Actor and occasional filmmaker Ethan Hawke is gearing up to direct a documentary about Hollywood couple Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
The pair were married for 50 years before Newman’s death in 2008. As of this writing, Woodward, 90, is still alive and enjoying her retirement at the family estate in Connecticut.
Newman first met Woodward in 1953 while they were both working on the Broadway production “Picnic.” The pair crossed paths again in 1957 on the set of “The Long, Hot Summer,” marrying in 1958.
Newman was married to Jackie Witte when he first met Woodward. Upon reuniting with the charming actress, Newman divorced Witte. Unlike most Hollywood power couples, he and Woodward then spent the next 50 years in wedded bliss.
Beyond acting, the couple is also known for their philanthropic pursuits, most notably the co-founding and ongoing success of the “Newman’s Own” food company which benefits the Newman’s Own Foundation.
Per a 2017 article in Country Living:
“Off-screen, the power couple became actively involved in charitable organizations, most notably Newman’s Own Foundation, which was born when Newman and writer A.E. Hotchner mixed some salad dressing for friends. It was so popular, they eventually launched it into a business. ‘Let’s give it all away to those who need it!’ Newman said. Soon they were also selling pasta sauce, popcorn, salsa, and more, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to nonprofit organizations (over $485 million to date).”
According to Hawke, the documentary will feature a “rare and exclusive look at the careers of both actors and a complex 50-year relationship that ultimately managed to beat incredible odds.”
Hawke’s most recent directorial credits include 2018’s bio drama “Blaze” about the life and times of Blaze Foley, and 2014’s “Seymour: An Introduction” about pianist and teacher Seymour Bernstein.
Hawke is currently filming “The Northman” with director Robert Eggers.