Hear this…. right HERE!
EXIT 21, I-95s; Mill Plain Road, to Fairfield and Westport, Connecticut
Westport resident, the late great Actor Paul Newman survived death in World War Two and thank God he did! His good twist of fate helped literally hundreds of thousands of people later in life.
Shortly before the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945, as an aerial gunner on a Torpedo dive bomber, Newman was ordered aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill. But his pilot was sick. The pilot's ear infection kept their two man plane grounded at base while the rest of their squadron continued on the aircraft carrier. Days later a kamikaze blasted the ship. All their unit died.
In the 1950’s Paul became a major movie star co-starring opposite such greats as Jackie Gleason and Elizabeth Taylor.
Another major milestone was that he met then married actress Joanne Woodward. As movie stars, their's was a union unique in its breadth and depth. They shared 3 daughters and 50 plus years together. Once when asked about the secret to his marriage’s success, Newman famously answered, “Why would I go out for hamburger when I have steak at home?”
In the sixties and seventies he is most famous perhaps playing a series of Oscar winning films, “The Sting” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” with pal Robert Redford.
Nominated nine times, he finally won an Oscar for Best Actor in the 1987 movie, THE COLOR OF MONEY opposite Tom Cruise.
In 1982, along with author AE Hotchner and wife actress Joanne Woodward, Paul founded Newman's Own, a food company from which Newman donates all post-tax profits and royalties to charity. These donations totaled about five hundred million dollars by 2016.
Paul was also a co-founder of Safe Water Network and the SeriousFun Children's Network, a global family of camps and programs for children with serious illness. The camps are seriously altruistic: it has served over three hundred thousand kids.
The Westport Country Playhouse is a world famous theater in Westport. Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman's wife, was artistic director from 2000-2006. Liza Minnelli, Eartha Kitt, Gene Wilder, James Earl Jones, Jane Curtin, Henry Fonda, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Olivia de Havilland, Eva Gabor, Jane Fonda, and of course both Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman are among the actors having performed there.
The Playhouse Theater is off the upcoming exit. Why not get right to exit and see where all those famous actors have strode the stage? Oh and get some of Newman's Own Popcorn or maybe so chips and salsa before you do.
An avid race car driver and recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, Paul Newman died in 2008 from lung cancer surrounded by his wife and kids. Not to be morbid, but Paul Newman’s missing the Battle of Okinawa did a lot of people good who otherwise had no connection to World War 2.
Funny where the road leads us, isn't it?
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