Joanne Woodward

Actor, Director, Producer
As half of perhaps one of the most successful husband and wife teams in Hollywood history, actress Joanne Woodward was widely acclaimed for her performances on stage and screen, oftentimes alongside husband Paul Newman ... Read more »
Born: 02/26/1930 in Thomasville, Georgia, USA


Actor (89)

Lucky Them 2014 (Movie)

Doris (Voice)

Keepers of Eden 2006 (Movie)


Empire Falls 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)


Inside the Actors Studio 2003 (Tv Show)


The Education of Gore Vidal 2002 (Movie)

Reader (Actor)

Pale Male 2001 (Movie)

Voice Over (Voice)

Robert Wagner: Hollywood's Prince Charming 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


The Kennedy Center Honors 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


A Renaissance Revisited 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Gore Vidal's Gore Vidal 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Paul Newman: Hollywood's Charming Rebel 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Philadelphia 1993 (Movie)

Sarah Beckett (Actor)

The Age of Innocence 1993 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

What Is This Thing Called Love? 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


Face to Face With Connie Chung (11/22/90) 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)


Mr. & Mrs. Bridge 1990 (Movie)

India Bridge (Actor)

Carmen 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


Dialogues of the Carmelites 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


Georgia O'Keeffe 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


The Glass Menagerie 1987 (Movie)

Amanda Wingfield (Actor)

The Joan Sutherland Anniversary Gala 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


Le Nozze di Figaro 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


The Long Night of Lady Day 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


Unknown Chaplin 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


Passions 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


Harry & Son 1984 (Movie)

Lilly (Actor)

Candida 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


The Streets of L.A. 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)


Come Back, Little Sheba 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)


The End 1978 (Movie)

Jessica (Actor)

Little Women 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)


The John Denver Special 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)


The Drowning Pool 1974 (Movie)

Iris Devereaux (Actor)

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams 1973 (Movie)

Rita (Actor)

All the Way Home 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)


They Might Be Giants 1971 (Movie)

Watson (Actor)

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis 1970 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Wusa 1970 (Movie)

Geraldine (Actor)

Winning 1969 (Movie)

Elora (Actor)

Rachel, Rachel 1968 (Movie)

Rachel Cameron (Actor)

A Big Hand For the Little Lady 1966 (Movie)

Mary (Actor)

A Fine Madness 1965 (Movie)

Rhoda Shillitoe (Actor)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955 - 1965 (TV Show)


Signpost to Murder 1965 (Movie)

Molly Thomas (Actor)

The Stripper 1963 (Movie)

Lila Green (Actor)

A New Kind of Love 1962 (Movie)

Samantha Blake (Actor)

Paris Blues 1961 (Movie)

Lillian Corning (Actor)

From the Terrace 1960 (Movie)

Mary St John (Actor)

Playhouse 90 1956 - 1960 (TV Show)


The Fugitive Kind 1960 (Movie)

Carol Cutrere (Actor)

The Sound and the Fury 1959 (Movie)

Quentin (Actor)

Rally Round the Flag, Boys! 1958 (Movie)

Grace Bannerman (Actor)

Studio One 1948 - 1958 (TV Show)


The Long, Hot Summer 1958 (Movie)

Clara Varner (Actor)

Four Star Playhouse 1952 - 1957 (TV Show)


No Down Payment 1957 (Movie)

Leola Boone (Actor)

The Alcoa Hour 1955 - 1957 (TV Show)


The Three Faces of Eve 1957 (Movie)

Eve (Actor)

A Kiss Before Dying 1956 (Movie)

Dorothy Kingship (Actor)

Count Three and Pray 1955 (Movie)

Lissy (Actor)

A Christmas to Remember (TV Show)


A Thousand Cranes (Movie)


Blind Spot (TV Show)


Breathing Lessons (TV Show)


Crisis at Central High (TV Show)


Die Fledermaus (TV Show)


Do You Remember Love (TV Show)


Foreign Affairs (TV Show)


Kraft Television Theater (TV Show)


Lohengrin (TV Show)


See How She Runs (TV Show)


Sybil (TV Show)


The John Garfield Story (TV Show)


The Shadow Box (TV Show)


