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Joanne Woodward

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Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward (born February 27, 1930) is an Academy Award winning, American actress. Woodward is also a television and theatrical producer.

Early life

Woodward was born in Thomasville, Georgia, daughter of Elinor Gignilliat and Wade Woodward, Jr., who at one point was vice president of publisher Charles Scribner's Sons. Her middle name, "Gignilliat", originates from distant Huguenot ancestry.She was influenced to become an actress by her mother's love of movies. Her mother named her after Joan Crawford, using the Southern pronunciation of the name - "Joanne". Attending the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta, nine-year-old Woodward rushed out into the parade of stars and sat on the lap of Laurence Olivier, star Vivien Leigh's partner and future husband. She eventually worked with Olivier in 1979, in a television production of Come Back, Little Sheba. During rehearsals, she mentioned this incident to him and he told her he remembered her doing it.

Woodward lived in Thomasville until she was in the second grade. Her family relocated to Marietta, Georgia. They moved once again when she was a junior in high school, after her parents divorced. She graduated from Greenville High School in 1947, in Greenville, South Carolina. Woodward won many beauty contests as a teenager. She appeared in theatrical productions at Greenville High and in Greenville's Little Theatre, playing Laura Wingfield in their staging of The Glass Menagerie directed by Robert Hemphill McLane. She returned to Greenville in 1976 to play Amanda Wingfield in another Little Theatre production of The Glass Menagerie. She had also returned in 1955 for the premiere of her debut movie, Count Three And Pray, at the Paris Theatre on North Main Street.

Woodward majored in drama at Louisiana State University, where she was an initiate of Chi Omega sorority, then headed to New York City to perform on the stage.

Woodward's first film was a post-Civil War Western, Count Three and Pray, in 1955. She continued to move between Hollywood and Broadway, eventually understudying in the New York production of Picnic, which featured Paul Newman. The two were married in 1958 after their work together in the film The Long, Hot Summer. By that time, Woodward had starred in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), for which she won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Actress.

Newman and Woodward from the trailer for A New Kind of Love (1963)She appeared with husband Paul Newman in ten featured films

Later career

Woodward has continued to act, in such films as Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams and Philadelphia (1993) in which she played the mother to Tom Hanks' character, and in television. She appeared in the television films Sybil, opposite Sally Field, and Crisis at Central High. She was the narrator for Martin Scorsese's screen version of The Age of Innocence.

Woodward was a co-producer and starred in a 1993 broadcast of the play Blind Spot, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie. She was executive producer of the 2003 television production of Our Town, featuring Newman as the stage manager (for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.) She wrote the teleplay and directed a 1982 production of Shirley Jackson's story Come Along with Me, for which husband Newman provided the voice of the character Hughie under the screen name of P. L. Neuman.

Woodward is the artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse.

She recorded a reading of singer John Mellencamp's song "The Real Life" for his box set On the Rural Route 7609.

Personal life

Woodward was rumored to have been engaged to author Gore Vidal prior to marrying Paul Newman. Apparently, however, there was no real engagement: Vidal later claimed it was a stunt to attract Newman's attention. Woodward shared a house with Vidal in Los Angeles for a short time and remained friends. Woodward married Paul Newman on January 29, 1958. The couple were extremely private about their personal life.

Woodward and Newman had three daughters: Elinor Teresa (1959; known on screen as Nell Potts and generally as Nell Newman), Melissa "Lissy" Stewart (1961), and Claire "Clea" Olivia Newman (1965). The couple have two grandchildren. She lives in Westport, Connecticut. Newman occasionally ventured to California, but Woodward refused to go west for many years. Paul Newman died of cancer on September 26, 2008, aged 83.

In 1990, Woodward graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with her daughter Clea.



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