Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930 in Thomasville, Georgia, the daughter of Elinor Trimmier and Wade Woodward, Jr..
Attending the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta, nine-year-old Joanne Woodward rushed out into the parade of stars and sat on the lap of Laurence Olivier, star Vivien Leigh's partner and future husband. She eventually worked with Olivier in 1979, in a television production of Come Back, Little Sheba. During rehearsals, she mentioned this incident to him and he told her he remembered her doing it.
As a teenager, Joanne Woodward won many beauty contests. She also appeared in theatrical productions at Greenville High and in Greenville's Little Theatre in Georgia. After high school, Joanne Woodward majored in drama at Louisiana State University.
In 1952, Joanne Woodward made her television debut on an episode of Tales of Tomorrow. She next appeared as Ann Rutledge in several episdoes of Omnibus.
During the early 1950s, Joanne Woodward devoted most of her time to television appearing in episodes of The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, The Ford Television Theatre, Robert Montgomery Presents, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
In 1955, Joanne Woodward made her film debut in Count Three and Pray.
Joanne Woodward's big break came when she was cast to play Eve in The Three Faces of Eve (1957). She would win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
Alternating her time between Hollywood and Broadway, Joanne Woodward was an understudy in the produciton of Picnic which featured Paul Newman. In 1958, the two would appear together in the movie The Long, Hot Summer. The couple married on January 29, 1958 shortly after filming completed.
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward would appear in nine more films together: Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958), From the Terrace (1960), Paris Blues (1961)
A New Kind of Love (1963), Winning (1969), WUSA (1970), The Drowning Pool (1975)
Harry & Son (1984), and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990).
Joanne Woodward would also star in five films that Paul Newman directed or produced:
Rachel, Rachel (1968), They Might Be Giants (1971) , The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Nell Potts (1972), The Shadow Box (TV, 1980) and The Glass Menagerie (1987).
Joanne Woodward was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Rachel, Rachel, (1968), Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973) and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990).
In 1960, Joanne Woodward became the first actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Joanne Woodward has also won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Rachel, Rachel (1968) and Breathing Lessons (TV 1994).
Joanne Woodward has won three Emmy Awards for her performances in See How She Runs (1978), Do You Remember Love (1985), and American Masters: Broadway's Dreamers: The Legacy of the Group Theatre (1989).
In 1986, Joanne Woodward received the Screen Actors Guild Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.
Most recently, Joanne Woodward appeared in Empire Falls (TV 2005).
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