Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s 50-year Hollywood romance and film careers to be focus of new doc

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Theirs was a Hollywood romance for the record books, and now an esteemed actor will tell their story. 

Training Day actor Ethan Hawke is attached as director on a new documentary following the lives and careers of tinseltown legends Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who were married from 1958 until Newman’s death at 83 in 2008.

As Deadline reports, the project has been authorized by Woodward, 90, and the family. 

Looking back: Ethan Hawke is attached as director on a new documentary following the lives and careers of tinseltown legends Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward; seen here circa 1965

Looking back: Ethan Hawke is attached as director on a new documentary following the lives and careers of tinseltown legends Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward; seen here circa 1965

Hawke, 49, said in a statement that he intends to give viewers a ‘rare and exclusive look at the careers of both actors and a complex 50-year relationship that ultimately managed to beat incredible odds.’ 

Newman and Woodward remain among the few Hollywood couplings to remain intact for the long term, after meeting as neophytes in 1950s New York City where they performed together on the Broadway stage.

They would go on to star in multiple films together, including The Long, Hot Summer, Paris Blues and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, each nabbing a Best Actor/Actress Oscar along the way.

Auteur: Hawke said in a statement that he intends to give viewers a 'rare and exclusive look at the careers of both actors and a complex 50-year relationship'; seen here in May 2019

Auteur: Hawke said in a statement that he intends to give viewers a ‘rare and exclusive look at the careers of both actors and a complex 50-year relationship’; seen here in May 2019

Newman also directed his wife in several features, including 1968’s Oscar-nominated Rachel, Rachel. 

The pair also had three daughters – Nell, Claire and Melissa.

Perhaps the secret to their successful union was their decision to reside and raise their kids in Connecticut as opposed to Los Angeles, even as they maintained busy careers as in-demand Hollywood actors.

Paul was also famously involved in politics as well as charity work, leaving behind the world famous food brand Newman’s Own, which donates all of its after-tax profits to charity. 

Hollywood royalty: Newman and Woodward starred in multiple films together, including The Long, Hot Summer and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, each nabbing an Oscar along the way; seen in 1958

Hollywood royalty: Newman and Woodward starred in multiple films together, including The Long, Hot Summer and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, each nabbing an Oscar along the way; seen in 1958

Beating the odds: The pair were married from 1958 until Newman's death at 83 in 2008, and had three daughters; seen here in 2004

Beating the odds: The pair were married from 1958 until Newman’s death at 83 in 2008, and had three daughters; seen here in 2004

It was Paul Newman who famously once told a reporter, ‘Why go out for burgers when you’ve got steak at home?’ when asked if he was ever tempted to pursue other romances outside of his union with Joanne.

Before his marriage to Woodward, the Cat On A Hot Tin Roof actor was wed to Jackie Witte, with whom he also had three children – including his only son, actor and stuntman Scott Newman, who died at the age of 28 in 1978.

The upcoming documentary will be produced by Emily Wachtel and Lisa Long Adler of Nook House Productions and Adam Gibbs, along with Hawke’s wife, Ryan Hawke of Under the Influence Productions. 

Coworkers and partners: Newman and Woodward seen here in From The Terrace, directed by Mark Robson, 1960

Coworkers and partners: Newman and Woodward seen here in From The Terrace, directed by Mark Robson, 1960

Paul once told a reporter: 'Why go out for burgers when you've got steak at home?' when asked if he was ever tempted to pursue other romances; seen here with Joanne circa 1963

Paul once told a reporter: ‘Why go out for burgers when you’ve got steak at home?’ when asked if he was ever tempted to pursue other romances; seen here with Joanne circa 1963

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