Even with his extraordinary life and career accomplishments, Paul Newman harbored two major regrets that had more to do with his personal life than his work.
Paul Newman accomplished a great deal in his life. He had a successful acting career from 1953 to 2007, winning multiple awards, including the 1986 Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in “The Color of Money.” Over the years, he was nominated for several Oscars, which cemented his place among the most renowned actors in Hollywood.
Newman was married twice. Newman’s sole son was born into his first marriage, which lasted from 1949 to 1958 and had three children. Later, in 1958, he wed Joanne Woodward, and the two of them remained together until his death in 2008. Together, the couple had three daughters, giving Newman a total of six children.
In 1982, Newman established the Newman’s Own Foundation in addition to his acting profession. This nonprofit sells food items and gives all of its proceeds straight to different charities. The foundation has made an astounding $570 million in charity contributions over the years.
Nevertheless, despite all of his accomplishments, Newman had two big regrets in life, and they had to do with his family.
His father’s connection was the subject of his first regret. Before becoming a Hollywood star, Newman felt that his father saw him as a failure, and their relationship was tense. “I think he thought I didn’t show much promise in those days, and I tend to agree with him,” Newman remarked, thinking back to his early years.
Regretfully, his father died before he could see his son’s enormous achievement, so Newman regretted that his father had gone to his grave believing he was a failure.
His connection with his only son, Scott, was the subject of his second regret. Scott was raised by Newman’s first wife, Jacqueline Witte, for the majority of his life. He had a terrible childhood, struggled in school, and ultimately left college.
In addition, Scott dabbled in stunt work and acting, but he found it difficult to compete with his well-known father. During a personal moment, Scott shared his struggles, saying, “They try to get to him via me, or they expect you to be like him. I don’t have his blue eyes, though. I’m not as talented as him. Nothing that I own is unique to me.
Unfortunately, Scott’s life was characterized by prescription medicine use following a motorbike accident, alcoholism, and other substance misuse problems. His tragic death in 1978 at the age of 28 due to an accidental overdose was eventually caused by these reasons. Newman felt a great deal of regret for not being closer to his son.
“I knew he drank too much and [medicated] himself, but I didn’t know how to open a door into him,” he subsequently disclosed. I don’t believe I ever gave Scott a hug or a pat on the arm, back, or behind— gestures typical of a father.”
After his son’s death, Newman did something to commemorate Scott’s life. He founded the Scott Newman Foundation in 1980 with the goal of educating people about substance usage and keeping others from suffering from the same terrible outcome.
These two terrible regrets, which had to do with his father and son, gave the life of an actor well-known for his charitable work and career achievement a tragic and very personal touch.