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David Poland

By David Poland

Paul Newman, 1/26/25 – 9/26/08

I’m not quite ready to write on this. Unlike so many of my colleagues, I didn’t start the sad assignment of writing this weeks ago. (And don’t take that as a slap at any of them… just the nature of rumors and editors and deadlines.)
Newman = movie star.
He is a major part of the foundation of the love of movies for anyone over 40 in the world.
I will write more later. But here is some space for you…

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22 Responses to “Paul Newman, 1/26/25 – 9/26/08”

  1. jeffmcm says:

    He was a great star and, by all accounts, a great human being, RIP.

  2. crazycris says:

    Requiem in pace
    There aren’t many who can fill in his shoes.
    I rewatched The Sting a couple of weeks ago, man I wished he and Redford had made more movies together!

  3. adorian says:

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    The Sting
    Cool Hand Luke
    Sweet Bird of Youth
    I love to watch them…over and over…and over

  4. ManWithNoName says:

    I could watch The Verdict every day. Just an amazing, awesome performance.

  5. Blackcloud says:

    A giant, a titan, an icon, a legend. He embodied all that is best about Hollywood. And yet, as so many have pointed out, that was the least of his accomplishments. He seemed to be that rarest of articles: a star who was also a real person.
    I loved watching “The Towering Inferno” as a kid. A pretty silly spectacle from the ’70s disaster genre, but it has a soft spot in my heart. So, therefore, does Paul Newman.

  6. leahnz says:

    the world is a better place having been graced by the magnificent mr. newman. rest in peace, kind soul.

  7. Hallick says:

    Scary anecdote – I was giving my 24-year-old friend a ride to the grocery store and asked her if she’d heard about Paul Newman’s death. She barely recognized the name and didn’t actually know what he was famous for. Granted, she had a strict religious upbringing in the rural midwest until she was 12, but still…wow. I thought that Paul Newman of all performers was one of those rare few that you couldn’t avoid knowing if you’d spent a lifetime at trying.
    Not only don’t they make ’em like Newman anymore – you’re lucky if they remember they ever existed at all.

  8. martin says:

    Hallick, I find that hard to believe.
    I respected Paul primarily for his acting, but also for his dedication to auto racing. It doesn’t sound like much outside the racing world, but he was a major opponent of the open-wheel split, and it must have been satisfying for him to be at Indy this year and see all the cars finally in one series, and for his team to win in the new league with Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson. Although acting was his great talent, car racing was his passion and I hope his contributions to that are not forgotten.

  9. yancyskancy says:

    The Hustler is pretty much the reason I became interested in film as a career. I don’t know whether to blame or thank Paul Newman for that. I think I’ll blame Robert Rossen and thank Newman. One of the true greats. RIP to “a natural born earth shaker.”

  10. You can tell the impact a person made by how sad it is when, even at the age of 83, their death is. Truly a remarkable actor (nobody would deny he is one of the greatest actors ever plus a pretty darn good director from time to time), philanthropist, equal rights champion and sportsman. What’s great is that he kept giving good performances right until the end. He’s excellent in Road to Perdition (his only ever supporting actor nomination) and even did good voice work in Cars in a time when studios (other than Pixar) don’t hire people for their voices, but merely their name. It’s a damn shame he didn’t get to make that one final film with Redford though.
    In a weird case of freakidome, Cars was on TV last night.
    I may have to watch The Sting or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof tonight in lieu of having any of his movies that I haven’t seen sitting here.

  11. L.B. says:

    Great star, fantastic actor, and a good man. I’m missing him hard right now. Need to watch THE VERDICT again tonight.

  12. yancyskancy says:

    My DVD player picked the wrong day to die. Otherwise, I’d be taking The Hustler or The Verdict down off the shelf right now.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Nobody’s Fool — Newman’s best performance. Period.

  14. Cadavra says:

    My one-and-only encounter with him was 10 or 12 years back in New York, at a revival of THE SUNSHINE BOYS with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman at the former’s National Actors’ Theatre. During intermission, I wandered outside and saw him and Ms. Woodward leaning against a poster case, enjoying the evening air. Feeling ballsy, I went up to him and said, “Y’know, ten years from now, you and Redford could do this show.” He fixed me with those blue eyes and growled, “Hell, we could do it now.” I laughed and, having had my moment with him, went back inside. What an amazing fellow.

  15. scooterzz says:

    over the past twelve years, i had a chance to either sit down with him or attend a press conference with him about eight times….he was never less than charming and i was never less than awed….
    and, leydon…that statement is ridiculous. period.

  16. Joe Leydon says:

    Scooterzz: And your choice would be? Seriously, with all due respect, I’d be curious to hear your choice. I know some folks would argue The Verdict, and I really can’t say that’s a bad choice at all. But…

  17. LexG says:

    Slap Shot, The Sting, Fort Apache, The Bronx, Absence of Malice and The Verdict were cable and local TV staples during my earliest formative film years… a few years later, Color of Money became an instant personal fave, and was probably a key factor in inspiring me to check out some of his early, classic stuff — Somebody Up There Likes Me, Cool Hand Luke, Butch and Sundance, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sometimes a Great Notion, of course The Hustler…
    Just awesome, awesome stuff… and yet the image that keeps coming back to me is when Fast Eddie, in The Color of Money, wins a match, exits the tournament area restrained and classy, goes outside, and does a quick, excited motion of celebration, regains himself and comes back in, ever the subdued pro. Classic.
    And now I’m wishing I’d checked out even some “minor” Newmans, from “Mackintosh Man” to “WUSA.”

  18. leahnz says:

    glad to see mention of ‘butch cassidy and the sundance kid’, the first movie i can actually remember seeing at the cinema as small girl. my mother lied and told me they got away. that sentimental attachment may be why ‘butch and sundance’ is still my all-time fave paul newman movie.
    as far as newman’s most memorable performance, that’s a tough call, he’s such a master (or was; how odd to have to think of him in past tense now, it doesn’t seem possible). for me i think it would have to be his turn as ‘judge roy bean’, what a powerhouse he is in that. the judge left an indelible impression on my memory.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    I regret that I haven’t seen so many of these movies, but I’ll just say that his Road to Perdition performance was masterful, and totally worthy of recognition. He did a lot with just a single reaction shot, truly the work of an old pro.

  20. leahnz says:

    i agree, i adore ‘road to perdition’ and newman is so wonderful in it. great film performance is anchored in the eyes, imho, and newman worked the eyes like few others can. (and if anyone ever deserved an oscar for his film photography it was hall for ‘perdition’; so sad he wasn’t still around to see it. the shot near the end with the reflection in the glass is just, wow)

  21. Cadavra says:

    I haven’t seen WUSA since it came out–doesn’t even pop up on cable–but my recollection is that it was a damned good film and he was tremendous. I wish Paramount (assuming they still own it) would dust it off so we could see how it’s held up, especially since it presaged the whole Limbaugh/Hannity/O’Reilly era of right-wing, rabble-rousing radio.

  22. scooterzz says:

    leydon — i just meant that there are no absolutes when selecting a newman ‘best’ performance as your ‘period.’ seemed to indicate…

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