Thanks for sharing that =)

May 28, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time commenter :) Gotta say i love this piece!

May 29, 2012  
Anonymous mikky said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. You did a great job. It is nice to hear of a marriage that lasted and seemed so happy, it`s not often you see this so it is especially nice.


May 29, 2012  
Blogger B E T H A N Y said...

I just love love love this series. Keep them coming, please!

May 29, 2012  
Anonymous Kassel said...

I love reading these love stories! They are beautifully done and so inspiring!

May 29, 2012  
Anonymous camille @ the wild fleur said...

One of my favorite love stories. They were such a gorgeous couple!

xx camille @ the wild fleur

May 29, 2012  
Anonymous dana said...

I was waiting for you to do this spotlight! One of my favorite couples, and a true showing of everlasting love, celebrity or not!

May 29, 2012  
Anonymous Morgan said...

This is so gorgeous. The photos are great and you can really see the love. Such a beautiful couple, inside and out.

May 29, 2012  
Blogger Christina Andrioti said...

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this brilliance with us.

May 30, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My understanding is that Paul Newman had an affair with journalist Nancy Bacon during the filming of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, causing him to separate from Joanne for a bit. Thoughts?

May 31, 2012  
Blogger Amour-Love said...

evalawrie -- tragically, less then a year after Paul's death a book was released which speculated of an alleged affair with Nancy Bacon in the late 1960's. These allegations have never been confirmed or denied, & I find it so horrible for Joanne to have to defend the legacy of the man she quite obviously loved so dearly. It seems, no matter what era, the media will always look to stir trouble up in any happy famous marriage!

May 31, 2012  
Blogger Megan said...

Ever since we were little girls, my sister has been obsessed with Paul Newman. We watched all his movies on AMC and I've always been fascinated by his marriage to Joanne Woodward. It's lovely to see your post about the fabulous love story they shared.

June 18, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful couple!

July 24, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 17, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this very much and had wondered about Joanne Woodward and how she was doing. I am a fan of these two actors and was deeply saddened by Paul's death. Thanks for sharing!!

February 28, 2013  

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