Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman 1925-2008

The impact of Paul Newman on film as actor, director & producer cannot be overestimated. He was that rarest of rare Hollywood personalities: A bona fide movie star, an actor's actor and a devoted family man. His death leaves a massive void that cannot be filled.

List the crème de la crème of Newman's movies and the result is astounding:
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Long Hot Summer
The Hustler
Cool Hand Luke
Rachel, Rachel
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Sting
Towering Inferno
Absence of Malice
The Verdict
The Glass Menagerie
Mr. and Mrs Bridge
Nobody's Fool

Paul Newman played another 80 or more parts scattered across stage and screen. It wasn't unusual for Newman's performance to salvage an otherwise mediocre production. In the 25 years since he introduced his Newman's Own line of foods, Paul Newman became a peerless philanthropist too.

We shall not see the likes of Paul Newman again.

*Update: Here's a few links:
Newman's Own website eulogy.
NY Times obit: Paul Newman, a Magnetic Titan of Hollywood, Is Dead at 83
NY Times appreciation: An Actor Whose Baby Blues Came in Shades of Gray
NY Times: Newman Remembered as a Good Neighbor and a Good Friend
LA Times obit: Actor Paul Newman dies at 83
LA Times appreciation: Paul Newman wielded his beauty like a craftsman
The Chicago Tribune: Tribute to Newman from Hollywood and beyond
The Chicago Tribune: Paul Newman had the last great movie star grin
The Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert: Paul Newman dies at age 83; Ebert: "He lived a full life"