inspiration

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

by

pn28

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

– Peter McWilliams


pn34

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 . . .

pn19

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.

pn25

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.

pn2

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.

pn16

pn31

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.

pn9

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.”

pn15
“From the Terrace”, 1960

pw41

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].

pn27

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


pn23

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

pn26

pw42

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.

pw40

pn6

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.

pn1

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.”

pn21

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

pn13

pn37

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.

pn17

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.

pn8

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. . .

pn30

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.

pn7

Joey

previously

* 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]

Contributor, Australia

Inspired by film noir, F. Scott Fitzgerald novels & the thought of a summer spent in Paris, this high tea connoisseur enjoys photography & designing & making her own clothes. Joey has been buying fashion, wedding & interior design magazines since a wonderfully young age, and would spend hours browsing through their glossy pages making ‘inspirational’ scrapbooks. Never spotted without high heels, a sketchpad, a pop of pink lipstick & a strong coffee— Joey adores great love stories, chandeliers, crème brûlée, the French countryside & sequins & sparkles & her long time sweetheart— the love of her life whose kisses still give her butterflies …
wwwemail

31 Notes
  • 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!!

  • Anonymous said...

    lovely!

  • Anonymous said...

    What a beautiful couple!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this brilliance with us.

  • Morgan said...

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

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

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

    xx camille @ the wild fleur

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

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

  • 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.

    :)
    mikky

  • Anonymous said...

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

  • 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 =)

  • 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!

    xo

  • Anonymous said...

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

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

  • This love story is my favorite ♡
    xo, Helen

  • 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…

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

  • 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!

  • What a great story – love this! Thanks for sharing!

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

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

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

  • Beautiful. Really loving this series – thank you!

  • this is so beautiful…..xoxo

  • 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

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

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

Comments are closed.

  • Thank you for stopping in to say hello — it's lovely to hear from you!
    Just a few things:

    Comments are moderated for spam. Please be certain to include your website url in the space provided, and not in the body of your comment. xo