This is a tough one.
I grew up watching Paul Newman, he was one of my earliest heroes Paul Newman was cool when cool meant something. The last survivor in a series of anti-hero, “rebels without a cause” actors who rose to fame out of the Actors Studio in the 1950’s. There was Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, James Dean and Newman. Newman liked to portray the underdog, Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler, Luke in Cool Hand Luke, Billy the Kid in The Left Handed Gun. In real life, Newman was the same favoring the underdog. He raised million of dollars for his “Hole in the Wall” camp for severely sick children and donated millions via his Newman’s Own Food Company. Politically a liberal, he fought in favor of civil rights, marched against the Vietnam War, and was proud to have made President Nixon’s enemies list.
Newman worked with some of the greatest filmmakers of his time. Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Robert Altman, Otto Preminger, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Penn, Richard Brooks and the Coen Brothers. Co-stars included Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews, Sidney Poitier, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, Tom Cruise, Steve McQueen and of course, his most famous co-star Robert Redford. They made two films together, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting. He also co-starred with his talented and beautiful wife Joanne Woodward, in The Long Hot Summer, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Winning, Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys, From the Terrace and the underrated and little seen Paris Blues.
For me this is truly a sad day. His films have been like family. While I never met him, my wife and I did have accidental sighting. It was not too long after he won the Best Actor award for The Color of Money. We were living in New York City at the time and on this particular Saturday night we were walking down the street on our way to dinner on the upper east side and there is this photographer standing outside a restaurant yelling toward a limo that was parked right in front. “Come on just let me get one shot.” My wife and I looked at each other not sure what was going on when suddenly out of the car comes Paul Newman rushing passed the photographer, passed us and right into the restaurant. It was quick, sudden and awesome! I never forgot it.
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Long Hot Summer
Sweet Bird of Youth
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Drowning Pool
Absence of Malice
The Color of Money
The Hudsucker Proxy
Road to Perdition
Read my more in depth tribute from the Halo-17 website:
The first link is pretty cool. The second is from one of my favorites.