Paul Newman’s Long-Awaited Memoirs To Be Published

In News by Samuel Love

Century is to publish the extraordinary memoir of late Hollywood actor Paul Newman on October 27th in the UK & Commonwealth. Knopf will publish in the US. The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is the insightful, revealing and surprising memoir of perhaps the greatest movie star of the past 75 years.

Before he died in 2008, Newman had been at work on the project for five years. Newman recounts in brilliant detail his often traumatic childhood, his teenage insecurities, his youthful failures with women, his rise to stardom, his early rivals (Marlon Brando and James Dean), his first marriage, his greatest film roles from Cool Hand Luke to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, his drinking, his philanthropy, his professional racing car career, the death of his son, Scott, and his desire for his daughters to understand the truth about their father. Perhaps the most moving material in the book centres on Newman’s relationship with Joanne Woodward and their deep love for each other.

Additional voices that run throughout the book include Newman’s childhood friends, Navy buddies, family members and film and theatre collaborators including Tom Cruise and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid director George Roy Hill.

The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man provides a new understanding of a man many admired but few really knew – from the perspective of the man himself. Paul Newman’s daughters will promote the book in the UK on behalf of their late father.

Ahead of publication, HBO Max will premiere its six-part original documentary from CNN Films, The Last Movie Stars, on July 21. The docuseries centres on Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, and explores their personas, talent and love story. Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke directs, with Academy Award-winning director, writer and producer Martin Scorsese as executive producer.

Paul Newman wrote: ‘This book came out of the struggle to try and explain it all to my kids. I want to leave some kind of record that sets things straight, pokes holes in the mythology that’s sprung up around me, destroys some of the legends, and keeps the piranhas off. Something that documents the time I was on this planet with some kind of accuracy. Because what exists on the record now has no bearing at all on the truth. That’s all I really want to do.’ 

Ben Brusey, Publishing Director says: ‘Paul Newman remains one of the most popular and beloved Hollywood icons. His roles from Cool Hand Luke to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid helped define modern cinema. But Newman also led an extraordinary life, and this special memoir reveals the real man behind the legend. Exquisitely written and unflinchingly honest, Newman’s memoir blends the mood and drama of a Tennessee Williams play with the effortless charisma and humanity that Newman brought to every role. We are excited and honoured to be publishing this exceptional book at a time when popular culture more widely is celebrating Newman’s enormous and lasting contribution to our lives.’