Already have an account?
Get back to the

No One Should Be Surprised by Sex Talk in Paul Newman’s Posthumous Memoir — Here’s Why

The new book from the late Hollywood icon has some steamy content.


There’s no denying that Paul Newman, with his striking blue eyes and suave presence, was one of Hollywood’s most charismatic stars. His natural cool — in classic films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, and Cool Hand Luke — defined a generation. Off the screen, he was married to fellow actor Joanne Woodward. Their romance lasted from 1958 to his death 50 years later, in 2008. Now, more than a decade after his passing, Newman is back in the news, thanks to the recent publication of his posthumous memoir, The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man (Buy from Amazon, $22.87). 

The candid book, drawn from interviews Newman gave to a close friend in the ’80s and ’90s, isn’t the typical glossy Hollywood memoir. Newman digs into his insecurities and infidelities; his struggles with drinking; and his son’s tragic death.

One particular revelation from the book has captivated the internet for the last two days. It’s well-known that Newman and Woodward were one of Hollywood’s great couples (the recent HBO Max documentary miniseries The Last Movie Stars powerfully illustrated their relationship) but it turns out they also had a very, VERY steamy love life. In the memoir, Newman reveals that Woodward turned a room in their Beverly Hills home into what they both called a “F–k Hut.” As he fondly recalls, the Hut had “been done with such affection and delight. Even if my kids came over, we’d go into the F–k Hut several nights a week and just be intimate and noisy and ribald.” While the name of this room may be obscene, there’s something — dare we say — charming about a man and wife having an inside joke about their sex life. (Also, having a sex life at all, given the length of their marriage.)

In his memoir, Newman also credits Woodward for making him truly feel like the sex symbol the public saw him as. “Newman as a sexual object was simply invented, it was never organic to the person. The sexuality was never there. How did I invent it from film to film? I didn’t,” he said in an interview. “There should be a parade in Joanne’s honor, as the creator of the symbol.”

As he tells it, “Joanne gave birth to a sexual creature. We left a trail of lust all over the place. Hotels and public parks and Hertz Rent-A-Cars.” In the many pictures of the couple together, their chemistry comes through, and they frequently praised one another in the press. “The glue that held Joanne and me together was that anything seemed possible,” said Newman in one of the interviews in The Last Movie Stars. That world of possibility extended to the bedroom. 

Newman spoke openly about his passion for Woodward throughout his career. “I was in pursuit of lust,” as he described it. In interviews, the couple credited their shared sense of humor and enduring physical attraction for keeping them together. In a 2002 TV interview, Woodward said a sense of humor was even more important than a physical attraction: “If you can make somebody laugh, that’s very important. And he sure does keep me laughing.” In another interview, Woodward told an amusing story of buying a big bed from an antique shop: “It was quite large for a brass bed, and the antique dealer said ‘The reason it’s that large is that it was made for a whorehouse.’ And I was so excited, I said, ‘Oh my heavens, I have to buy this.’ Which I did. And it’s upstairs in our bedroom.”

This devious sense of humor was something the pair cultivated throughout their marriage, and it manifested itself in the Hut. While the idea of the F–k Hut may initially sound crude, it’s actually a testament to how Newman and Woodward kept their spark alive, and weren’t afraid to pepper their sex life with humor. Clearly, the fact that they prioritized intimacy contributed to their long-lasting relationship, and even if you’re not about to rush out and make a Hut of your own, there’s something aspirational about how proudly passionate this celebrity couple always was.

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.