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Paul Newman is dead
September 27, 2008 7:28 AM   Subscribe

One of the great ones in movies has left us. Paul Newman died friday at the age of 83. BBC reports it was cancer. Not only a great actor, he was a great supporter of wonderful humanitarian causes.
posted by lometogo (280 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by Ber at 7:30 AM on September 27, 2008


Pure stud all the way through. Say hi to McQueen for me.
posted by Senator at 7:31 AM on September 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:32 AM on September 27, 2008


Damn. Here' an appreciation of the man's life from this month's Vanity Fair
posted by Optamystic at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by p3t3 at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2008


He donated his entire stake in Newman's Own to charity a couple of years ago, if I recall.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2008


Dang. My biggest secret hope for Paul Newman was that in the eventual Watchmen movie, he'd play the old Nite Owl.

Thank you for all your delicious acting and food-products, sir.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2008


My boyfriend and I watched Cool Hand Luke for the first time two weeks ago. We were in awe of Newman's performance.

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posted by princesspathos at 7:34 AM on September 27, 2008


Dude raised 200 million bucks to provide camps for children with cancer and other serious illnesses.

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posted by gman at 7:34 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know whom I blame for this?

The Bolivian Army.

Oh, and
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posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:34 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by Capt Jingo at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2008


love the cookies.
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posted by valentinepig at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2008


Great race car driver too.

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posted by Big_B at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2008


Who's going to make my salad dressing now?
posted by yhbc at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Kid, the next time I say, "Let's go someplace like Bolivia," let's GO someplace like Bolivia.

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posted by chris24 at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by billypilgrim at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2008


My organization has benefited from his kindness. He provided so much assistance, behind the scenes, that the public will never know about. His legacy extends beyond the silver screen. I hope that he had peace when he passed.

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posted by zerobyproxy at 7:37 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by jsavimbi at 7:38 AM on September 27, 2008


'What we have here is ..failure..to resuscitate...'

RIP, Fast Eddie, and Cool Hand Luke.
posted by jonmc at 7:40 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by a3matrix at 7:42 AM on September 27, 2008


Well, that's just about the worst news to hear after coming home from a bar on a Saturday night.

Dots just don't cover it, but

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posted by Ghidorah at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by mogget at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2008


RIP
posted by cazoo at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2008


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The story goes: In the 80's my mom's work sponsored a celebrity car race. One of her co-workers had the responsibility of checking in the drivers. She walks up to Paul Newman's car, looks in the window, and says, "Name please?" Mr. Newman, being one of the more recognizable celebrities of his time, incredulously replied, in deadpan, "Paul Newman." The woman with the clipboard supposedly asked, "Is that with a W or a U?"

No idea if it's true or not, but it makes for a good story anyway.
posted by baphomet at 7:44 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


First time I ever saw him was in The Sting. One of the greatest movies, and actors, of all time. This has been a tough year.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:46 AM on September 27, 2008


At the end of the day, I think about women. I think about women's bodies. Maybe it'll change, and I'll wind up sleeping with old goalies. Things being what they are, who knows?

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Ah geez, this has already ruined my weekend.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:47 AM on September 27, 2008


Dots can't cover this.

I wish I could say something original. The man was a legend, a personality, and did some fine work for charity. My hat is off to you, Paul.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:49 AM on September 27, 2008


Here's to Butch.

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posted by seldom seen cid at 7:52 AM on September 27, 2008


Aw, shit. Cool Hand Luke?

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posted by Bookhouse at 7:53 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by notsnot at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2008


Dragline: Where'd the road go?
Luke: That's it. That's the end of it.
Convict: Man, there's still daylight.
Dragline: About two hours left.
Convict: What do we do now?
Luke: Nothin'.
Dragline: Oh Luke, you wild, beautiful thing. You crazy handful of nothin'.
posted by jaronson at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Damn.

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Newman was in some of the best movies I've ever seen: The Hustler. Cool Hand Luke. The Verdict. Butch Cassidy. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Hud. Slap Shot (no, really, it's great). He was also the best thing about a lot of otherwise-unremarkable flicks: Nobody's Fool, Road To Perdition, Fort Apache, Hudsucker Proxy, The Color Of Money. And, as others have pointed out, he was one hell of a human being offscreen.

RIP
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by krautland at 7:55 AM on September 27, 2008


I can't help you Sundance.
posted by nola at 7:57 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I ate 3 boiled eggs for ya last night, Luke. Ya done good kid. Rest up. Peace. Out.
posted by doctorschlock at 7:58 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


All of the above, a great American and Sexiest. Ever.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:58 AM on September 27, 2008


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One of the few movie stars that deserved respect.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:58 AM on September 27, 2008


A wonderful and admirable human being. I have the greatest respect for him.
Goodbye, Paul Newman.
posted by Auden at 8:00 AM on September 27, 2008


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:-(
posted by -t at 8:01 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by mike3k at 8:01 AM on September 27, 2008


For a moment there I thought we were in trouble

RIP
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:03 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by geekyguy at 8:04 AM on September 27, 2008


I think Bill Maher once a routine about how good Paul Newman looks even though "he's older than Communism."

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posted by jonp72 at 8:05 AM on September 27, 2008


Remembering Paul Newman
posted by chris24 at 8:05 AM on September 27, 2008


I was six years old when my Dad took me to the drive-in to see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it's my earliest memory of the movies. My favorite to this day.
Great actor, greater humanist.
Fuck Bolivia.


