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Susan Kendall Newman Is Paul Newman's Daughter Who Followed in His Footsteps — Facts about Her

Busayo Ogunjimi
Jul 28, 2022
04:30 A.M.
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Susan Kendall Newman was born into the famous Newman family. She grew up in the spotlight, yet Paul Newman's daughter was a model child who later followed in her father's footsteps. Here are unfiltered truths about her.

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Susan Kendall Newman is Paul Newman's eldest child. She established an acting career like her father and produced some TV content, earning her due recognition in Hollywood.

The award-winning producer became dedicated to helping the needy by teaming up with nonprofit organizations and supplying media and production services to them.

American actress Susan Kendall Newman in Hollywood in January 1978. | Source: Getty Images

American actress Susan Kendall Newman in Hollywood in January 1978. | Source: Getty Images

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Susan's influence did not go unnoticed, as everyone around her had something impressive to say. Some close pals commended her personality, calling the former actress a "smart, outspoken" woman "possessing a strong social conscience."

It is not surprising as she must have inherited the traits from her father, Paul, a skilled actor, producer, and entrepreneur. Susan's mom was Jacqueline Witte, with whom he shared Stephanie, a daughter, and Scott, a son.

Unfortunately, Susan lost her brother in 1978, and her sister prefers to live away from the media brouhaha, so she chose to maintain a reasonable distance from the family's business. The former actress has three other siblings born to her father and his second wife, Joanne Woodward. They are Nell, Melissa Elkind, and Claire Soderlund.

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American actor Joanne Woodward holds her Oscar statuette while sitting next to husband, American actor Paul Newman, during the Governor's Ball, an Academy Awards party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

American actor Joanne Woodward holds her Oscar statuette while sitting next to husband, American actor Paul Newman, during the Governor's Ball, an Academy Awards party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

HER ACTING CAREER AND CHARITY

Since her childhood, Susan has had a good head on her shoulders, despite being raised primarily by her mother following her parents' divorce in the 1950s. Although Paul remarried, he was always available for his children from the first marriage.

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His eldest daughter performed brilliantly in school, but she vehemently refused to further her studies in a college. Instead, Susan looked toward theater, and at age 21, she relocated to New York to pursue a career in Hollywood.

First, Susan appeared on Broadway shows before branching into movies. Throughout the years that she struggled to make a name for herself, the mini-Newman explained that she faced some disadvantageous situations.

American actor Paul Newman and his daughter, actress Susan Kendall Newman, arrive at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the Academy Awards Ceremony, Los Angeles, California, April 11, 1983. | Source: Getty Images

American actor Paul Newman and his daughter, actress Susan Kendall Newman, arrive at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the Academy Awards Ceremony, Los Angeles, California, April 11, 1983. | Source: Getty Images

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The reports about her inheritance were astounding, as the sum stated was far less than what it really was. Again, Susan revealed that people often expected her to be like her dad and that it was impossible to determine if they accepted her for being Susan or Paul's daughter.

Soon, however, she learned to view these challenges as a mixed blessing. Susan yanked off Newman from her name whenever she appeared for an audition. But, surprisingly, "Susan Kendall" did not suffer the same fate. In her words:

"You go in and they expect you to be Sarah Bernhardt. Susan Schwartzmiller goes in and is adequate and everyone says, 'She's young, let her nurture it.' I have to shine."

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Portrait of Susan Kendall Newman. | Source: Getty Images

Portrait of Susan Kendall Newman. | Source: Getty Images

Indeed, there was enough room to prove herself. Susan starred in "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and later "A Wedding." In addition, she performed in Broadway shows and movies. Years later, Susan became more confident in her abilities and bore her surname with pride.

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She went on to write and produce on-screen content and also became a documentary filmmaker. Even though she was a known face on TV in the 1970s, Susan longed to fulfill an innate passion, which coincided with upholding her dad's legacy. She serves as a philanthropist, working with nonprofit organizations.

Paul's firstborn holds an executive position on the board of directors for many NGOs that focus on alcohol and drug abuse prevention and child welfare.

Paul Newman and Daughter Susan Newman. | Source: Getty Images

Paul Newman and Daughter Susan Newman. | Source: Getty Images

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She aims to redefine the goals of these organizations and increase funding and visibility while rendering filming and recording services. While speaking about the objective of her producing chops in the different programs, she said:

"The audience see what happens when little Jimmy (overdoses and)...let them see what happens when a kid says no… You have to show them all the options they have. They may slip once or twice, but most kids want to survive."

For about two decades, Susan has maintained her job description — writer, producer, and documentary filmmaker. Her contributions have earned her nominations, one Golden Globe, Golden Eagle, and Humanitas.

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American actress Susan Kendall Newman in Hollywood in January 1978. | Source: Getty Images

American actress Susan Kendall Newman in Hollywood in January 1978. | Source: Getty Images

LASHING OUT AT BOB FORRESTER

Susan's philanthropist side was nurtured by seeing her dad at work. Paul was a talented actor, businessman, and producer, but he also saw the need to help humanity through his businesses and foundation.

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The actor founded a food empire named "Newman's Own," Later, a foundation with the same name emerged, and proceeds from his business largely funded it.

When he died in 2008, Bob Forrester took over the business. Forrester had been an integral part of the business. He was close with the deceased and had worked for many years without pay, building a food empire.

Paul Newman and Daughter Susan Newman. | Source: Getty Images

Paul Newman and Daughter Susan Newman. | Source: Getty Images

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In 2005, Paul made Forrester the first president and COO of the "Newman's Own Foundation." Forrester appeared reputable before his friend's death, but after Paul's demise, his family complained about how his representative handled the business.

Following the feud over Paul's legacy, Newman's surviving children and wife failed to express dissatisfaction. It was only Susan that was bold enough to lash out at Forrester. She said:

"Whether my family will go public [with our complaints] or not, there isn't a single living Newman who respects or has faith in Robert Forrester and his management of my father's food company, Newman's Own Foundation, or the continuation and protection of his legacy."

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Actor Paul Newman chats with his daughter Susan Kendall Newman, during a break in the filming of the feature movie, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." | Source: Getty Images

Actor Paul Newman chats with his daughter Susan Kendall Newman, during a break in the filming of the feature movie, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." | Source: Getty Images

The former actress pointed out that her family may have been displeased at her words but remained unhinged. She called out Forrester for going against her dad's wishes and fueling "self-aggrandizement and lavish trappings" instead.

In the end, Susan mentioned two possibilities why her siblings have remained mute. She explained that they feared speaking out would only make things worse or that they had signed some confidentiality agreement.

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