Joanne Woodward's Life in Photos

Woodward — who turns 91 on Feb. 27, 2022 — has won Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe Awards, and her marriage to the late Paul Newman is the epitome of Hollywood romance. Here, we look back at her incredible life in photos 

01 of 28

1950s: Joanne Woodward's Hollywood Career Begins

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Joanne Woodward began her career in 1952, with a role on an episode of Robert Montgomery Presents. She would go on to appear on other TV dramas like Tales of Tomorrow, Danger, The Star and the Story and more.

02 of 28

1955: Joanne Woodward Meets Paul Newman

Paul Newman And Joanne Woodward
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In 1953, Woodward met actor Paul Newman while she was serving as an understudy in the play Picnic. Newman, who was making his Broadway debut in the play, was married at the time to Jackie Witte. Woodward said of their first encounter in her agent's office that her future husband "looked like an ad for an ice cream soda," but it wasn't love at first sight. She said after seeing his "big blue eyes" and "lots of curly hair," she thought, "Ugh, how disgusting!"

In 1957, the pair reunited on the set of The Long, Hot Summer, Newman divorced his wife, and their offscreen romance began.

03 of 28

1957: Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve

Joanne Woodward In 'The Three Faces Of Eve'
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

In 1957, Woodward's star began to really rise when she starred in The Three Faces of Eve, playing a woman with dissociative identity disorder. For the role, Woodward played three characters — Eve White, Eve Black and Jane.

04 of 28

1958: Joanne Woodward Marries Paul Newman

Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman on Their Wedding Day
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman on their wedding day in 1958. Getty Images

In 1958, Newman and Woodward married in Las Vegas.

Woodward said of their union on TODAY, "Somebody once said, 'What is your relationship based on?' and I said, "He's very good-looking and very sexy and all of those things, but all that goes out the window and what finally is left is if you can make somebody laugh, then that's very important. And he sure does keep me laughing."

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1958: Joanne Woodward Wins the Academy Award for Best Actress

Joanne Woodward
Getty Images

Just two months after their wedding, Woodward took home the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Three Faces of Eve.

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1958: Working with Paul Newman

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
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The couple would go on to collaborate many times over the course of their careers, whether it was starring together on camera or with Newman directing Woodward.

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1960: Joanne Woodward in From the Terrace

Joanne Woodward In 'From The Terrace'
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In 1960, Joanne Woodward starred alongside her husband for the third time in From the Terrace. The pair would collaborate again the following year in Paris Blues.

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In 1963: Joanne Woodward with Paul Newman

Paul Newman; Joanne Woodward
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Newman once famously said of their union — which spanned five decades until his death in 2008 —"I have steak at home. Why should I go out for hamburger?"

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1963: Joanne Woodward Leaves Her Mark on Hollywood

Joanne Woodward
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In 1963, Newman gave his wife a hand as she cemented herself in Hollywood history outside of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

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1963: Joanne Woodward Stars in The Stripper

Joanne Woodward
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

That same year, she starred as actress-turned-burlesque dancer Lila Green in The Stripper.

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1968: Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman and Their Daughters Attend the 2001: A Space Odyssey Premiere

Paul Newman, Susan Newman, Nell Newman and Joanne Woodward
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Woodward and Newman share three daughters. They welcomed Elinor "Nell" in 1959, Melissa "Lissy" in 1961 (on the day her parents' film, Paris Blues, premiered!) and Claire "Clea" in 1965.

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1969: Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman are Both Nominated for an Oscar

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward 
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In 1969, Woodward and Newman made history as one of the few couples to be nominated for Academy Awards in the same year. The power couple was nominated in 1969 for their respective work on Rachel, Rachel. Woodward was nominated for Best Actress, while her husband was nominated as the producer and director for Best Picture. She didn't take home the Oscar, but she did win a Golden Globe for her performance.

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1970s: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward Out in New York City

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
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Couples who work together, stay together — or at least that was the case for Newman and Woodward. In 1964, they starred alongside each other in Baby Want a Kiss. The '70s were also a busy decade for the couple, who starred in Winning (1969), WUSA (1970), They Might Be Giants (1971) and The Drowning Pool (1975). Newman also directed his wife in 1972's The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.

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1972: Joanne Woodward in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

Joanne Woodward In 'The Effect Of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds'
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

In 1972, Woodward starred in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and was awarded best actress at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival for her performance. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe.

15 of 28

1973: Joanne Woodward Stars in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

Joanne Woodward In 'Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams'
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Her performance in 1973's Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams earned her another Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She also earned a BAFTA for the role.

