Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward had a ‘F–k Hut’ where they’d get ‘intimate, noisy and ribald’: New book


Paul Newman is remembered as an iconic sex symbol, but apparently never truly felt like one until he met Joanne Woodward.

The admission comes from the actor’s forthcoming posthumous memoir, “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man” (Knopf, Oct. 18). The book is based on interviews with friends and family and Newman himself over the span of five years in the mid-’80s.

The interviews were conducted by Newman and his friend, screenwriter Stewart Stern, and they set a rule that everyone be “completely honest.”

Newman — who is known for films such as “The Hustler,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” — delved into being a sex symbol in Hollywood, revealing it wasn’t until he met Woodward, that he began to embrace it.

The Hollywood heartthrob met his second wife when they were both understudies in a Broadway play.
The Hollywood heartthrob met second wife, Joanne Woodward, when they were both understudies in a Broadway play.
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Newman's memoir reveals from of the more intimate moments of their relationship.
Newman’s memoir reveals some of the more intimate moments of their relationship.
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According to Newman, they left 'a trail of lust all over the place.'
According to Newman, they left “a trail of lust all over the place.”
Getty Images

“Joanne gave birth to a sexual creature,” Newman says in an excerpt of the book, as seen by People. “We left a trail of lust all over the place. Hotels and public parks and Hertz Rent-A-Cars.”

The book also describes Newman’s humble beginnings, his insecurities growing up and rise to sex-symbol status. He was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he was too small to play on the school football team without special permission and awkward around girls.

“Girls thought I was a joke. A happy buffoon,” he says in the book.

According to the iconic actor, that changed in 1953 after he met Woodward when they were both understudies in the Broadway play “Picnic.” They began a steamy affair.

“I went from being not much of a sexual threat to something else entirely,” the actor said.

The couple married in 1958, after Newman's divorce was finalized.
The couple married in 1958, after Newman’s divorce was finalized.
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Newman was a sex-symbol in Hollywood - but revealed he didn't feel that way until he met Woodward.
Newman was a sex symbol in Hollywood — but revealed he didn’t feel that way until he met Woodward.
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Newman was married to first wife Jackie Witte at the time, and they had three young children. The couple’s divorce was finalized in 1958, and he married Woodward in the same year.

Newman describes moments as newlyweds, including one evening in their Beverly Hills home after they got married. He notes that Woodward had fixed up one room with a “thrift shop double bed,” which was declared the “F – – k Hut” by Woodward.

Newman’s memoir reveals from of the more intimate moments of their relationship.
Getty Images

“It had been done with such affection and delight. Even if my kids came over, we’d go into the F – – k Hut several nights a week and just be intimate and noisy and ribald,” Newman reveals.

The two eventually settled down in Westport, Connecticut, and had three daughters, Nell, Melissa and Clea.

The couple where married 50 years when Newman died in 2008.
The couple were married 50 years when Newman died in 2008.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty
Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of An Ordinary Man is out Oct. 18.
New memoir “Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of An Ordinary Man” is out Oct. 18.

The pair remained married until Newman passed away from cancer at age 83 in 2008. Woodward is now 92 and is living with Alzheimer’s but still resides on the property the couple shared.

“Joanne and I still drive each other crazy in different ways,” the famous actor admits in the book. “But all the misdemeanors, the betrayals, the difficulties have kind of evened themselves out over the years.”

The couple’s daughter Clea says despite the fact the Newman and Woodward “fought and it could be dramatic,” they also “fought really hard to stay together.”

“They didn’t walk,” she said. “There were times it was pretty close but they worked hard at it. Ultimately they came together.”