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posted by Duke999R at 8:06 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Smart Dalek at 8:06 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by diggerroo at 8:07 AM on September 27, 2008


Will have to watch Cool Hand Luke tonight after band practice.

RIP Paul
posted by parmanparman at 8:07 AM on September 27, 2008


Now THAT is a man who lived a full life.


posted by dbiedny at 8:08 AM on September 27, 2008


When I think of Paul Newman, I will always, first and foremost, think of the closing statement from The Verdict:

"You know, so much of the time we're just lost. We say, "Please, God, tell us what is right; tell us what is true." And there is no justice: the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time, we become dead... a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims... and we become victims. We become... we become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You are the law. Not some book... not the lawyers... not the, a marble statue... or the trappings of the court. See, those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are... they are, in fact, a prayer: a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion, they say, "Act as if ye had faith... and faith will be given to you." If... if we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves. And act with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts. "

(I can't recommend his performance in Lumet's Verdict highly enough)
posted by Auden at 8:09 AM on September 27, 2008 [9 favorites]


Paul Newman and James Dean screen test for "East of Eden."

Dean: Kiss me.
Newman: Not here.
posted by Tim McDonough at 8:09 AM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


He was a brilliant man who gave generously of himself and everything that he had.

Oh you wild, beautiful thing, you will be missed.
posted by mewithoutyou at 8:09 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by paulus andronicus at 8:09 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by tranquileye at 8:10 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by tenderman kingsaver at 8:11 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by wrapper at 8:11 AM on September 27, 2008


i just saw this on the front page of cnn & gasped out loud. what a great actor, a generous human being, and what a sad day. condolences not only to his family, but to everyone whose life he touched.
posted by msconduct at 8:12 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Rykey at 8:12 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by chihiro at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Dr-Baa at 8:15 AM on September 27, 2008


I just re-watched The Sting yesterday. What a guy. Paul Newman managed to be the epitome of cool while selling lemonade and salad dressing. A great actor, but more importantly, he seemed like a good man.
posted by Muttoneer at 8:16 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by changeling at 8:17 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by fuse theorem at 8:19 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by sueinnyc at 8:22 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by jammy at 8:22 AM on September 27, 2008


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What a fabulously, wonderfully devoted husband, too. My best wishes to his surviving family, especially to Joanne Woodward.
posted by kalessin at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2008


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(dammit)
posted by Gilbert at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2008


What we have here is a failure to respirate.

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posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2008


Quoting the lines Paul Newman read is a fine remembrance, but let's also quote his own words:
It was one of my life's proudest achievements.

More than the films, more than the awards — finding out that I was on Nixon's Enemies List meant that I was doing something right.

Nixon didn't like my campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. But then again, he didn't much care for debate, dissent, or the Constitution either.

I was proud to stand with Democrats against an imperial president back then. And I am proud now to stand with a new generation of Democrats against a president who poses what I believe to be the biggest internal threat to American democracy in my lifetime.
-- Paul Newman, in a 2007 fundraising letter for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Given Newman's feelings, it's especially sad he couldn't have lived just 116 more days, until January 20, 2009, to see the beginnings of a new hope for America.
posted by orthogonality at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2008 [21 favorites]


Damn.


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posted by patrick rhett at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by cupcakeninja at 8:28 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by aheckler at 8:28 AM on September 27, 2008


This made me cry.

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posted by suki at 8:28 AM on September 27, 2008


Damn, he did well while he was here.



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posted by pointilist at 8:30 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Thorzdad at 8:31 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by googlebombed at 8:32 AM on September 27, 2008



posted by bz at 8:32 AM on September 27, 2008


So long "Hombre".

;-(

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posted by bjgeiger at 8:34 AM on September 27, 2008


A wonderful man, and a wonderful actor. Thanks for everything.


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posted by rtha at 8:34 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by daveje at 8:34 AM on September 27, 2008


Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations,
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.

Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations,
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far.

I don't care if it rains or freezes
As long as I've got my Plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car,
You can buy Him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, He's Pink and Pleasant,
Take Him with you when you're travelling far
posted by PenDevil at 8:37 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by e40 at 8:38 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Sys Rq at 8:40 AM on September 27, 2008


'Don't ever hit your mother with a shovel. It will leave a dull impression on her mind.'
posted by steef at 8:40 AM on September 27, 2008


If you haven't seen it in a while, go and rent The Hustler and watch his performance (and George C. Scott's...and Gleason and Laurie aren't bad, either...). His performance in that film is so good, so true, that it aches to watch it.

What a man, and what a life he lived. Thank you, Mr. Newman. My condolences to his family.

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posted by mosk at 8:40 AM on September 27, 2008


Thank you and sleep well.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 AM on September 27, 2008


Someone I used to be close to worked at one of his camps for sick kids. He funded the entire thing and never called attention to it.

"Full life" is a cliche, but I don't how you could squeeze much more good stuff into a human lifespan.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:42 AM on September 27, 2008


Bravest thing he ever did was in The Hudsucker Proxy, 1994. He took off his shirt. Dude was 69.
posted by Hogshead at 8:44 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


My favorite clip from Paris Blues.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:44 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by dov3 at 8:45 AM on September 27, 2008


Happens to everybody. Nobody gets out of life alive.

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posted by mandal at 8:47 AM on September 27, 2008


He was one of the greats without a doubt.

