The first movie I saw Paul Newman in at the cinema was
“Exodus” way back in 1962. I didn’t see his earlier films
until they appeared on television, these being “The Long,
Hot Summer”; “The Left Handed Gun” and “Cat on a Hot
Tin Roof” (he was brilliant with Elizabeth Taylor).
These earlier films cemented Paul Newman’s persona into
my film going memory as I knew that a new Paul Newman
film was worth “keeping an eye out for” and mostly I wasn’t
wrong with my assessment. Naturally there were a few
“bad” films but these were far and few between.
All pictures can be enlarged by clicking on the photo.
Paul Leonard Newman, 83, the Hollywood icon with the
famous blue eyes and killer grin who seduced audiences with
six decades worth of rebels, rascals and moody romancers,
An early photo of Paul and in this attire he would of
no doubt won the hearts of many women.
He was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur,
humanitarian and auto racing enthusiast. He won numerous
awards, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe
Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a
Award, an Emmy award, and many honorary awards. He also
won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car
championships in open wheel Indy Car racing.
Newman was born in
interest in the theater, which his mother encouraged. At the
age of seven, he made his acting debut, playing the court jester
in a school production of Robin Hood.
Newman served in the Navy in World War II in the Pacific theater.
Newman was sent to the Navy V-12 program at Ohio University,
with hope of being accepted for pilot training, but this plan was
foiled when it was discovered he was color blind. He was sent
instead to boot camp and then on to further training as a radioman
and gunner. He qualified as a rear-seat radioman and gunner in
torpedo bombers, in 1944.
After the war, he completed his degree at
graduating in 1949. Newman later studied acting at
and under Lee Strasberg at the Actors' Studio in
His first movie was “The Silver Chalice” (1954), followed by
acclaimed roles in “Somebody Up There Likes Me” (1956),
as boxer Rocky Graziano. This portrayal earned him
comparisons to Marlon Brando, another student of Strasberg.
Paul Newman’s first movie was “The Silver Chalice”. He was
apparently not happy of his performance. When the film was
broadcast on television in 1966, he took out an advertisement
requesting people not to watch the film. This backfired, and the
broadcast received unusually high ratings. The film is sometimes
referred to as Paul Newman and the Holy Grail. Newman allegedly
called the film "the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s".
This was followed by acclaimed roles in “Somebody Up There
Likes Me” as boxer Rocky Graziano. This portrayal earned him
comparisons to Marlon Brando, another student of Strasberg.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958), opposite Elizabeth Taylor.
Paul and Elizabeth in
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
and “The Young Philadelphians”. He also starred in “Exodus”
“The Hustler”, “Hud”, “Harper”, “Hombre”, “Cool Hand Luke”
“The Towering Inferno”, “Slap Shot” and “The Verdict”.
He teamed with fellow actor Robert Redford and director
George Roy Hill for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
and “The Sting”. There were many more film, too many to
mention here, as he made over 60 films.
Newman was married twice. His first marriage was to Jackie
Witte and lasted from 1949 to 1958. Together they had a son,
Scott and two daughters, Susan Kendall and Stephanie.
Scott Newman died in November 1978 from an accidental drug
overdose. Newman started the
abuse prevention in memory of his son.
Newman married actress Joanne Woodward on January 29, 1958.
They had three daughters: Elinor "Nell" Teresa, Melissa "Lissy"
Stewart, and Claire "Clea" Olivia. Newman sometimes teamed
with his wife and fellow Oscar winner Joanne Woodward. They
wed in 1958, around the time they both appeared in "The Long,
Hot Summer." Newman also directed her in several films, including
"Rachel, Rachel" and "The Glass Menagerie."
The long-lasting marriage of Paul Newman and Joanne
Woodward was one of the most famous marriages in
in January 2008.
Newman's Own is a food company founded by Paul Newman
How this came about was every Christmas, Paul would sing
carols for his neighbors and give gifts of wine bottles filled
with homemade salad dressing tied with a ribbon.
By mid-January the neighbors evidently started requesting refills.