The Web (TV Show)


Turandot (TV Show)

Producer (3)

Lucky Them 2014 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Shepard & Dark 2013 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Our Town (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Director (1)

Come Along With Me (TV Show)



As half of perhaps one of the most successful husband and wife teams in Hollywood history, actress Joanne Woodward was widely acclaimed for her performances on stage and screen, oftentimes alongside husband Paul Newman. Married for 50 years, the couple eschewed a typical Hollywood lifestyle in favor of a quiet life in Westport CT, where they raised a family and excelled in philanthropic causes, all the while delivering some of the most memorable and critically lauded performances in cinematic history. After earning her stripes in the theater, Woodward quickly made a name for herself in feature films in the 1950s, culminating in an Academy Award for "The Three Faces of Eve" (1957). Though in 1960 she became the first-ever performer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Woodward had a palpable abhorrence to actually being a star; a determination that drove her to excel as a performer first instead of relying solely on her striking appearance. By the late-1970s, she was largely removed from the feature world in order to concentrate on television - a medium that allowed her to seemingly earn numerous Emmy award nominations. When the new millennium arrived, Woodward was semi-retired from screen work; instead concentrating on directing regional theater across the northeast, further demonstrating her willful defiance of all things Hollywood.

Born on Feb. 27, 1930 Thomasville, GA, Woodward was raised by her father, Wade, a former state educator who later became vice president of publisher Charles Scribner's Sons, and her mother, Elinor. When she was in the second grade, her family moved around to Blakeley and Marietta, then later to Greenville, SC after her parents divorced. As a teenager, Woodward won several beauty contests and acted in productions at Greenville High School. After attending Louisiana State University for two years, where she majored in acting, Woodward became a member of Greenville's Little Theatre, where she won the theater's version of an Oscar for her performance as Laura Winfield in "The Glass Menagerie." She eventually moved to New York to study with Sandford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and at the Actors Studio. Following her television debut in an episode of "Robert Montgomery Presents" (NBC, 1950-57), Woodward performed on early TV anthologies like "Kraft Television Theater," "The Alcoa Hour," "Four Star Playhouse" and "Studio One."

In 1953, while waiting to read for her agent, Maynard Morris, she met actor Paul Newman, also a client of Morris. Both were later cast in a production of William Inge's "Picnic" on Broadway, where the two became romantically entranced with one another, even though, at the time, Newman was married to actress Jacqueline Witte, with whom he had three children. Meanwhile, Woodward made her feature debut in "Count Three and Pray" (1955), an off-beat post-Civil War Western about a former Union soldier-turned-preacher (Van Heflin) who tries to start anew in his Southern hometown, only to run afoul with the townsfolk, thanks to a seemingly inappropriate relationship with a saucy teenager (Woodward). She next gave a sympathetic performance in "A Kiss Before Dying" (1956), playing the naïve, but rich girlfriend of a poor, but ambitious boy (Robert Wagner) who is killed by his own hand after he learns he will not be accepted by her wealthy family. After playing a spurned wife whose husband (Cameron Mitchell) does not want children in the ensemble drama, "No Down Payment" (1957), she gave a riveting and complex performance as a young Georgia housewife suffering from multiple personality disorder in "The Three Faces of Eve" (1957). Woodward won the Academy Award for Best Actress - her only win in four nominations, and Newman was there to proudly cheer her on.

Following her Oscar win, Woodward and Newman - who had finally gotten a divorce from Witte, which stirred public controversy - were finally married in 1958 after having lived together for several years. Meanwhile, Woodward spent the next decade specializing in playing frustrated, emotionally wrought characters in critically lauded films - many of which she starred in alongside her husband, like "The Long Hot Summer" (1958), "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!" (1958), and "Paris Blues" (1961), in which she played an American tourist in Paris who falls for a trombone player (Newman). She gave a compelling comic performance opposite Newman in "A New Kind of Love" (1963), then landed a difficult part originally planned for Marilyn Monroe in "The Stripper" (1963), playing an aspiring actress forced to make difficult choices to make ends meet, only to see her once-promising life reach the precipice of a steep decline. Following supporting roles in lighter fare like "A Big Hand for the Little Lady" (1966) and "A Fine Madness" (1966), Woodward received widespread acclaim and a second Best Actress Academy Award nomination playing a spinster trying to change her introverted ways in "Rachel, Rachel" (1968), the first directorial outing for Newman.