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posted by Sailormom at 8:48 AM on September 27, 2008


:(
posted by katillathehun at 8:48 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by hecho de la basura at 8:49 AM on September 27, 2008


He and his daughter gave a lot to the NPO I used to work for.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:52 AM on September 27, 2008


. Damn, what a great guy. If I could pack 1/2 as much into my life as he managed to, I'd die a happy man.
posted by octothorpe at 8:53 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by josher71 at 8:54 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by neblina_matinal at 8:55 AM on September 27, 2008


:(

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posted by UseyurBrain at 8:55 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Tacodog at 8:56 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Pecinpah at 8:56 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Iridic at 8:56 AM on September 27, 2008


In what seems a thousand years ago, when I was celebrating my anniversary with my first wife, I went to a very nice and expensive restaurant upstate in Ct. We were alone (got there a bit early) and soon after, Newman and his wife walked in and sat at a table across the way...we were the only two couples there at that time. I turned to my wife and said: "don't look at them, I don't them to recognize me." My wife noted that we had little to say to each other but they were talking non-stop. I told her: "you go to California for a year and I will stay here and when we get together we too can have a lot to say to each other."

Newman began the brand business after giving out salad dressing in bottles for Xmas and a friend suggested it to him. Stew Lenard's , a big dairy store, told him to put his face on the bottles to help market it. Now over 100 items (newest: wine) sold under his label, and all the money after taxes goes to charity. His daughter runs the business.

He had recently with his wife revived and redid a restaurant close to a theatre that does good productions in Westport, Ct, close to Weston, where he had his home.
posted by Postroad at 8:59 AM on September 27, 2008


"He was smiling... That's right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end."

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posted by hojoki at 9:00 AM on September 27, 2008


Not usual that I post the . thing, but if there was ever someone who deserved it...

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posted by Lord_Pall at 9:00 AM on September 27, 2008


He was smiling... That's right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end. Hell, if they didn't know it 'fore, they could tell right then that they weren't a-gonna beat him. That old Luke smile. Oh, Luke. He was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he's a natural-born world-shaker.

Egad I coud bawl like a baby 'bout now
posted by hal9k at 9:03 AM on September 27, 2008


Where the hell are the singing cats? (Bad video, but you get the idea.)
posted by raysmj at 9:05 AM on September 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


That's a guy that pretty much won life.

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posted by thinman at 9:05 AM on September 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


Slate has a nice obituary up this morning.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:08 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by buriednexttoyou at 9:08 AM on September 27, 2008


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« SHE'S A LESBIAN! A LESBIAN! A LESBIAN! »
posted by zenzizi at 9:10 AM on September 27, 2008


A few anecdotes and quotes from a surprisingly respectful Fark thread.

Dave Letterman on Paul Newman's V8 Volvo:

"So I'm aware of the fact Paul is more excited about this than I am. He calls me up from time to time and he says, "Have you picked out the interior yet?" And I said, "No, I haven't." Then he calls two weeks ago, and he says, "Dave, the cars are ready. WE got two, on for me, one for you. I've got to ask you a question. Do you want a puffer?"

I'm thinking, well, is that like a special inflatable seat? And I said, "Well Paul, are you getting a puffer on yours?" And Paul says, "Yeah, yeah, I'm getting a puffer on mine. It's a supercharger. This thing will turn about 400 horsepower, so if you pop the clutch you're gonna tear up the rear end. I tell ya, from 20 to a hundred you can chew anybody's ass."

And, you know, I'm thinking to myself, what circumstance would Paul find himself in driving around in a Volvo station wagon where he feels like he's gotta chew somebody's ass? But when Paul Newman offers you a puffer, I mean, you take it. You don't turn down Paul Newman."


Personal Story from Farker NashBridges -

"Well this genuinely makes me sad. I met Mr. Newman at a fund raising dinner in Santa Monica way back in the 80's when I was an awkward, acne-infested teenager with braces. I didn't like it when people watched me talk, so I had an unconscious habit of covering my mouth with my hand whenever I spoke.

The Color of Money had just come out, and when we were introduced I was doing my stupid hand over the mouth thing. After the adults were done talking he took me aside and said something that literally made my life better: "Kid, it's all about the eyes. You have great eyes. Don't worry about your mouth, girls won't be looking anywhere but here *points at my eyes*"

I didn't appreciate it at the time, but when a farking movie star on the level of Paul Newman not only picks up on your personal shame during one introduction but also takes the time to tell you it doesn't matter - that's farking class. He was probably lying, since I have hazel eyes and I think they make me look like a cat, but if he was, it was the right lie to tell at the time.

Rest in peace, good man, you were one of the few people on this earth who brought goodwill wherever you went."


And a quote from the man himself -

"You can't be as old as I am without waking up with a surprised look on your face every morning: 'Holy Christ, whaddya know - I'm still around!' It's absolutely amazing that I survived all the booze and smoking and the cars and the career."
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:14 AM on September 27, 2008 [13 favorites]


A couple of years ago, I did a play at the Westport Country Playhouse. At the end of the first week of rehearsal, we were invited to dinner at "a board member's house" after rehearsal on Sunday evening. I didn't want to go - I was tired and cranky and the show was not going well. Add to that the two hour commute home to Brooklyn and I pretty much just wanted to bail, sneak over to the train station and be done with it. I'd profusely apologize Tuesday morning, claiming illness or fatigue or some other half-baked excuse for blowing off the generosity of one of our sponsors. The stage manager, sniffing out my plan by noting my hasty and not-so-subtle exit out the side door of the rehearsal hall, pulled me aside and said, rather mysteriously, "You don't want to miss this one. Trust me."