That experience planted the seed of a small salad-dressing
enterprise, and Newman recruited a friend, writer A.E. Hotchner,
to join the entrepreneurial adventure. Various challenges
cropped up, including finding a local bottler willing to take a
bet on the unlikely pair.The two persisted and were gaining
momentum until they hit a roadblock over what should be on
the label. Newman refused to put his face on the label, but
his associates were adamant, insisting that was the only way
the bottles would sell. Newman relented under one condition:
All profits after taxes would go to charity. The compromise
created one of the most aggressively socially responsible
companies in the country.
Mr. Newman explained, "When the face came on the bottle,
I knew that the profits would have to go to charity. To make
money off that would be so tacky. From this came the
concept of circular exploitation. I allow my celebrity status
to be exploited in order to sell stuff from which I then in
turn channel the proceeds into good causes, hence the
slogan of our company: 'Shameless exploitation for the
The brand started with salad dressing, and has expanded
to include pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, and salsa, and
wine among other things.
Newman declared that all profits and royalties to be donated
to charity. As of May 2007 the donations have exceeded
US$250 million (of which over AUST$12 million has also been
donated to Australian charities) and these donations has
contributed to more than 1,000 charitable causes globally.
Newman was an avid auto racing enthusiast, and first became interested in motorsports while training for and
filming “Winning”. Newman's first professional event was
in 1972, in Thompson, Connecticut, and he was a common
competitor in Sports Car Club of America events for the
rest of the decade, eventually winning several championships.
He later drove in the 1979 24 Hours of
Barbour's Porsche 935 and finished the race in second place.
Nominations that Paul Newman received.
Nominated for Actor 1958 : CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Nominated for Actor 1961 : THE HUSTLER
Nominated for Actor 1963 : HUD
Nominated for Actor 1967 : COOL HAND LUKE
Nominated for Best Picture 1968 : RACHEL, RACHEL, Producer
Nominated for Actor 1981 : ABSENCE OF MALICE
Nominated for Actor 1982 : THE VERDICT
Actor 1986 : THE COLOR OF MONEY (Academy Award)
Paul Newman and Melvyn Douglas in a scene from "Hud"
Hud: He's devastating as a selfish, sexy, callous, and cruel
modern cowboy watching his youth and capacity for human
decency disappear in the dust of a present-day
After audiences watched him shatter the lives of both his
aging father, Melvyn Douglas and the only woman he ever
cared about, Patricia Neal (a very underrated actress who
played one of the best roles of her career).
........................The Beautiful Patricia Neal.
Both her and Melvyn Douglas won an academy award.
Paul Newman was nominated but lost out to
Sidney Poitier for “Lilies of the Field.”
SLAPSHOT: One of Newman's favorites, George Roy Hill's
genially foulmouthed, cynical recession-era comedy about
a sinking minor-league hockey team whose members decide
to fight dirty when they learn they're about to be disbanded
drew some criticism at the time for its nonstop cursing and
jockey attitude toward violence on the ice.
In “Cool Hand Luke” George Kennedy as Dragline in one of his
finest achievement received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Paul Newman was nominated for an Academy Awards as Best
Actor but lost out to Rod Steiger for “In the Heat of the Night”.
It is also fascinating to find so many familiar faces among the
inmates - actors such as Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton,
Joe Don Baker, Ralph Waite, Wayne Rogers and Anthony Zerbe.
Who can not remember this scene from “Cool Hand Luke”
Luke: I can eat fifty eggs.
Dragline: Nobody can eat fifty eggs.
Society Red: You just said he could eat anything.
Dragline: Did you ever eat fifty eggs?
Luke: Nobody ever eat fifty eggs.
Prisoner: Hey, Babalugats. We got a bet here.
Dragline: My boy says he can eat fifty eggs, he can eat fifty eggs.
Loudmouth Steve: Yeah, but in how long?
Luke: A hour.
Society Red: Well, I believe I'll take part of that wager.
Paul Newman with Susan Sarandon from "Twilight"
TWILIGHT: Rumors that Newman was soon to retire began
with the release of this quiet, autumnal detective drama —
a sort of valedictory sequel to “Harper” and “The Drowning
Pool” in every detail but the name of the gumshoe he plays.
In this Paul is surrounded by one of his best casts (including
Gene Hackman, Susan Sarandon, James Garner,
Reese Witherspoon, and Stockard Channing).
