Monday, 8 December 2014

4. Joanne Woodward

"Her loyalty and her unpredictability. Joanne can be one person before lunch, and completely different after lunch"
-Paul Newman

The southern girl famous for playing troubled young women and for being part of one of the most successful marriages in film history, Joanne Woodward appeared to be destined to become an actress. As a little girl who loved the movies her mother took her to the premiere of Gone With the Wind, whilst watching the parade nine year old Joanne ran over and sat in Laurence Olivier's lap!

Passionate, beautiful and dedicated Joanne started her acting career on the stage. In 1953 she met young actor Paul Newman, a friendship began which was kindled into romance whilst filming The Long Hot Summer (1958). Joanne won the 1957 academy award for best actress for The Three Faces of Eve. Her performance as a young woman with multiple personality disorder was a brilliant example of her acting talents. Her performance is raw, truthful and haunting. She and Paul were married in 1958 and motherhood soon followed. Still Joanne continued acting in a vast array of roles, showing her versatility as an actress. She and Paul starred in ten films together and she also starred in five more directed/produced by him, including the critically acclaimed, Rachel, Rachel. Joanne also starred with some of the most popular actors of the day, including, Marlon Brando, Yul Byrnner, Robert Wagner and Henry Fonda. Today Joanne is the director of the Westport County Playhouse.

Today Joanne is most recognised as being the wife of Paul Newman for over fifty years until his death in 2008, a lasting marriage, something of a rarity in Hollywood. However Joanne's talent as an actress should not be forgotten. She and Paul founded 'The Hole in the Wall Gang' camps for sick children, and she continues her husbands charitable projects and legacy. Also like her husband she has tried her hand at producing, directing and writing. Joanne was never one to become caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle, always interested in pursuing other interests, Joanne had made her own Oscar dress the night she won for Three Faces of Eve.

Humorous, compassionate, skilled and honest Joanne remains one of the greatest and most versatile actresses. Her ability to be anything from the girl next door, a seductress, wife, mother, tormented to full of life make her filmography surprising and enjoyable. Her dedication to her profession and her family and her daring film roles make Joanne a fascinating lady.

"Sexiness wears thin after awhile 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

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