I and the other actors, the stage manager and director all piled into a van and headed into the woods a few miles from the Playhouse. We drove up to a metal gate with an intercom box outside. After our driver cheerfully called, "It's us!" into the intercom, the gate slowly opened. We drove up a winding little road past a sprawling red farm house and arrived at a barn that had been converted into a guest house across from the main home. Joanne stuck her head out of the screen door and waved at us. She then looked back inside the barn and called, "Paul! Company!"

Paul was watching The Masters on television and took little note of our arrival. Joanne guided us all to the sitting area near the fireplace, inviting us to take a load off and deposit our bags and coats and hats on a sofa near the door. She encouraged us to wander freely around the barn at our leisure and then went downstairs to the kitchen to have h'ors d'ouerves and glasses of wine and bottled beers sent up on trays. Every millimeter of wallspace was covered by photographs of Paul and Joanne and their children. Or, Paul and Robert on the set of Butch Cassidy. Or Robert Shaw on the set of The Sting. Oh, that? That's Paul and Altman in-between takes on Buffalo Bill. That's Paul at the opening night of "Somebody Up There Likes Me." This here is Joanne's first Equity acting contract. This is Paul and the kids skiing out in Colorado. That was Paul's first academy award nomination. Joanne and Sally Field. These are the posters for every production Joanne directed at the Playhouse. This is Orson Welles drinking an iced tea, mugging for the camera. An Oscar nomination. An Emmy nomination. A Golden Globe award. Certificates for Excellence in Philanthropy, photos of Paul and his daughter dressed in American Gothic drag for the Newman's Own brand packaging. Paul with the family dog. Paul in a racing jumpsuit. A perfect miniature replica of a Formula One race car in an acrylic case.

Joanne came back upstairs and milled about, offering beer and wine, asking questions about the first week of rehearsal, earnestly listening to the occasional anecdote, encouraging perseverance, genially offering directorial guidance. She patted arms and shoulders, nodded sympathetically, and smiled easily. She also attempted to herd Paul back toward the fireplace where we all stood - "We have guests, Paul." Paul waved an arm in our general direction and turned his attention back toward the television. "He likes Tiger Woods," Joanne said.

I helped myself to a glass of wine and wandered over near the mini Formula One race car and had a look at it. It was a strange addition to the menagerie of acting honors and family photos and yet it also seemed to be the focal point of the collection, sitting squarely in the middle of the large credenza that sat against the den wall, a light focused directly on it.

"That's the only thing in here worth a damn," said a low, familiar voice.

I turned sharply. Paul Newman took a sip of Newcastle, scratched his left temple and looked at me. His eyes were blue, if I recall. I blushed.

"Any interest?" he said.

"In what?"

"Racing?"

"Not really."

Paul looked annoyed. "Why not?"

"I don't drive." I said.

"You don't DRIVE?", Paul said, surprised and exasperated in equal measure. "Why in the hell not?"

"I just...don't have a driver's license."

"You don't know how to drive?"

"...uh....well, no, not anymore, I guess."

"I can teach you how to drive," he said. "I'm out of town next week, but I can take you over in the parking lot by the playhouse week after that."

"Uh....okay.", I said.

"What's that you're drinking?"

"Wine."

"You want some more?"

"I like golf." I offered. Stupidly. I blushed again.

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah."

Joanne approached and took him gently by the arm. She looked at me and smiled. "We've just put the food out," she said.

"What's it this time?" Paul asked.

"Let's go find out."

She led us over to the buffet by the fireplace. The offering was roast chicken, pasta with vegetables and salad. Paul immediately dug a drumstick out of a chafing fish and took a bite.

"Paul - ", Joanne said.

"You can't eat chicken with a damn knife and fork," Paul grumped. Joanne picked up a napkin and wiped a bit of chicken grease from his cheek. He waved her off. "You're a mess," she said, with mock irritation. "Pretty good chicken." said Paul. Their eyes met. Paul took another bite of drumstick. She tapped his nose with her fingertip. "You embarrass me," she said.

"This kid doesn't even know how to DRIVE. THAT'S embarrassing", he said, jutting a thumb at me. I blushed.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 9:14 AM on September 27, 2008 [190 favorites]


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posted by zouhair at 9:15 AM on September 27, 2008


Apart from everything he did on screen, his charity donated 187 MILLION. Gadzooks. That is simply amazing.
posted by mecran01 at 9:15 AM on September 27, 2008


generally, when I hear we have lost one of hollywood's greats, especially when they have reached their eighties, I respond in a minor key; less sad, more glad they got as many years out of the game as they did.

this man, however, is one I mourn...and damn, it feels like a personal loss. I have so much respect for the choices he made (from the personal, to the professional, to the philanthropical...) and even though 83 is quite a good run, it still seems too soon. I will continue to admire the manner in which he conducted himself now that he's gone.

oh, and also, .
posted by squasha at 9:17 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by podwarrior at 9:18 AM on September 27, 2008


He had a good, long, full life and it's time to let him go, but damn is it hard to do so.
posted by orange swan at 9:18 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?"

