Few people were aware that Jackie Witte, a tall, blonde with dark eyes, was Paul Newman’s first wife.
The union of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward is well known. The “golden couple” of Hollywood, who were married for 50 years, included the actor, producer, director, philanthropist, and race car, driver.
He is famously remembered for one particular interview, in fact. He said that there was no reason to go out in search of a hamburger when he already had steak at home when asked if he would ever think about cheating on his wife.
Obviously, the steak he was alluding to in the interview was his wife Joanne Woodward, but she wasn’t the only steak he had. Jackie Witte was a woman who came before her by a long shot. The British news media learned about Newman’s “hidden married life.”
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Who is Jackie Witte?
Paul Newman’s first spouse was Jackie Witte. Her birthday is September 1929. From 1949 through 1958, they were married for nine years. Together, they had three kids: Stephanie Newman, Susan Kendall Newman, and Scott Newman. Long before Newman became well-known, the couple were married.
Jackie had dark eyes and was a tall, blonde woman. She was an ambitious actor in the years following World War II, exactly like her future spouse. Jackie, a young woman of 19, first met Navy veteran Newman, age 24.
She wasn’t even a college graduate at the time. They first connected while working on a summer theater production in 1949 while both were residents of a tiny town.
Jackie Witte’s Relationship
After World War II, Jackie, a tall, blonde woman with dark eyes, met Newman. They were both living in a small town at the time and working on summer theatre productions together. Later on, the two would join the Woodstock Theatre Company.
Jackie Witte and Newman got married on December 27, 1949, as they were deeply in love at the time. People initially assumed the couple’s young age and hasty marriage were due to Witte’s pregnancy. That wasn’t the case, though.
In 1950, Jackie became pregnant with their first child, Scott, and her then-husband was forced to give up his acting career while they struggled to stabilize their professions. Additionally, new difficulties arose because her father-in-law passed away around that time and they had to go to Cleveland to assist with the family business.
Her acting career was put on hiatus when she got pregnant, but she finally switched to modeling full-time. That did not last long, however, since Susan, her second child was conceived in 1953. Newman was unable to complete his theater master’s degree at Yale University. Stephanie, their third child, was born in 1954.
Paul Newman battled to succeed as an actor, but he never gave up. She tried to get modeling jobs as her husband went door to door selling encyclopedias.
It didn’t take long before Newman began getting bit parts on television and in plays. His career quickly advanced after he was cast in a Broadway production. He started to spend more time away from his wife and kids in Manhattan.
The main source of their separation was Newman’s increased commitment to acting, which caused him to neglect Jackie, his children, and even the family business he had inherited. At the time, it was said that the path was different. Jackie transitioned into a stay-at-home mother, and Newman cherished his interactions with authors and actors.
He started to disappear more and more from Jackie’s life, and she started to wonder what was going on. She quickly learned that he was spending the majority of his time with another woman named Joanne Woodward.
Jackie Witte and Paul Newman Divorce
After the success of the film Somebody Up There Likes Me, Newman’s career took off. Sadly, their marriage was on its way out. He finally told his wife about his relationship with the other woman.
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Despite the difficulties, Witte genuinely wanted to repair their marriage, and she did not easily let go. No of how she reacted to the news, her husband was determined to leave her.
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman made their relationship known after the latter requested a divorce from Jackie Witte. The latter initially resisted signing the divorce documents until she learned Joanne was already pregnant. In 1958, the divorce became legally final.
Jackie Witte’s Children were Affected by the Divorce
Her ex-new husband’s wife adopted her three children after they got married. He was very distant from his children, who were reared by his wife. In fact, there were rumors that his overwhelming fame had a negative impact on his ability to be a good father.
The six children’s father obviously had no relationship with them. Due to the terms of the divorce settlement, Scott, Susan, and Stephanie Witte had to alternate between two homes at one point.
Scott Witte, the first son of Witte, is said to have been intimidated by his father’s fame and was known for his temper outbursts as a young child. Scott also aspired to pursue an acting career like his father but apparently lived in his father’s shadow.
Despite assisting his kid with a stuntman job on a movie, Newman lost the job because of his drinking habits. Scott also attempted to launch a music career, but that effort was unsuccessful.
Despite attempting to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, Scott continued to use drugs and appeared to be intoxicated all the time. He tragically passed away in November 1978. In a hotel room in Los Angeles, his lifeless body was discovered. When he arrived at the hospital, he was pronounced dead.
According to reports, Scott overdosed on booze and drugs unintentionally and died. After his kid passed away, Newman was saddened and admitted that he had not been a good parent to him.
After Jackie’s son passed away, his loved ones founded the Scott Newman Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention in his memory.
While there isn’t much information available on Stephanie, age 68, Susan, age 69, has chosen to work in the entertainment sector. She is reportedly a philanthropist and documentary filmmaker. She co-starred with her father in the movie Slap Shot, and she was nominated for an Emmy for her work as co-producer on Newman’s movie The Shadow Box.
Where is Jackie Witte Now?
Jackie Witte vanished from the public eye after ending her marriage to the star. If she got remarried or not is unknown. She reportedly passed away in 1994 at the age of 64, according to reports. Her family has not disclosed the reason for her death.
Who is Paul Newman?
Leonard Paul Newman was an American actor, director, race car racer, and entrepreneur, he lived from January 26, 1925, through September 26, 2008. He received many honors, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the BAFTA Award, the Golden Globe Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Primetime Emmy Award, the Silver Bear, and the Cannes Film Festival Award.
Born in the Cleveland neighborhood of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Newman first expressed an interest in theater as a young boy and had his stage debut in Saint George and the Dragon at the Cleveland Play House when he was ten years old. In 1949, he graduated from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both economics and theatre. After spending time on the road with numerous summer stock companies, such as the Belfry Players, Newman spent a year studying at the Yale School of Drama before enrolling in Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio program.
Among Newman’s notable film roles are those in The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Harper (1966), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), The Sting (1973), The Towering Inferno (1976), and Fort Apache, The Bronx. Newman also voiced Doc Hudson in the first Disney-Pixar Cars movie, which served as his final acting non-documentary role. Newman, a ten-time Oscar nominee, won the Best Actor prize for his work in “The Color of Money” (1986).
As a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing, Newman won multiple national titles, and his race teams also achieved success in the open-wheel IndyCar competition. He was a founding partner of the food business Newman’s Own, from which he gave all royalties and post-tax profits to charity.  These donations have already exceeded US$570 million as of May 2021.
The SeriousFun Children’s Network, established by Newman in 1988, is a global family of summer camps and programs for kids with serious illnesses. Since its founding, the network has helped 1.3 million kids and their families. Newman had six children from two different marriages. He was Joanne Woodward’s husband, an Oscar-winning actress.