By the 1970s, Woodward had made a return to frequenting the small screen, while taking fewer feature roles as the decade wore on. In fact, since her appearance in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of "All the Way Home" (NBC, 1971), Woodward found more rewarding roles in drama specials and made-for-television movies than on the silver screen. After playing Dr. Watson to George C. Scott's mentally ill judge who thinks he is Sherlock Holmes in the whimsical "They Might Be Giants" (1971), Woodward earned her third Academy Award nomination for playing the bored, neurotic wife of an eye doctor (Martin Balsam) looking to find some meaning to their trivial lives in "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" (1973). Following another turn alongside her husband as the wife of a wealthy oilman who hires private eye Lew Harper (Newman) in "The Drowning Pool" (1975), Woodward earned her first Emmy nomination for playing a compassionate psychiatrist trying to help a woman (Sally Field) with 16 personalities in "Sybil" (NBC, 1976). Also that year, Woodward returned to Greenville's Little Theatre to play the overbearing mother, Amanda Wingfield, in "The Glass Menagerie."

Beginning in the mid-1970s, Woodward enjoyed a secondary career as a director, although most of her work was for the stage. Ultimately, she became the artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT, where she and Newman resided. Meanwhile, back on the small screen, she won her first Emmy for her performance in "See How She Runs" (CBS, 1978), in which she played a wife and mother who, after devoting her life to her family and others, decides to run the Boston Marathon as an obsessive means of self-expression. For "Crisis at Central High" (CBS, 1981), Woodward received a third Emmy nod for her portrayal of teacher Elizabeth Hucksby, who bore witness to the integration of Central High School in 1957. After being directed once again by Newman in the feature "Harry & Son" (1984), she won her second Emmy Award for her performance in "Do You Remember Love" (CBS, 1985), in which she played a vibrant and brilliant college professor stricken by Alzheimer's in the prime of her life - a performance that was perhaps inspired by Woodward's mother, who suffered from the degenerative disease for years.

As time wore on, Woodward became much choosier with the roles she played, though oftentimes she was rewarded for her particular efforts. Directed by Newman once again, she reprised Amanda Wingfield for her husband's touching feature rendition of "The Glass Menagerie" (1987), then earned her fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance in the Merchant Ivory production, "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" (1990), which capitalized on the long-married couple's legendary standing in a sensitive study of emotional sterility. Returning to the stage, she performed in a production of Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" (1991) in Woodstock, NY, then earned yet another Emmy nomination for playing a tough Congresswoman who tries to keep her family together after the death of her son-in-law and her own daughter's addiction to cocaine in "Blind Spot" (CBS, 1993). She had a small part as the mother of an AIDS-inflicted lawyer (Tom Hanks) fighting for justice while dying in "Philadelphia" (1993). That same year, director Martin Scorsese used her rich, clear voice to fine effect at the narrator for his period romantic drama, "The Age of Innocence" (1993).

In "Foreign Affairs" (TNT, 1993), she was a college professor who strikes up an unlikely romance on a plane to England with a coarse and vulgar engineer from Oklahoma (Brian Dennehy), which she followed with "Breathing Lessons" (CBS, 1994), an adaptation of Anne Tyler's 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a married couple (Woodward and James Garner) who review their lives and renew their love while taking a cross-country road trip to a friend's funeral. Woodward earned a nod for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special - her eighth Emmy Award nomination. Next, Woodward narrated "My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports" (1995), a documentary that focused on rescue missions conducted between December 1938 and August 1939 that saved almost 10,000 Jewish and other children from the fate of the Nazi concentration camps. By the mid-1990s, Woodward began focusing exclusively on her stage career, starring in "Arsenic and Old Lace" (1995) at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT and directing an off-Broadway production of Clifford Odets' "Golden Boy" (1995) at the Blue Light Theater Company. She continued directing theater, staging Odets' "Waiting for Lefty" (1997) with Marisa Tomei, and "LaRonde" (1997) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

