An Oscar won by Hollywood icon Paul Newman for his performance in the 1987 classic Colour of Money, with Tom Cruise, has been discovered in a Swansea storage unit, among boxes of film memorabilia from Hollywood’s golden age.
The statuette, which was Newman’s only Oscar, was found this week in a Storage Giant lock-up in Swansea’s Enterprise Park, after the man who rented it, Gerald Davies, passed away and his family were sorting through his belongings.
Paul Newman and his wife, the actress Joanne Woodward, spent time in Swansea Bay in their later years, as their daughter Nell was married to a Swansea man. The Hollywood couple attended their marriage blessing ceremony at Fairy Hill Hotel in Gower.
After Newman’s death, in 2008, it emerged that the actor had donated £20,000 to the Breast Care Centre at Swansea’s Singleton Hospital. So it is thought the statuette found its way here during this time. The Colour of Money was a follow-up to an earlier Newman classic, The Hustler.
Gerald Davies’ grand-daughter, Georgia Doughton, from Morriston, said: “My grand-dad was obsessed with classic film from the 1940s to the 1980s and he had a collection in his home of signed photographs, original film posters, lobby cards and props from lots of famous films. He used to go to specialist auctions in London and I remember him coming home with a cigarette case used by Roger Moore in Live and Let Die. His wife was very understanding, but I know the collection outgrew their house, so I guess this is why he had a storage unit, although I didn’t know about it while he was alive.
“I know Paul Newman was a hero of Gerald’s, but I had no idea he had gotten hold of his Oscar. We haven’t decided what to do with it yet. Gerald was involved in children’s theatre and I know Paul Newman had a foundation that gave to children’s charities, so we may auction it for a local good cause.
Daniel Davies, Senior Manager at Storage Giant’s Swansea facility, said: “This is a very exciting find for the Davies/Doughton family and the collection looks like a lifetime’s work. Our units are often used by collectors to house their most precious mementoes – but we had no idea we had an Oscar in our midst.
“We have, over the years, hosted other film and TV based props, including Davros and a collection of Daleks used in the filming of the Doctor Who TV series in Cardiff, and we currently have a customer who stores film props and costumes in one of our units in Cardiff. We are a nation of collectors and one of the pleasures of doing this job is that we are supporting people with their passions, which in many cases go on to become viable small businesses too.”