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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Paul Newman ~ 1925 - 2008.

Posted on 2008.09.27 at 13:01
Tags: ,


I knew this day was coming as soon as I read Paul Newman had cancer. But I’d been putting it off in my mind. Now that it’s come, I’m glad I saved a lot of pictures of him.

I still haven’t seen all of Paul Newman’s films, he’s made so many, but some of them I’ve seen over and over. I loved him in the gritty Hud (1963) and the Tennessee Williams-based films, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Sweet Bird of youth (1962). I laughed at him in comedies like Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1958) and A New Kind of Love, (1963) and cried over him in Cool Hand Luke (1977). The films from the 50’s I first saw on TV as a teenager, but I've re-watched them on tape and DVD over the years, and my appreciation has only grown. Some have become personal favourites. I’ve re-watched The Long Hot Summer (1958) so many times (his first picture with Joanne Woodward—what a great pair), I bought my own copy of the DVD to save myself rental fees.

I admired Paul Newman as an actor, but also appreciated him as a man. When I was a teenager, I thought he was too old to get a crush on; "he's almost my parents' age!" But when I grew up, I could see what a sexy man he was. No wonder my older sister was so smitten with him.

But Paul Newman has always been more than a sex symbol, since his appeal was grounded not just in great looks but a great personality. I loved his intelligence and wit, his blue eyes twinkling with merriment or mischief. And I loved his sexy-cool aura, once I was old enough to appreciate it, when those blue eyes could burn and bore a hole through the screen, straight into my consciousness.

In almost all his roles, there was an emotional passion that simmered just under the surface. Whether that surface was one of macho bravado, or a hard-edged utilitarianism, there was a sense of emotional reserves held in check. His best film scenes always allowed that reserve to be stripped away, letting the core emotionality emerge. Whether violent or vulnerable or tender or intense, it was always true.

So, here is a little picspam to celebrate his life. I hope the fans among you will enjoy it.

Paul Newman

January 26, 1925 - September 26, 2008

Undated, but I am guessing 1960, on-set for "Exodus".


Publicity still for "Hud", 1963. Newman was 38.


Newman with Brandon de Wilde in “Hud”.


Another still from “Hud”.


I am not sure which film this comes from. The belt loaded with rounds ought to be a clue. Whatever it comes from, wow.


Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in 1963.


Directing “Rachel, Rachel,” 1968.


Paul Newman with Joanne Woodward in Westport, Ct, date not given.


“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, 1969, with Katharine Ross and Robert Redford.


With Redford in image used for DVD cover.


At Cannes with Joanne Woodward in 1987; he was 62:


Solo shot at Cannes:


Still a beautiful man at 76, this portrait was taken in 2001:


For those who’d like to know more, below is a copy and paste of an article that just appeared in The Guardian.com.uk, September 27, 2008, by Jenny Percival.

This quote most struck me:

"Paul had an abiding belief in the role that luck plays in one's life, and its randomness. He was quick to acknowledge the good fortune he had in his own life, beginning with being born in America, and was acutely aware of how unlucky so many others were. True to his character, he quietly devoted himself to helping offset this imbalance."

Paul Newman dies at 83

The screen legend Paul Newman has died at the age of 83 after losing a long battle against cancer.

Newman died yesterday at his farmhouse near Westport, Connecticut, said his publicist, Jeff Sanderson. He was surrounded by family and close friends.

Newman was nominated for an Oscar 10 times, winning a best actor trophy in 1987 for The Colour Of Money. The actor with the piercing blue eyes is best known for his leading roles in The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke and for playing opposite longtime friend Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

In May 2007 he said he was giving up acting. "I'm not able to work anymore ... at the level that I would want to," he told the US broadcaster ABC.

Newman initially tried to play down concerns about his health after reports that he was having cancer treatment in New York. This year he pulled out of directing a Connecticut stage production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men because of unspecified health problems.

AE Hotchner, who helped create the successful Newman's Own food company in 1982, confirmed in June that the actor had been ill for 18 months. "It's a form of cancer, and he's dealing with it. Paul is a fighter," Hotchner told the Associated Press.

All proceeds from Newman's Own salad dressings and snacks go to charity, and the actor became a leading advocate for corporate philanthropy. Fox news reported this week that Newman gave away $120m in 2005 and 2006.

The vice-chairman of Newman's Own Foundation, Robert Forrester, today praised the Hollywood star's dedication to charity work.

"Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all," Forrester said.

"Paul had an abiding belief in the role that luck plays in one's life, and its randomness. He was quick to acknowledge the good fortune he had in his own life, beginning with being born in America, and was acutely aware of how unlucky so many others were. True to his character, he quietly devoted himself to helping offset this imbalance."

Forrester said Newman's Own went from being "something of a joke" to a highly respected food company bringing in millions of dollars a year and with profits of $250 million to date going to charity.

Twenty years ago, Newman created the Hole in the Wall holiday camps for children with life-threatening conditions. More than 135,000 children have attended the camps.

Forrester said: "Paul took advantage of what life offered him, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humour and humanness. His legacy lives on in the charities he supported and the Hole in the Wall camps, for which he cared so much.

"We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person."

Wikipedia's article on Paul Newman here.


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(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2008-09-27 20:19 (UTC) (Link)
He was a gem of a man, wasn't he?