In 1999, Woodward accepted the position as co-chair of the artistic advisory council of the Westport Country Playhouse. The following year, she convinced her husband to join her for a one-week run in A.R. Gurney's play "Ancestral Voices" (2000). In addition to her theater work, Woodward and Newman spent much of their time espousing liberal causes and fund-raising for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp and year-round facility for children with life-threatening illnesses. Among their many accolades, the pair jointly received lifetime achievement awards from the Screen Actors Guild in 1985 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1992. Meanwhile, after appearing as herself in "The Education of Gore Vidal" (2003), a retrospective on the life and career of the famed author and political critic, with whom she was briefly engaged prior to meeting Newman, Woodward co-starred in HBO's award-winning miniseries, "Empire Falls" (2005). She played a domineering town matriarch and owner of the Empire Grill, a local diner run by a middle-aged man (Ed Harris) down on his luck after his wife (Helen Hunt) divorces him. Woodward was nominated for both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe. While remaining intensely private about her personal life, particularly with Newman, it became rumored in 2007 that her husband was suffering from cancer. Then on Sept. 26, 2008, Woodward lost Newman to the ravages of lung cancer. They were married for 50 years - an unheard of feat for a so-called Hollywood couple.


Paul Newman Actor

Met during Broadway run of "Picnic" (1953), in which he starred and she was an understudy Married Jan. 28, 1958 until his death Sept. 26, 2008 Starred in many films together, such as "The Long, Hot Summer" (1958), "Winning" (1969), and "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" (1990); he directed her in "Rachel, Rachel" (1968)

Paul Newman

met in 1953 when Woodward was an understudy in the Broadway production of "Picnic" and Newman was co-starring in play married on January 28, 1958 collaborated together on several film and TV projects

Claire Newman

born in 1965

Elinor Newman

born on April 8, 1959 launched organic division of father's company Newman's Own in 1993

Melissa Newman

born in September 1961 Woodward's character in her film debut was called 'Lissy' married to Raphael Elkind gave birth to Woodward's first grandchild, Peter, in May 1996

Wade Woodward

later became VP of Charles Scribner's Sons divorced from Woodward's mother when Woodward was a child

Elinor Woodward

divorced from Woodward's father when Woodward was a child afflicted with Alzheimer's disease


The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

New York , New York
studied with Sanford Meisner

Actors Studio

New York , New York

Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute


Directing Workshop for Women, American Film Institute

Los Angeles , California

Sarah Lawrence College

Bronxville , New York
attended over a near 20-year period in pursuit of a bachelors degree

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge , Louisiana 1947 - 1949



Earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her role in "Empire Falls," the HBO adaptation of Richard Russo's novel


Became artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse


Appeared on stage with Paul Newman at the Westport Country Playhouse in A R Gurney's "Ancestral Voices" for one-week run


Starred in one-night only staged reading of "Arsenic and Old Lace", the first in a series of play readings produced by Alec Baldwin (November)


Appointed as co-chair of the artistic advisory council of the Westport Country Playhouse


Staged Clifford Odets' play "Waiting for Lefty" at the Blue Light Theater Company; production featured Marisa Tomei and Greg Naughton


Directed "La Ronde" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival


Had lead role in a summer theater production of "Hay Fever" in the Berkshires


Starred in "Arsenic and Old Lace" at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut


Directed Off-Broadway production of "Golden Boy" by Clifford Odets the debut offering of the Blue Light Theater Company


Narrated the documentary "My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports"; premiered at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival


Earned yet another Emmy Award nomination starring opposite James Garner as a bickering married couple in "Breathing Lessons", a CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production based on Anne Tyler's award-winning novel; last TV acting role to date


Last film role to date, as Tom Hanks' mother in "Philadelphia"


Starred opposite Brian Dennehy in the TNT adaptation of Alison Lurie's novel "Foreign Affairs"


Served as narrator for Martin Scorsese's sumptuous film adaptation of "The Age of Innocence"


Co-produced and starred in "Blind Spot", a CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation; played a US congresswoman whose life is upended when she learns her daughter is addicted to cocaine; received Emmy nomination


