At age nine she persuaded her mother to drive her to the premiere of "Gone With The Wind" in Atlanta, Georgia. When she saw Laurence Olivier in a limousine, she hopped into his lap and told him how much she adored him! (They were to work together later in 1977's "Come Back Little Sheba")
Joanne lived in Thomasville, Georgia until she was in the second grade. Her family relocated to Marietta, Georgia. Once again they moved when she was a Junior in High School. She graduated from Greenville High School in 1947,
in Greenville, South Carolina.
A critic who watched a play in which she was performing at The Greenville Little Theatre, commented "I don't know what that girl's intentions are but she is a born actress."
She attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, from 1947 to 1949. Pledging the Sorority Chi Omega and being runner up in the LSU Darling Contest were only a few of her activities.
When her father relocated to New York to work for Schribner's Publishing, Joanne decided it was time to hit New York too. Once there she joined the Actors' Studio and Neighborhood Playhouse.
Modeling, small parts on televison and a chance meeting with her future husband followed.
While understudying in William Inge's "Picnic" in 1952, she met a handsome up and comer named Paul Newman. He was married with kids, so they were just friends.
Her big screen debut came in 1955's Count Three and Pray with Van Heflin.
Meanwhile, she and Paul kept finding themselves in the same circles. His marriage had virtually ended by then and they married on January 29, 1958. The same year she won an Academy Award for only her third screen role (The Three Faces Of Eve) and her movie with Paul, The Long Hot Summer was released. Whew! 1958 was a great year.
Joanne became a mother on April 8, 1959, when Elinor Teresa Newman (Nell) was born. Two sisters followed. Melissa Steward Newman (Lissy) September 17, 1961 and Claire Olivia Newman (Clea) April 21, 1965.
Between all of this, she still starred in numerous movies, 10 were with her husband.
One of her most acclaimed films was 1968's Rachel, Rachel which was directed by Paul. Three more Academy Award nominations followed. Many different awards, including three Emmys, New York Film Critic's Circle, Golden Globes and others were won.
In 1990 she starred opposite Paul for the tenth time in Mr. and Mrs. Bridge and in the same year earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College alongside yer youngest daughter.
More televison movies and 1993's Philadelphia followed and along with them, more nominations and awards.
She has recently been directing and or starring in stage plays and is the current Artistic Director at the Westport Country Playhouse.
Long before it was chic, Joanne was involved in charitable and humanitarian causes. She helps Paul with Newman's Own® as well as the Hole in The Wall Gang Camp, which is for kids with terminal or serious illnesses.
Presently Joanne Woodward resides in Westport Connecticut and is still very happily married to Paul Newman.