For 50 years, Paul Newman and his second wife, Joanne Woodward, set a precedent in Hollywood as one of the longest-running power couples. The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof actor was married twice during his illustrious career as a film star, entrepreneur and race car driver. Keep scrolling to learn more about his marriages to Joanne and his first wife, Jackie Witte.  

Who Was Paul Newman’s First Wife, Jackie Witte? 

Paul married his first wife, Jackie, in 1949 after he returned home from serving in the Navy during World War II. The aspiring actress was in college at the time of their union. The pair welcomed three children together: ​​Scott Newman, Susan Kendall Newman and Stephanie Newman.

Paul and Jackie raised their family in Staten Island, New York, as he got his feet off the ground in the acting world. In 1953, he met Joanne for the first time while costarring in the Broadway play Picnic. At the time, Jackie took a step back from acting to focus on raising their children at home. 

Paul and Joanne worked together again in 1957’s The Long, Hot Summer. The Ohio native divorced his first wife the following year after falling in love with his costar. He married the Emmy winner in 1958 and moved their family to Connecticut to raise the kids out of the spotlight. 

Scott died in 1978 at the age of 28 from a drug overdose. The Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid actor reflected on his son’s passing as well as the demise of his first marriage in his posthumous memoir, Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man, released in October 2022. 

“I kept thinking he was going through a phase of adolescent bad judgment,” he said about losing his eldest child. “I never thought it would be fatal.”

Who Is Paul Newman’s Second Wife, Joanne Woodward?

Prior to marrying Paul in 1958, Joanne had already appeared in dozens of television shows, including Omnibus, Four Star Playhouse and Studio One. In 1957, the Georgia native starred in The Three Faces of Eve, earning the Academy Award for Best Actress. In the decades that followed, she landed roles in critically acclaimed films like Rachel, RachelSummer Wishes, Winter Dreams and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge

Paul Newman Wives: Jackie Witte, Joanne Woodward Marriages

Joanne and her beloved welcomed three children during their marriage: Nell Newman, Melissa Newman and Clea Newman. All three of their kids have been very candid about what it was like growing up with famous parents who were together for five decades. 

“There is this fairytale of my parents’ perfect marriage,” Melissa told Closer in October 2022. She maintained that their relationship wasn’t “all ice cream and cake,” and was sometimes saddled with a “vibe of tension in the house that would sort of come and go.”

Despite facing their challenges as a couple, both of the film icons shared a “desire to fight for their relationship.” Paul and Joanne were married up until his death in September 2008 from lung cancer at the age of 83. 

“They were so old-fashioned together. He always opened doors for her, and they held hands all the time,” Clea told Closer of her parents in February 2022. “They were passionately in love. They respected each other and laughed more than any other couple I’ve known.”

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