-Paul Newman, on why he never cheated on Joanne Woodward
posted by A Long and Troublesome Lameness at 9:18 AM on September 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


I've watched, and pretty much memorized, every movie Paul Newman has been in. I bet I've seen some of them a hundred times. He always brought a kind of "humanity" (for lack of a better word) to every role.

For some reason, his role as Sully in Nobody's Fool has always been my favorite, though. Even above Cool Hand Luke or Fast Eddie or any of the other great characters he's played. I even named my dog Sully.

RIP, Mr. Newman. Thanks for the memories.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:19 AM on September 27, 2008


Paul Newman is still HUD.
posted by atchafalaya at 9:23 AM on September 27, 2008


Goodbye Rocky Graziano and Brick Pollitt and Eddie Felson and Hud and Harper and Cool Hand Luke and Roy Bean and Henry Gondorff and Buffalo Bill and Mr Bridge and Sidney J Mussburger and John Rooney and Butch Cassidy!

Of course, none of you were anything without Paul Newman. But I don't know what to say on his passing. At least those other guys get to live on...

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posted by crossoverman at 9:24 AM on September 27, 2008


"OK, OK, what do I do now? Lie down on the floor and, uh, bow from the ankles?"-- Fast Eddy


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posted by skyper at 9:24 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by strawdog at 9:25 AM on September 27, 2008


I have a lot to say and can't even begin to say it.

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posted by scody at 9:26 AM on September 27, 2008


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A life well-lived. A really decent human, a fine actor.

I'm going to get quite a bit of enjoyment hearing accolades for him from people like W whom Newman actively hated...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:27 AM on September 27, 2008


Damn, this is sad news. I am spending the weekend with The Girl and just night before last, we watched Slap Shot, and we both marvelled at his comic timing and winning way with profanity (as well as the many future beloved-if-not-precisely-famous character actors with small roles : M. Emmet Walsh! Lindsay Crouse! Swoosie Kurtz!).

We shall not look upon his like again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:27 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:28 AM on September 27, 2008


The number of detailed anecdotes on this thread alone has to attest to something wonderful about Paul Newman's generosity, character, and possibly too -- maybe? -- how little he cared about the trappings of what we call celebrity. Countless brilliant performances, my favorite having to be "Cool Hand Luke" because that was one of my dad's favorite movies ever. Rest in peace.
posted by blucevalo at 9:31 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by pmurray63 at 9:32 AM on September 27, 2008


When I was about 13 I saw a good-looking gray-haired dude in a vintage MG convertible drive past me up Maple Ave. in North Haven, Connecticut. I had seen Butch Cassidy and The Sting and Cool Hand Luke, and I couldn't believe there was Paul Newman, just cruising through my town.

"Sometimes nothing can be a pretty cool hand."
posted by stargell at 9:32 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by doctor_negative at 9:34 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by faineant at 9:35 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by slimepuppy at 9:36 AM on September 27, 2008


Heh. Regarding 1954's The Silver Chalice, his film debut: Paul Newman was apparently not proud of his performance. When the film was broadcast on television in 1966, he took out an advertisement in a Hollywood trade paper apologizing for his performance, and 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 has allegedly called the film "the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s."

I remember reading that the young Newman was a little jealous of James Dean, who often visited the set of Chalice and usually left with Pier Angeli at his arm. But it was Dean's death that accelerated Newman's career; MGM cast about for a "James Dean type" to fill the vacated Rocky Graziano part in Somebody Up There Likes Me, and Newman (who had tested for East of Eden) was closest to hand.
posted by Iridic at 9:37 AM on September 27, 2008


From the closing piece of the nyt obit

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
posted by lalochezia at 9:37 AM on September 27, 2008 [15 favorites]


You look pretty good without your shirt on, you know. Sight of that through the kitchen window made me put down my dish towel more than once.

Amen, Ms. Brown!
posted by boy detective at 9:38 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nooooo... My Fig Newmans!
posted by Laen at 9:39 AM on September 27, 2008


This makes me sad.

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posted by m0nm0n at 9:40 AM on September 27, 2008


While I did not consider myself inordinately touched by the man's work and generosity, it appears I was mistaken -- when I saw the headline this morning I yelped in a sort of "oh no!" suprise, which to be quite honest, has not happened for quite some time. Great man, world was better off for having him in it.
posted by cavalier at 9:41 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by brandz at 9:41 AM on September 27, 2008


I knew this was coming and it's still choking me up.

Damn.
posted by Cyrano at 9:44 AM on September 27, 2008


This was the first thing I heard on the news this morning. Thanks for totally ruining my weekend, glib local anchorman.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch Hud.

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posted by palomar at 9:44 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by abdulf at 9:46 AM on September 27, 2008


Probably about 15 years ago, the only time I ever had a pit pass at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix (I'm not really a racing fan) I found myself perhaps 10 feet from Paul Newman and his then racing partner, whose name I don't recall, chatting in their pit area. I was struck by 1) he had the bluest eyes I've ever seen and 2) he was way shorter than I would have expected. Later that day, his racing partner was killed in a crash. Anyway, he was truly a great actor and great human being.

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posted by lordrunningclam at 9:46 AM on September 27, 2008


There are good people on the planet
Today there is one less.

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posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 9:47 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Quietgal at 9:50 AM on September 27, 2008


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yup.

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posted by mmahaffie at 9:50 AM on September 27, 2008


A wonderful actor who did humble generous things with his fame. An example others should follow.

