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Cool Hand Luke, No More

Paul Newman, 1925 - 2008
Paul Newman, 1925 – 2008

I knew he was sick.  Even though he hadn’t confirmed “The Big C”, he never categorically denied it either and recent pictures from the Spring showed the ravages of the killer.  Lung cancer is one of the most devastating diseases ever and it nearly broke my heart that the great Paul Newman was suffering with that dreaded diagnosis.

Paul Newman was a Hollywood Legend.  A man of substance, fidelity, honor and immense intellect, he played his parts with believable passion and incredible sex appeal, even into his ’80s.  Talk about blue eyes….

Ungh

Ungh

Newman is the model that many of today’s actors have sought to emulate.  However, no-one will ever come close to the unique, vulnerable machismo that only Paul Newman could convey.  While certainly not a complete list of Newman’s extraordinary performances, here are some standouts.

  “Cool Hand Luke”

  HUD”

  “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

  “The Hustler”

  “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid”

  “The Sting”

  “The Verdict”

  “Nobody’s Fool”

  “Road to Perdition”

Versitile.  Sexy.  Endearing.  Tough.  Vulnerable.  Powerful.

Paul Newman was every man, but notched up a level.  He was able to convey a character unlike any other actor that I’ve seen on screen.  He was also a solid human being in “real life”, donating millions to various charities throughout his life.  He was a dare-devil, but very much a private homebody.

Paul Newman’s pragmatic nature was legendary and for the last 50 years he and his wife and partner, Joanne Woodward, chose to make their life far from Hollywood, in Westport, CT.  Their story is one of love, honor and dedication.  Perhaps Paul Newman’s most famous quote is the answer he gave Playboy magazine when asked how he remained faithful to his wife with the infamous “temptations” in Hollywood. 

“I have steak at home.  Why would I go out for hamburger?”

Paul Newman didn’t have to toot his own horn or try to stand out.  He simply did his job (well) and lived his life.  He did nothing to try and be a celebrity or star. 

To quote ole Cool Hand Luke:

“Sometimes nothing is a real, cool hand.”

God Bless and Godspeed, Mr. Newman.

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Posted by on September 27, 2008 in at the movies, idols, inspiration, memorials

 

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