Jackie Gleason and Paul Newman from "The Hustler"
THE COLOR OF MONEY: Fast Eddie Felson returns, 25 years
older and, perhaps, wiser. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio:
''If you're too old to cut the mustard, you can still lick the
jar, right?'' Newman, smiling calmly: ''Nobody ever asked me
for a refund, honey.'' Martin Scorsese's polished sequel to
Tom Cruise and Paul Newman from "The Color of Money"
THE VERDICT: Newman's indelible portrait of a used-up,
to save his soul in a long-shot malpractice case against an
archdiocese hospital may be the greatest performance of his
later career; it's certainly his most fearless. Looking desperate
and ashen, his voice a gravelly wreck, his neck bent in defeat,
Newman's Frank Galvin seems to be the sad punch line to all
the outsiders that the actor had played 20 years earlier.
There is no need to mention anything about “Butch Cassidy
and The Sundance Kid” The photos say it all.
Katherine Ross, Robert Redford
and Paul Newman from "Butch
Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
The end of the film was the frozen still of Butch and
Sundance as they emerged from the building where they
had been held up. The pair discuss where they will be going
next, realizing that their time is up (Butch suggests
where at least they speak English). They dash out of the
house in a futile attempt to get to their horses. The image
freezes and slowly turns to a sepia tone while a voice is
heard ordering, "Fire” followed by the sound of hundreds of
rifles being fired in three consecutive volleys.
For those who enjoyed seeing the “Raindrops Keep Fallin’
On My Head” film clip then just click on this video below and
you will be able to see the entire sequence with Paul,
Katherine and the bicycle ride.
THE STING is a caper film set in September 1936 and revolving
around a complicated plot by two professional drifters Paul
Newman and Robert Redford to con a mob boss Robert Shaw.
Robert Shaw, Robert Redford and Paul Newman from 'The Sting"
(Here’s another fine actor who left the world of film long before
his time – just a little bit of info on Robert Shaw who died of a
heart attack in
and his youngest son, Thomas, after golfing with friends during
a break in filming. After feeling chest pains, he stopped the car
taking four or five steps he collapsed by the side of the road
and was pronounced dead by the paramedic team which arrived
fifteen minutes later – he was only 51 years old).
The film was a major box office success in 1973, taking in more
than US$160 million. The film won seven Academy Awards,
including Best Picture and Best Director.
The drifters, then dressed
up for the Sting
ROAD TO PERDITION: The role of John Rooney, a
of equal portions of Irish charm and menace, was,
Newman said at the time, ''a marvelous part...of a size that
was appropriate for a gentleman of my age.''
He's not on screen for long, under Sam Mende's skilled
direction the Newman reveals a few new tricks, most
prominently a mesmerizing, frigid stillness he brings to
the moments in which Rooney weighs his remaining
humanity against his vast capacity for evil without ever
tipping his hand to the audience. He's particularly riveting
in the scenes he shares with Tom Hanks, as the enforcer
who's almost like a son to him, and Daniel Craig, as the
vicious brute he actually fathered. This was Newman's
last big-screen appearance, and the occasion for his ninth
Oscar nomination for acting.
Paul Newman and Tom Hanks from "Road to Perdition"
CARS: As he passed his 80th birthday, Newman spoke
longingly of taking one last acting job — perhaps something
that would pair him with Robert Redford again. But this lively,
funny voiceover performance in the Pixar smash turned out
to be his final role — an appropriate swan song since it allowed
the actor and one of his great passions, automobiles, to merge
into one. He provided the voice of Doc
in Disney/Pixar's 2006 film "Cars." In May 2007, Newman
announced his retirement, citing a loss of confidence and
invention that prevented him from working ''at the level I would
want to...so that's pretty much a closed book for me.''
He went out on top: Cars was the highest-grossing film of his
career (which is a bit weird that this is an animated film in which
Paul doesn't appear as only his voice is heard).
And a final word: "There is a point where feelings go beyond
words. I have lost a real friend. My life - and this country -
is better for his being in it," said actor Robert Redford,
Newman's friend and co-star in "Butch Cassidy" and "The Sting."
Paul Newman has aged gracefully, still with those piercing,
sparkling blue eyes. After 50 years in the film industry and
with 60 films “under his belt” his legacy will live on for
generations to come to watch, enjoy and marvel at his
acting skill. He made it look so easy. Although he had
retired from acting, he will still be missed by family and
the film going audience alike.
Cool Hand Luke and Paul Newman were both cool dudes.