Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman were inseparable and their relationship lasted for 50 years up until Newman's death in 2008.
Joanne Woodward turned 93! In 1952, since she debuted in Robert Montgomery Presents, her strides in TV performance have included many stellar appearances such as Stories of Tomorrow, Danger, The Star and The Story, and others, per PEOPLE. But her most memorable of all is one where she found love.
Since they co-starred in The Long, Hot Summer in 1958, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman were inseparable and their relationship lasted for 50 years up until Newman's death in 2008. One of the most enduring love tales in the annals of Hollywood is theirs.
Woodward said of their union on TODAY, "Somebody once said, 'What is your relationship based on?' and I said, "He's very good-looking and very sexy and all of those things, but all that goes out the window and what finally is left is if you can make somebody laugh, then that's very important. And he sure does keep me laughing."
Joanne is sadly unable to remember any of the wonderful times she spent with her true love as a result of her Alzheimer's diagnosis. “Her health is deteriorating rapidly,” a family insider confides to Closer Weekly. “Joanne will occasionally say she used to be married to someone handsome, but that’s it. She doesn’t even remember the love of her life.”
Joanne started to act in a distressed manner soon after Paul passed away of cancer in 2008 at the age of 83. “The girls saw their mom becoming slightly disoriented, but they chalked it up to her depression after Paul’s death,” says the insider. However, the illness has now advanced to the point where Joanne requires 24-hour care. “She barely speaks anymore and hardly ever recognizes her own daughters or grandchildren,” says the insider. “It’s heartbreaking to see her this way.”
Joanne's daughters, Nell, 56, Melissa, 53, and Claire, 50, are steadfast in supporting their mother despite the fact that they are aware she doesn't remember them.
The insider declares, "Melissa has been a godsend." She even resides next door to Joanne in the former Connecticut house of her parents. The medical staff updates each of the three girls on any developments, but her prognosis looks very bleak as of now.
During her time receiving care at Yale University's Adler Geriatric Assessment Center, Joanne gained weight as a result of a drug study, but she is not likely to return. According to the insider, “She is so far gone that they feel she is reaching her endpoint.”
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Peter Kramer; (R) Getty Images | Bruce Bailey