The Last Movie Stars, a six-episode HBO Max documentary series directed by Ethan Hawke, aims to highlight the love between Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The marriage produced three children, but those were not the only kids Paul Newman welcomed into the world before his 2008 death.
The series “incorporates an abandoned project that Newman commissioned from friend and screenwriter Stewart Stern,” according to Variety, which notes that Stern “interviewed close friends, family, and artistic collaborators including Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet, Karl Malden, Sidney Pollack, Gore Vidal,” and more for a planned memoir. Ahead of the July 21, 2022 premiere, here’s what you need to know about Paul’s six children.
Children With Jackie Witte
The late Scott Newman was born on Sept. 23, 1950. He was the only son of Paul Newman, who the actor had with his first wife, Jackie Witte. By 1958, his parents had divorced, and his father had married his second wife, Joanne Woodward.
In the 1960s, Scott dropped out of college to pursue a life in the entertainment industry. He had tried to become an actor, per Esquire. He had attempted to become a stunt man, changed his name to William Scott, and attempted to be a singer. His most noteworthy role was that of Duke in 1975’s The Great Waldo Pepper, though he did have roles in The Towering Inferno, Breakheart Pass, and Fraternity Row.
Scott was 28 when he fatally overdosed in 1978. He was taking painkillers following a motorcycle accident, and with his tendency to drink, the mixture of pills and alcohol led to his early demise. In a 2010 article for The Sunday Times, writer AE Hotchner relayed a conversation he had with Paul Newman. “Hotch, you’re as good a friend as I’ve got,” said the acting icon. “I had to let all of this out of me, or I’d explode. There’s nothing you can say that will repair my guilt about Scott. It will be with me as long as I live.”
Following his son’s death, Paul Newman established the Scott Newman Center, aimed at helping healthcare professionals and teachers educate children about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.
Born in 1951, Stephanie Newman “leads a quiet life away from the family business,” according to a 2015 article in Vanity Fair. Though Stephanie, as a child, made a few appearances alongside her father, she has grown up relatively outside of the spotlight. Not much is publicly known about her, and it appears that’s the way she likes it.
Susan Kendall Newman
By 2015, Susan Kendall Newman was a “former actress and award-winning television producer who supplies media and production services for nonprofit organizations,” according to Vanity Fair. Suan, born in February 1953, appeared in an uncredited role in her father’s film, Slap Shot, and in I Wanna Hold Your Hand (a 1978 film about six teenagers desperate to see The Beatles) and A Wedding.
Since walking away from the acting world, she has since “served as the Executive Director of several nonprofit organizations specializing in alcohol and drug abuse prevention, and then in child welfare,” per her IMDB profile. “She has lectured all over the world, promoting awareness on issues affecting the well-being of families and children. She continues to work for nonprofit organizations to redefine mission, increase funding and visibility, as well as providing film and video services.”
In 2015, she lashed out against Bob Forrester, the head of the Newman’s Own Foundation. “Some family members may be angry at me for speaking out,” she told Vanity Fair. “But I feel like the Newman family has been taken hostage by Bob Forrester. I think Mr. Forrester has forgotten that it is a privilege and enormous responsibility for him to preside over my father’s legacy and carry out his wishes. He seems to be more interested in self-aggrandizement and lavish trappings. My father would never support many of the things he is doing.”
Forrester told Vanity Fair that this characterization of him is “totally untrue.”
Children With Joanne Woodward
Nell Newman / Nell Potts
Elinor Teresa Newman, born on Apr. 8, 1959, is the first child of Paul Newman and his second wife, Joanne Woodward. She worked as a child actor in the 1960s and 1970s under the name Nell Potts. She appeared in the title role of Rachel, Rachel, playing the character as a child. She also appeared in The Effect of Gama Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, a film about “a middle-aged misfit struggles to raise her daughters, one popular and the other a promising science student.“
Nell co-founded and ran Newman’s Own Organics – a branch of Newman’s Own — until 2014. In 1993, while working as the Director of the Ventana Wilderness Sanctuary in central California, Nell had the idea to create an all-organic division of her father’s Newman’s Own.
Following her father’s death, Nell had a falling out with Newman’s Own. Newman’s Organics was prevented from releasing new products because Newman’s Own Inc. may want to release a competing item. In 2014, Nell’s licensing agreement to her father’s name and image expired. She was then barred from working for the company. Instead of jeopardizing the livelihood of Newman’s Organics’ 30 employees, she turned the company over to Newman’s Own, Inc., per Vanity Fair.
Nell founded the Nell Newman Foundation in 2010 “with the goal of carrying on her father’s legacy of charitable giving, coupled with her passion for the environment. She has been married to Gary Irving since 2005.
The second of Paul and Joanne’s daughters, Mellissa Newman, was born on Sept. 27, 1961. Like her siblings, she dabbled in the acting world, appearing on episodes of TV shows Hawkins and The New Perry Mason and in movies like See How She Runs, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, and Sometimes A Great Nation.
Melissa married Raphael P. Elkind in Nov. 1995. They have two children together – sons Peter and Henry – and she reportedly volunteers at a women’s prison in Connecticut.
Paul’s youngest child is Claire “Clea” Soderlund. Born in April 1965, Clea has worked in the entertainment industry – but on the other side of the camera. She was a production consultant on Big Little Lies, per her IMBD profile. She also worked in post-production on The Big C, Mad Men, and Raising The Bar. She was a co-producer on the 2020 series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and an associate producer on Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects, and The Big C.
It’s unclear when Clea married Kurt Soderlund. And like the rest of her family, Clea “has long been involved in philanthropy in Westport and beyond,” per Vanity Fair.
“From a very young age, our parents taught us that being a good citizen in your community and giving back should be a priority if you were as lucky as we were,” she told Vanity Fair in a statement. “I am very proud to be a part of his legacy…. It is a special gift and an honor.”