Paul Newman’s jealously of James Dean and Marlon Brando disclosed in unpublished memoir

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid trailer for 1969 film

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The Hollywood star of Sixties and Seventies cinema may have died in 2008 at the age of 83-years-old, but he’d been recording his extraordinary life and career from three decades prior. Paul Newman was fed up with unauthorised biographies and rumours about his private life, so he began capturing his own oral history on tape. Long-forgotten and left in a basement laundry room, his family have uncovered the treasure trove of secrets and teased its tantalising contents.

According to The New York Times, the star of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s family are now set to turn the recordings into a memoir, to be published by Knopf this autumn, with fresh interviews from family and friends.

Newman’s honest recollections include exploring his jealously of his peers like Marlon Brando and James Dean.

In the mid-1950s, The Sting actor missed out on co-starring with the latter as his twin-brother Aron Trask in East of Eden.

Newman even was a last-minute replacement for the Rebel Without a Cause star in a live TV broadcast of Our Town starring Frank Sinatra. And following Dean’s sudden death at 24 in 1955, he replaced him as a boxer in a TV adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s The Battler. But that wasn’t the only time this happened.

Thanks to the Dean comparison, Newman was cast as Billy the Kid in The Left Handed Gun, which was originally set for the dead star.

Similarly, he was given the role of Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me, which the 24-year-old had been cast in before his fatal car crash.

In the unearthed recordings, Newman shared more of his insecurities, including how his mother didn’t think he was very good looking as a kid before he became a Hollywood heartthrob.

Peter Gethers, who is editing the memoir said: “He said that his mother did not so much think of him as flesh and blood, but as a decoration. He says that if he was not a pretty child, she never would have paid attention to him at all. It’s a devastating thing to read, and clearly forms so much of his life and his insecurity about being an actor.”

Gethers said of the currently untitled Newman autobiography: “What he recorded, and in essence what he wrote, was so honest and revealing. It showed this extraordinary arc, a guy who was very, very flawed at the beginning of his life and as a young man, but who, as he got older, turned into the Paul Newman we want him to be.”

Topics will include his Hollywood career, race driving, his honesty about alcohol issues and shortcomings as a husband during his first marriage to Jackie Witte. Details of Newman’s relationship with his second wife Joanne Woodward will feature too, with the edited calling her: “Remarkably loving, affectionate and sexy.”

The late star also charted dealing with the terrible loss of his son Scott to substance abuse at such a young age.

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The Towering Inferno – Theatrical trailer

Alan Scott Newman followed his father into acting and the two even co-starred together in 1974’s The Towering Inferno. Scott played an acrophobic fire-fighter who shared scenes with Steve McQueen but not his father. Nevertheless, the pair are shown together in the disaster movie’s finale.

But then in 1978, he fell off a motorcycle and was taking painkillers and psychiatric help paid for by Newman. Tragically, on November 19, at just 28, he took a fatal dose of valium with alcohol and other drugs.

The new book, which will be 80 per cent memoir, was put together by one of The Sting star’s closest friends, screenwriter Stewart Stern and will be published in late 2022.

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