Acted on stage in "Ghosts" at Woodstock, New York


Garnered fourth Best Actress Oscar nomination in teh Merchant Ivory production of "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge"; starred opposite Newman


Co-produced the PBS "American Masters" presentation, "Broadway Dreamers: The Legacy of the Group Theater"; also served as host; program won 1990 Emmy Award as Outstanding Informational Special


Portrayed Amanda Wingfield in Newman-directed remake of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie"


Served as host for the PBS series "American Masters"


Hosted "Live at the Met" on PBS


Picked up second Emmy Award as a woman stricken with Alzheimer's disease in "Do You Remember Love" (CBS)


Made cameo appearance in "Harry & Son", written, produced and directed by Paul Newman, who also co-starred


Returned to Broadway as star of revival of George Bernard Shaw's "Candida"; production recreated for The Entertainment Channel and aired in 1983


Wrote and directed "Come Along With Me", based on an unfinished novel by Shirley Jackson; aired on PBS' "American Playhouse"


Garnered Emmy nomination as an Arkansas teacher in the fact-based CBS drama about the 1957 integration of Central High School in Little Rock in the TV-movie "Crisis at Central High"


Cast as the ex-wife of a bisexual dying of cancer in the ABC TV adaptation of Michael Cristofer's Pulitzer-winning "The Shadow Box", directed by Paul Newman


Won Emmy Award for performance as a middle-aged housewife who decides to comepete in the Boston Marathon in "See How She Runs" (CBS)


Starred in TV remake of "Come Back, Little Sheba" (NBC)


Received Emmy nomination for role as a compassionate psychatrist treating a woman with 16 personalities in "Sybil" (NBC), co-starring Sally Field


Picked up third Best Actress Academy Award nomination for "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams"


Directed by Newman in the film version of the Pulitzer-winning "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds"


Cast as a female Dr. Watson treating a man (George C Scott) convinced he is Sherlock Holmes in "They Might Be Giants"; Newman served as a producer


Returned to TV after more than a decade in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of "All the Way Home" (NBC)


First directed by husband Paul Newman in a film, "Rachel, Rachel"; earned Best Actress Oscar nomination


Starred opposite Sean Connery as his supportive waitress wife in the satirical "A Fine Madness"


Played the wife of a card sharp who replaces him in a poker game in the comic Western "A Big Hand for the Little Lady"


Returned to Broadway in "Baby Want a Kiss"


Had title role in "The Stripper"


Co-starred with Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani in "The Fugitive Kind", a film version of Tennessee Williams' "Orpheus Descending"


First of 10 films (to date) in which she acted alongside Paul Newman, "The Long Hot Summer"; also appeared together in "Rally Round the Flag, Boys!"


Won Best Actress Oscar for performance as a a woman with multiple personalities in "The Three Faces of Eve"


Had role as a murder victim in the noirish "A Kiss Before Dying"


Screen acting debut in "Count Three and Pray"


Broadway debut as understudy to Kim Stanley and Janice Rule in "Picnic"; met Paul Newman who was in cast


TV debut in "Penny" an episode of "Robert Montgomery Presents" (NBC)

Professional acting debut with a community theater in Greenville, South Carolina

TV directorial debut with an episode of the ABC drama series "Family"

Appeared frequently on many of the TV anthology series of the 1950s including "Studio One", "Ford Television Theatre" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"

Bonus Trivia


"Actors and writers need to come back to the theater because it's a place where you can learn. You have to pay your dues; and people who haven't paid their dues in the theater, I think, have a hard time creating a whole career." --Joanne Woodward quoted at, June 22, 2000.


"There aren't a lot of movies for people our age, and I was never terribly enamored of making movies -- mainly because I like to work on stage. I didn't make a lot of movies. Maybe 12 [Editor's note: actually 26]. I'm very happy doing what I'm doing now: I like to direct and act occasionally on stage. Once in a while, I do television. It's more likely that somebody my age can find a part in television." --Woodward to, June 22, 2000.


She became the chairman of board and financial backer for "Dancers", a Manhattan-based dance company in the mid-1970s.


Received the American Jewish Committee's William J. German Human Relations Award.