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posted by paddysat at 9:53 AM on September 27, 2008


Jesus



he was a handsome man

and what i want to know is

how do you like your blueeyed boy

Mister Death
----------------------------------
Paul Newman was the ultimate hunk in the 60's, the way Brad Pitt *sigh is now or was in the 90's and Gere was in the 80's. But he was a brilliant actor on top of those blue eyes and beautiful body. Ah, aging. I loved that he stayed with Joanne Woodward for decades. An elegant couple. It was the fortieth anniversary of their marriage this year. I loved that his acting evolved from screen idol youth to silverhaired dream to old man. I saw him in 2003, on Broadway in Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Damn he was good.

I first fell in love with him in November 1970, when I was 16, in a movie theater in Reykjavik, watching Cool Hand Luke, as he sang the plastic Jesus song.

He's just been there the last 40something years, hard to know he's dead now.

He was all the more admirable for being on Nixon's enemy list.

He was half-Jewish, half-Catholic-Christian Scientist. Love that he didn't hide his preferences.

His son, Scott, died by drug od. That must have been incredibly painful as a father. He turned it around and created a center for education.

I know that spot where his wheelchair was parked, waiting for transport, having waited there myself during cancer treatment at NY Presbyterian Hospital this Spring. In 2005/6 also had the same types of chemo he had, the platinum (carboplatin) and castor bean (paclitaxel) based ones. unnngg Seriously painful.

The NCI estimates that there will be more than 215,000 new cases of lung cancer this year and more than 161,000 people will die as a result.

That is the equivalent of a Boeing 747 crashing every day.


If you're reading this and thinking of smoking cigarettes. Don't. It's an agonizing way to die.

The asbestos in the racing cars he drove may have had a part in his getting cancer, like Steve McQueen's cancer.

I remember the first time I saw a bottle of Newman's Own spaghetti sauce in the 80's (before people called it pasta sauce) with the proceeds going to charity. wow. It was a lovely shock that such a beautiful man would put his face on sauce and give the money away. Not just a little money, a lot of money. So inspiring.

There is nothing like his Sockarooni.

The Company has generated over $250 million in proceeds that have been donated by Paul Newman and the Newman's Own Foundation to thousands of charities worldwide. Particularly close to his heart were the Hole in the Wall Camps, now the leading global family of camps for children with life-threatening illnesses, which Paul started over 20 years ago.

Yes, all things considered, what an amazingly full, accomplished, generous life of integrity, walking it like he talked it.

Condolences to beautiful and wonderful Joanne Woodward and to his children. May he rest in peace.
posted by nickyskye at 9:54 AM on September 27, 2008 [11 favorites]


Paul Newman sounds like he was a great fellow, regardless of his career, but we ought not to forget that his acting influence extended beyond just the talkies.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:56 AM on September 27, 2008



posted by RussHy at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by bardic at 10:08 AM on September 27, 2008


"The Long, Hot Summer" and "Blaze" were both filmed in my small town. In fact, my dad (a teenager at the time) is in the scene in TLHS at the church picnic raffle. In 2003, when TCM did a retrospective on the film, I was interviewed extensively about when "Hollywood" came to town. At the time of the filming, Paul and Joanne were "dating" in secret and my grandmother took a picture of them holding hands behind the church.

Paul asked her politely not to show the picture to anyone, since he was afraid it would cause a scandal.

When I found out this morning that he'd died, I called my grandmother and broke the news to her and we cried together. Mr. Newman was a great man and the world is a less amazing place without him.
posted by ColdChef at 10:11 AM on September 27, 2008 [9 favorites]


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posted by o2b at 10:12 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 10:12 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by everichon at 10:16 AM on September 27, 2008


One of the great ones in movies has left us.
posted by Roman Graves at 10:22 AM on September 27, 2008


He was great in Cars!
posted by Artw at 10:24 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Extremely talented, by many accounts loving, and hotter than hell well into his senior years.

Thanks to him -- and to a lesser degree Robert Redford -- I decided long ago to let my insecurities go in regards to comparing my appearance to others -- if a man in his seventies was sexier than I had a chance to evert be in my 20s, all I could hope to do is enjoy others and do the best with what I've got.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:25 AM on September 27, 2008


Thank you Paul.
posted by Mister_A at 10:31 AM on September 27, 2008


Sometimes nothing's a real cool hand.

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posted by MythMaker at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by vibrotronica at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2008


This is another one of those deaths that I will repeatedly forget then remember and feel sad all over again.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dang. I know it had to happen...just wish we could have had longer.

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posted by batmonkey at 10:34 AM on September 27, 2008


Oh, sad day. What a man. This thread is a great tribute to the man, the clips and anecdotes are bitter-sweet.

I loved knowing about his long-term marriage to Joanne Woodward. I used to work in advertising in Maine and my agency worked with a lot of B&Bs. Paul & Joanne loved going to B&Bs because their privacy was generally respected. Many inkeepers told me about the thrill of having them as guests, often with remarks about what genuinely nice and humble people they were and how loving a couple. This is no doubt a sad day for many innkeepers who had the privilege of hosting them.

These clips are a good two-part tribute to him, to her, and to their marriage:
Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward - part 2.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:35 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Unfurling my wings, boss.

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posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:36 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


He took off his shirt. Dude was 69.

Dude took off his shirt in nearly every movie he made. It was a signature move.

