Jackie Witte, the tall blonde with dark eyes that few people knew was Paul Newman’s first wife.
We are all familiar with Paul Newman’s union with Joanne Woodward. He was an actor, producer, director, philanthropist and racing car driver and married Joanne for over five decades. They were referred to as being”the “golden couple” of Hollywood.
His name is infamously recognized for an interview. When asked if he’d ever contemplate having a relationship with his spouse, he said there’s no need to search for a burger when he has steak in his home.
Jackie Witte and Paul Newman with their son Scott Newman (1955).
He was married to Joanne Woodward was the steak he was talking about in the interview, but it wasn’t the sole steak he ate. There was another woman ahead of her named Jackie Witte. The “secret married story” that was the case with Newman was discovered in media outlets in the British press.
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Who Is Paul Newman’s First Wife?
Jacqueline “Jackie” Witte (McDonald) was Paul Newman’s first wife. The couple was married in September 1929. The couple had been married for nine years, between 1949 and 1958. There were three kids; Scott Newman, Susan Kendall Newman, and Stephanie Newman. They got married years before Newman became an international household name.
Jackie is a tall blonde lady and dark brown eyes. After World War II, she was an actor in training like her husband. Jackie was only 19 when she met the 24-year-old Newman, an active Navy veteran.
At the time, she had not yet completed her college degree. In 1949, both were living in an unassuming town. They began to meet while doing the stage in the summer.
They relocated to work for the Woodstock production business in Illinois in the next few months. On December 27th 1949, Paul Newman and Jackie Witte were married, becoming the first Mrs Newman.
The couple was married in 1950 and welcomed their first child, and the name was Scott Newman. Unfortunately, his life was abruptly cut short in November 1978, when the actor died of a substance overdose.
The couple welcomed their second baby, Susan Newman, and one year later, their third child, and they’re final with each other, Stephanie Kendall Newman, in 1954.
There are a variety of theories about what prompted the couple to get married in such a short time. The most popular explanation is the possibility of pregnancy. However, the first child they had was born a long time after the wedding. It is believed that they were two young couples with similar goals and a fervent desire to be in love.
When Jackie Witte became pregnant with their first child, Scott, It appeared that her husband would have to quit theatre. Around the same time, her father-in-law died and forced them to relocate to Cleveland to manage their parents’ business.
At the period, New York was just one mile from where she lived. While her acting career was in limbo, Jackie Witte would travel to New York by train to look for models to work with. She did, however, eventually become an all-time model.
Then, she fell pregnant with her third child after her husband decided to quit Yale University, where he was studying to earn an advanced degree in theatre.
Newman decided to extend his year to pursue acting before he announced his for good. However, it was a challenge for Jackie Witte with Newman away every day, particularly when she was expecting the birth of their second child.
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Introducing Joanne Woodward
Things went south for their relationship when her husband got a lead role in the film Picnic, along with model and actress Joanne Woodward. Scott’s two-year-old son was always throwing temper tantrums, and she was required to take care of two children by herself.
While her husband was on vacation for nights and days in Manhattan, drinking, schmoozing, seeking work and even acting. It was not surprising that she became bitter towards him. In addition, Newman was attracted to the 22-year-old young Southern beauty model.
Always stressed and trying to raise three kids and a newborn, it wasn’t time to cause Jackie Witte to lose interest in acting. This led to a significant split in their relationship, as the acting was a priority for Newman.
A friend of mine recalled their relationship advancing in various ways. “Her personality is reserved and quiet, whereas Paul’s is lively and sociable. Paul likes late-night gatherings of actors and writers, like Joanne. Paul as well as Joanne were both extremely attractive individuals with a strong shared interest as well as an evident connection to one another. You rarely were able to see Jackie.”
Paul was becoming more away from the life of Jackie Witte, which caused Jackie Witte to become suspicious and had good reason to be suspicious. Paul spent most of their time with a different lady, Joanne Woodward. But they did remain together and seemed to be content in the least, at first glance.
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Jackie Witte & Paul Newman – End of Their Marriage
Paul’s Hollywood film “Somebody Up There like Me was a huge success. From then on, his professional career went through the roof. However, their marriage was heading in the opposite direction.
When Paul finally admitted to Jackie Witte that he was in the love of a female, Witte didn’t let go quickly. She believed that she was entitled to her husband’s thriving career and their family.
The unfortunate reality was that they got married at a young age and transformed into two different individuals over time. Despite her opposition, Paul had set his goal of getting rid of his wife.
In the course of his relationship with Joanne Woodward became more and more open, and he finally got the courage to request Jackie Witte for a divorce.
Jackie refused to sign divorce documents despite the constant humiliation in the public spotlight. It was only when new circumstances made her hand up. It was reported that Joanne was expecting Newman’s baby. This became the final piece of evidence of Jackie’s reluctance to separate.
Their divorce was finalized; as they say, it’s all history. Jackie Witte remained one of the most mysterious elements of their life of Newman. Newman is believed to be among the most faithful husbands in Hollywood and the eyes of Joanne Woodward, but it was built on the back of a woman’s deceit.
When asked, Newman was always cautious about questions concerning his marriage at the beginning with Jackie Witte. If asked, he would often declare, “I was probably too inexperienced to make a good success in my initial union” or “What transpired to us during that time is not the responsibility of anyone else.”
In the end, he admitted that he was “guilty in hell” and said, “I’ll carry it with me throughout my existence.”
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Did Jackie Witte Ever Remarry?
Jackie Witte completely removed herself from the limelight after the divorce she had from Paul Newman. She was reported to have lived a quiet life and kept her personal details private, including information about how she got married.
Is Jackie Witte Still Alive?
The truth is that Jackie Witte reported passing away in 1993, aged 64. Similar to the other details of her life after her wedding with Paul Newman, the cause and the place of death are kept private without a public obituary being published.