A Slice of Fried Gold

Paul Newman dies at 83

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

A few years back my mom got me to watch the Sting, telling me how it was an incredibly good movie and how great Paul Newman was in it. I was familiar with the guy, but didn't really think he was all that. I mean, I'd only seen him really in two movies (Nobody's Fool and the Hudsucker Proxy) and had only heard that he was this "legendary" actor.

After watching the Sting that all changed.

Over the next few years, I went on a bit of a Newman frenzy, watching and buying his classics - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Color of Money, the Hustler, the Verdict, and Cool Hand Luke number amongst my favorites (along with new found appreciation of his character in the Hudsucker Proxy). To say he became one of my favorites was an understatement. He became my de facto favorite actor. His classic rogue characters were filled with charm, personality, and a humanity that some actors couldn't comprehend let alone portray. His work with frequent acting partner Robert Redford, to this day, is the pinnacle of tandem acting.

Not only that, but he was a great man. He was one of the world's most unselfish philanthropists, giving away millions upon millions of dollars through his "Newman's Own" brand (all proceeds from that brand went to charity). One of the most impressive things about him was his dedication to his family, an unheard of trait for an actor. He married Joanne Woodward at the age of 33, and was still married to her at the time of his death this morning.

That's right. Cool Hand Luke is dead. Henry Gondorff is dead. Eddie Felson is dead. Butch Cassidy is dead.

Above all, Paul Newman is dead, and the world is that much worse off for it. Rest in peace.

Check out a great write up about his life by Alonso Duralde on MSNBC here.


Patty said...

We are losing ALL of the great actors! Rest in peace, Paul Newman.

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