My wife is a special education teacher from Connecticut, and is probably more familiar with his charity work and special needs camps than his movies.

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posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:37 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Navelgazer at 10:39 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by grubi at 10:43 AM on September 27, 2008


What a loss.

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posted by mitzyjalapeno at 10:51 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by rewil at 10:51 AM on September 27, 2008


simply heartbroken.

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equally as heartbroken for ms. woodward. after 40+ years of love, i can only imagine her sorrow.
posted by CitizenD at 10:57 AM on September 27, 2008


Kudos to one half of a great racing team and a great driver...

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posted by tomcosgrave at 10:59 AM on September 27, 2008


Well, shit.
posted by trondant at 11:02 AM on September 27, 2008


A *proper* star. He was good at the job on and off screen.
posted by chuckdarwin at 11:10 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by brundlefly at 11:18 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by HyperBlue at 11:19 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Shutter at 11:29 AM on September 27, 2008


May all of your Mustangs have endless sets of hubcaps to fly off.

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posted by buzzman at 11:29 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


. dammit
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posted by paddbear at 11:33 AM on September 27, 2008


Vaya con huevos, honey-pie.
posted by cookie-k at 11:35 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by inconsequentialist at 11:36 AM on September 27, 2008


Ooops. Wrong hippie.
posted by buzzman at 11:37 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by mikelieman at 11:41 AM on September 27, 2008


RIP, Butch.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:45 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by starman at 11:51 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Snyder at 11:53 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by trip and a half at 11:55 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:56 AM on September 27, 2008


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posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:56 AM on September 27, 2008


I reiterate; Fuck you, cancer.
posted by god hates math at 12:04 PM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 12:06 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by bashos_frog at 12:12 PM on September 27, 2008


Thank you, sir, you made life more enjoyable for many millions.
posted by maxwelton at 12:12 PM on September 27, 2008


sometimes nothing can be a cool hand to have

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posted by captainsohler at 12:13 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by aerotive at 12:17 PM on September 27, 2008


The problem with humanists is that they're human.

A beautiful man and a beautiful human being. RIP, dear sir.

"... take it with you when you travel far."
posted by sleepy pete at 12:23 PM on September 27, 2008


Henry Fonda, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman - are all the men with startlingly blue eyes gone?
posted by Cranberry at 12:24 PM on September 27, 2008


And I wouldn't care if you're ugly
'Cause with the lights out, I couldn't see
You just picture Paul Newman, and girl,
He looks a lot like me.


RIP Paul.
posted by porn in the woods at 12:25 PM on September 27, 2008


Cranberry, I have startlingly blue eyes. It's the only think I'm ever complimented on by strangers.

I am not comparable to those men in any other way.
posted by flaterik at 12:26 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by brain cloud at 12:27 PM on September 27, 2008


Goodbye Mr. Mussburger.
posted by quin at 12:27 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by joedan at 12:31 PM on September 27, 2008


One of my very favorites. I don't think ANYONE has ever looked better than he did in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Such a great actor and just a quality human being. Prayers for his family. He will be greatly missed.
posted by pearlybob at 12:37 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was wondering if this was gonna happen soon.

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posted by zardoz at 12:39 PM on September 27, 2008


He set an example that oh so few will ever follow.

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posted by tommasz at 12:41 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cars (Voice) 2006

what?
posted by tehloki at 12:55 PM on September 27, 2008


A fine actor and a class act. One of the very few Hollywood types I ever really admired (Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart being the others), he will be missed.
posted by MikeMc at 1:14 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by broodle at 1:17 PM on September 27, 2008



Cars (Voice) 2006

what?


He voiced the "Doc Hudson" character (It's one of my little guy's favorite movies).
posted by MikeMc at 1:17 PM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


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posted by gomichild at 1:23 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by futility closet at 1:39 PM on September 27, 2008


Dear god, the world is poorer today for this loss.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:45 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by fixedgear at 2:03 PM on September 27, 2008


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When I was a kid I thought that Paul Newman was one of the coolest guys ever. Reading all these wonderful anecdotes about his life and generosity, it appears that I was right.
posted by ob at 2:10 PM on September 27, 2008


1998, the Toronto International Film Festival. I'm interning. Paul Newman and Kevin Costner, among others, are doing press one-on-ones for Message In A Bottle, one of a long list of movies only notable for Newman's performance. Costner was uncharacteristically rude all day long - the gossip was that he'd just come out of a bad relationship and was feeling it.

Whatever the case - I'm standing in the room where Newman's doing his interviews. Costner's in the room next door, and there are thin walls. We can all hear him bitching out his assistant over the phone. At length.

Newman looks at his interviewer, than at me, then snorts. "Kids," he says, and doesn't need to say anything more.
posted by mightygodking at 2:23 PM on September 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


He deserved a gentler death. Damn.

An Esquire feature from 2000.
In a debased celebrity culture that rams cow shit down every goose's craw and calls it pate, what does it mean to be a star? If Brad and Leo are icons, what does that make Paul Newman?

Lucky.

"Think of the torrent of sperm out there," he says softly, so softly that I find myself bending toward him, "and that yours landed here. Stunning."

"Long odds," I say.

He nods.

"Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley -- if their sperm had landed in Papua, New Guinea, where would they be today? They would have a lock on the abacus industry, but that's about as far as they could go."