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1978: Joanne Woodward in See How She Runs

Joanne Woodward runs down a street at night
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In 1978, Woodward played a 40-year-old divorced teacher who decides to run the Boston Marathon.

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1978: Joanne Woodward Wins an Emmy Award

Fred Astaire and actress Joanne Woodward
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See How She Runs earned Woodward an Emmy Award in 1978 for outstanding lead actress in a drama or comedy special. Over the course of her career, the actress has been nominated for nine Emmys, taking home three.

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1983: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward at the Kendall Cup Nationals

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward sighting at Little Rock Park
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Woodward supported her husband as he traded his director's chair for a race car, and pursued a career as a race car driver.

19 of 28

1984: Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman at the Golden Globes

Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman
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Woodward has been nominated for 10 Golden Globes over the course of her career. She was nominated for her performances in Empire Falls, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, Do You Remember Love, Crisis at Central High, Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and A New Kind of Love. She took home three Golden Globe Awards, one for The Three Faces of Eve in 1958, another for Rachel, Rachel in 1969 and another for Breathing Lessons in 1995.

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1986: Joanne Woodward with Meryl Streep at the Project Vote Press Conference

Joanne Woodward and Meryl Streep
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Woodward has been very active in politics throughout her career, even being named in government documents on the NSA's watch list after supporting Senator Eugene McCarthy in his 1968 presidential campaign.

Pictured, Woodward attends the 'Project Vote' Press Conference with Meryl Streep in 1986.

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1990: Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman Film Mr. & Mrs. Bridge

Joanne Woodward
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In 1990, Woodward and Newman starred in Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, pictured here filming in Paris. Woodward was nominated for Best Actress at the 1991 Oscars for her performance.

22 of 28

1990: Joanne Woodward Graduates from College

Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman
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In 1990, Woodward graduated from Sarah Lawrence College along with her daughter, Clea, after working on her bachelor's degree for a decade. Her husband delivered the commencement address.

Two years later, in 1992, the pair were awarded the Kennedy Center honors for lifetime achievement.

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1991: With Liza Minnelli at the 20th Annual Theater Hall of Fame

Fred Ebb, Liza Minnelli and Joanne Woodward
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In 1991, Woodward attended the 20th Annual Theater Hall of Fame alongside Liza Minnelli.

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2002: Performing a Reading of The World of Nick Adams Alongside Matt Damon

Joanne Woodward and Matt Damon
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In 1988, Woodward and Newman established Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nonprofit summer camp and year-round center that creates "fun and friendship for seriously ill children and their families," named for the outlaws in Butch Cassidy.

In 2002, Joanne Woodward performed alongside stars like Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Goldie Hawn and more to benefit the camps.

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2008: Paul Newman Dies of Lung Cancer

Paul Newman and wife Joanne Woodward
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In 2008, Newman died of lung cancer at the age of 83. Three years earlier, in 2005, he and Woodward starred onscreen together for the last time in the miniseries Empire Falls.

In September 2020, it was announced that Ethan Hawke was set to direct a documentary about their 50-year romance that promised to deliver a "rare and exclusive look at the careers of both actors and a complex 50-year relationship that ultimately managed to beat incredible odds."

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2009: With Julia Roberts Celebrating Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps

Julia Roberts and Joanne Woodward
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Woodward reunited with Julia Roberts in 2009 at an event celebrating Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

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2011: With Elton John at His 10th Annual AIDS Foundation Benefit

Joanne Woodward and Sir Elton John
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In 2011, Woodward posed with Elton John at his 10th Annual AIDS Foundation Benefit.

Woodword continued to work for a few more years, voicing characters in 2010's Change in the Wind, 2012's Gayby and 2013's Lucky Them.

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2012: At an Event for the Paul Newman Foundation

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock (1686351e) Joanne Woodward 'A Celebration of Paul Newman's Dream' event, New York, America - 02 Apr 2012
Joanne Woodward in 2012. Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEI/BEI/ Shutterstock

In 2012, Woodward attended 'A Celebration of Paul Newman's Dream,' an event that celebrated the Newman's Own Foundation.

Newman and Woodward are still known for their incredible generosity and charity, including the creation of Newman's Own, the famous food brand, which directs all its contributions to charity.

Newman's Own Foundation has donated more than $570 million to thousands of non-profits worldwide, including the SeriousFun Children's Network, Wholesome Wave, which helps provide affordable access to healthy produce, and Shofco, which helps transform urban slums in Kenya.

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