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January 27, 2023

Paul Newman on the Set of ‘Rachel, Rachel’ Helping the Child Stars, 1968

“Paul Newman was very fatherly. He knew we weren’t actors and had to help us a lot. He had a lot of patience. He also didn’t wear any shoes!” – Bethel, Danbury resident and former child extra on Rachel, Rachel.

Rachel, Rachel is a 1968 drama film adapted from the 1966 novel A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence, directed by Paul Newman and starring his wife, Joanne Woodward.

Rachel Cameron (Woodward) is a 35-year-old spinster schoolteacher still living with her mother in her small Connecticut hometown, above the mortuary that was her late father’s business. Rachel is trapped in her tiny, closed-off world, and she fantasizes of escape. Eventually a means of escape offers itself in the form of Nick Kazlik (James Olson), a childhood acquaintance who has come back to town to visit his parents.

Newman’s directorial debut, the film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Actress (Woodward), Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons, as Rachel’s friend Calla), and Adapted Screenplay (Stewart Stern).


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