Tuesday, October 7, 2008

1 degree of separation

Ties Paul Newman with Beloit, Wisconsin:

Newman's first wife, Jacqueline “Jackie” Witte, was from Beloit.

Witte and Newman wed in 1949, shortly after Newman graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. They had three children - Susan, Stephanie and Scott. Susan became an actress, producer and writer. Scott also became an actor before his death in 1978 at age 28 due to a drug overdose. Newman established a foundation in Scott's name to produce anti-drug films for children.
Witte was an actress who performed under the direction of Kirk Denmark in Beloit's Court Theatre group in the late 1940s and early 1950s. That group of actors included Kerwin Matthews, who later would be best known for movies such as “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.” Also in the group was Muriel (Nelson) Clifton.

Newman, and other actors, would perform in productions in Lake Geneva and at the Belfry Theater in Williams Bay in the early 1950s. Newman would return to Wisconsin to combine two of his loves - acting and auto racing. When making his film “Winning,” in 1969, in which he played an race-car driver, a portion of the film was shot at Road America in Elkhart Lake.

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