Edited at 2008-09-27 08:20 pm (UTC)
telstar_gold at 2008-09-27 19:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for this, Mechtild. He will be so missed.
mechtild at 2008-09-27 20:21 (UTC) (Link)
It was a privilege, Telstar. He was one of those people that bring a bit of light to the darkness.
bellewood at 2008-09-27 19:05 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't know.. thank you for a wonderful tribute!!
mechtild at 2008-09-27 20:23 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't know either, Bellewood. My husband was on the internet late this morning and saw it as an hours-old news item.
verangel at 2008-09-27 19:07 (UTC) (Link)
That picture on the front is my favorite. He looks stunning and his eyes glow from the side. He was amazing. It is a sad day. hugs you xoxoox v
mechtild at 2008-09-27 20:27 (UTC) (Link)
It is sad, Verangel. But I'm glad he got to die at home with his family, or so news reports so far have said. That was what he had hoped. His wife and daughters must be very broken up; they were a loving family.
bagma at 2008-09-27 19:42 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much for this moving tribute! Paul Newman really was a beautiful man, on the outside and on the inside.
mechtild at 2008-09-27 20:28 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he was, Bagma. Fans of EW know how uncommon it is for an actor's exterior to mirror his interior.
tariana at 2008-09-27 20:31 (UTC) (Link)
A wonderful tribute. :)
mechtild at 2008-09-27 20:41 (UTC) (Link)
Gosh, but he was special, as an actor and as a person.
(Anonymous) at 2008-09-27 21:35 (UTC) (Link)
I should say that nowhere will there be found a better tribute to Mr. Newman. You've a gift, dear Mech. The beauties of the world acquire rare illumination when seen through what can only be called the *lens* of your heart.

Winifred Holtby said:

"When a person that one loves is in the world and alive and well... then
to miss them is only a new flavor, a salt sharpness in experience."

Surely, the parting that death implies puts "paid" to the first portion of that statement, but, no matter if we have lost an intimately known loved one, or someone that we *know* on a stepped-down level, still, the welcome burden of our memories of them *salt* our experiences, add a new patina to the totality which is 'us', deepen our appreciation of them and life. It is our departed one's final and mighty gift.

Thank you for this, Mechtild.

mechtild at 2008-09-27 21:59 (UTC) (Link)
What a great, thought-provoking quote, Jan. "To miss them is only a new flavour, a salt sharpness in experience." Whether to miss someone is to taste the salt, or whether the person missed is salt missed, Newman has definitely added a savour, a salt sharpness, to my experience of life, perhaps to the world's life.

Edited at 2008-09-27 09:59 pm (UTC)
belleferret at 2008-09-27 22:33 (UTC) (Link)
A lovely tribute to a wonderful man. He will be mourned and missed by the world.
mechtild at 2008-09-27 22:54 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Belleferret. He was lovely.
lame_pegasus at 2008-09-27 22:38 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for this post. He was a brilliant actor, a beautiful man in every sense of the meaning and a great soul.
mechtild at 2008-09-27 22:55 (UTC) (Link)
It was my pleasure to make, Mona. :) He really was a beauty in every way.
primula_baggins at 2008-09-27 23:18 (UTC) (Link)
You have some lovely photos here, really exquisite.

I wonder if the photo where he has all the bullets on his belt is from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? It would figure, but I really don't know.

Thanks for the tribute.
mechtild at 2008-09-27 23:40 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome. And that's very good guess, Primula. He certainly had to do some shooting in that one. It doesn't look like either of his Butch Cassidy hats he's wearing, but it could be between takes and not an actual shot from a film. Are those the ends of reins in his hands? "Hombre" was a western, too.
aussiepeach at 2008-09-28 02:33 (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* I didn't know. I have been thinking of him. RIP, Paul. You will always be Butch Cassidy to me.
mechtild at 2008-09-28 03:45 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Peachy. Yeah, there goes an icon, ey? He was a beaut, too.
sayhello at 2008-09-28 02:52 (UTC) (Link)
I will always think of him as Henry Gondorff. I think that was the movie I first "noticed" him in... What a man!

I was switching channels, and CNN was listing his movies. I knew it had to be a tribute. Sigh...

mechtild at 2008-09-28 03:48 (UTC) (Link)
"The Sting" was hugely well-received when it came out, and not just for the catchy music. I remember even the sepia tinting was talked about. Yeah, he was very winning in that role. A tribute on CNN? I'm glad. He deserves being celebrated.
lijahlover at 2008-09-28 03:27 (UTC) (Link)
He was beautiful inside and out!
mechtild at 2008-09-28 03:49 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he was. :)
Estelanui - Francesca
estelanui at 2008-09-28 08:55 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Mechtild, for this beautiful tribute.
When I heard about Paul's death, I thought you will post something about this intriguing actor.
I love him in all his movies and I always thought there was a very interesting man under his lovely acting. It's not about his good looks, but when you are beautiful inside it appears apart from your will.
I heard one of his interview about death and it was wise and peaceful.
It was and will be always lovely to see him.
mechtild at 2008-09-28 13:27 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for that message about Newman's death, Estelanui. That's a comfort to hear, that it was wise and peaceful.
maewyn_2 at 2008-09-28 11:35 (UTC) (Link)
Whenever I heard the term "film star", Paul Newman always came to mind. Asked to describe a handsome man, and again, it was Paul Newman. He didn't lose his good looks as he aged, either.

He will be mourned by a whole generation of women.
mechtild at 2008-09-28 13:29 (UTC) (Link)
And men. My husband was a fan of many of Paul Newman's films. He was the sort of actor both sexes admired and liked.

Yes, I guess he was a film star, but an effortless one. :)
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