PAUL AND JOANNE: A Biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward by Joe & Edward Z. Epstein Morella

PAUL AND JOANNE: A Biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Email this review


Sympathetic, never invasive biography of the private lives and careers of the Newmans. While maintaining a consistently interesting and entertaining dual biography, Morella and Epstein decide not to print one speck of dirt about prickly Paul and loyal Joanne in their nearly 30-year marriage. The Newmans spend much time separated by their projects but ""rumored infidelities, plus lots of insinuation"" are the dishes of wishful thinkers, and Morella and Epstein name no extramarital affairs. The worst that comes to light regarding their private lives are verbal battles (which they consider healthy and always smooth over); Paul's giving up the hard stuff in midcareer and sticking to Coors and Budweiser; the drug problems of some of their six children and son Scott's fatal overdose; Paul's jousting with the press, especially The New York Post; and his deep commitment to the dangerous sport of auto racing (which Joanne has not tried to get him to abandon). Meanwhile, the authors follow the growth of the couple's artistic natures from project to project--with every film, play, and TV drama accounted for and discussed--Paul's long wait for an Oscar to balance Joanne's early one, their politicking, his personal investment in his salad-oil/popcorn/spaghetti-sauce empire (100% of whose very big earnings are turned over to small, handpicked charities), and his ties with the Actors Studio, of which he is president. His work as a director is measured and admired as is Woodward's multi-award-winning stage and TV career. She thinks Paul the best director she's ever had, and he thinks she's one socko thespian. The light touch but solid and winning.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1988
Publisher: Delacorte