This is textbook Newman. He is an ancient mariner, a survivor of a generation of tough guys, a stranger to self-congratulation and self-parody, a man who busted his nuts and yet found it unnecessary to seek release and affirmation in moshing with hotel furniture, punching pencil-necked photographers, or dancing the Watusi when he hit the end zone. Rarer than a virgin in Vegas is a Paul Newman interview in which luck, whimsy, and serendipity don't get the credit for his success.

"It is luck. It is . . . stunning. I didn't think very much about the future. I never felt like a leading man, never felt it. You've gotta feel like a leading man in order to be a leading man, and I never had that kind of confidence."
posted by maudlin at 2:51 PM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Class act" says it all. He had it all: talent, intelligence, looks, morals, and plain decency.

I remember a picture in one of my college psych books showing a baby staring at a close up of Paul Newman's face on a TV screen, and the caption under the photo was about how even newborns watch attractive faces longer than plain ones.

RIP.
posted by Devils Slide at 2:51 PM on September 27, 2008


Particularly close to his heart were the Hole in the Wall Camps...

The Hole in the Wall Camps are wonderful places. Thank you, Mr. Newman.

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posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on September 27, 2008


As kids, we'd go to watch Paul Newman race at Lime Rock. He was always gracious and kind to the kids and fans gathered at the track.
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Rabarberofficer at 3:18 PM on September 27, 2008


Beautiful man.
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posted by Lezzles at 3:21 PM on September 27, 2008


Thanks for the salad dressing and popcorn, Mr. Newman.

And I guess you made movies, too, or something.
posted by sonic meat machine at 3:28 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:47 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by pointystick at 3:52 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 4:53 PM on September 27, 2008


Cars (Voice) 2006
what?


Yeah, well, it was the highest-grossing movie of his career -- how about that?
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 4:55 PM on September 27, 2008



posted by bwg at 5:04 PM on September 27, 2008


Post Title: Paul Newman is dead

From what I gather in this thread, Paul Newman will never die.
posted by bwg at 5:05 PM on September 27, 2008


I was quite a fan of his pasta sauces. Newman's Own Basil & Garlic is the best.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:18 PM on September 27, 2008


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So I grew up outside of Greenwich, CT. It is near Westport. There is a lot of money in the town, and a lot of celebrities.

My favorite Paul Newman story (besides Tilapias upthread) is the time my mom's friend spotted him at one of the grocery stores in town. She proceeded to call her mother, and the two of them followed Paul around the store like a pair of school girls, as he went about his business.

Excuse me, I have to go update my netflix queue now.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:18 PM on September 27, 2008


A fine human being, and one of the greatest actors ever.

And he ate 50 hard-boiled eggs.

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posted by evilcolonel at 5:22 PM on September 27, 2008


Wow, it hasn't been a great year for celebrities has it?

I'm not as familiar with his films as I probably should be. But, damn if he didn't make one hell of a good spaghetti sauce.


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posted by spirit72 at 5:53 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by jackofsaxons at 5:56 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by caddis at 6:09 PM on September 27, 2008


What a gigantic bummer. Guys like Paul Newman should be allowed, for all our sake, to opt out of that whole mortality thing. Dang me, I'm sorry if he suffered on his way out.
posted by Richat at 6:09 PM on September 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


An internet/online friend of mine shared this story about meeting Mr Newman:

I think I posted this before, but [my wife] and I lived in Westport from 1975-1977. The Newmans didn't have a gate across their private road in those days, but I guess over the years they were hassled enough that they felt they had to have one put up. We'd see Paul from time to time because we lived on Saugatuck Avenue, and he liked to drive his car on that road. Either that, or he was just on his way to the thruway, which has an entrance there. You could pick his car out in a second--it was an old VW Karmann Ghia with the front wheel wells cut away to accommodate a big Ford engine.

I had a food sales job in those days--hateful position it was. I had to visit supermarkets with a tie and jacket and a clipboard and perform monkey work once there. When the physical part of the work was done, the mission was for me to get to the store's order book (now defunct thanks to the computer) and order cases of the product that the brokerage for whom I worked sold the chain. I was hated by all store managers and a typical greeting from a store manager or assistant manager was, "What the fuck do YOU want?" I got this greeting up to 18 times a day at 18 different supermarkets. I would usually make the Waldbaum's in Westport my last stop of the day on a Friday since it would be close to home. On a few occasions I would see Paul and Joanne or Joanne alone shopping there. One day, doing my thing in the pet food aisle Paul comes down the aisle alone (Joanne had the shopping cart in another part of the store--he was just there to grab a bag of dry Purina Dog Chow) when two middle aged women spy him. When I saw the women buzzing, I turned and saw him behind me and, being a huge fan of his since "Somebody Up There Likes Me," I said, "Mr. Newman...how are you?" He smiled and said, "I'm survivin'. How about you?" I didn't give him the stage door Johnny treatment, but I showed sympathy when he noticed the two women were headed his way. He uttered something like, "Oh, jeez...what's this?" and let out a huff of a little laugh, and so did I.

In a moment, they were all over him like white on rice. Just then, Joanne turned the corner with the wagon, Paul dumped the big bag of Purina into the basket and took over the "driving." The women were asking all sorts of embarrassing things, none of which I remember, except that they were hanging on him. He had both hands on the cart now, pushing it down the aisle, and they were on his elbows, preventing him from moving. One of them asked for an autograph and he said, politely, "Ladies, I don't sign my name to anything without the presence of my attorney." One woman asked why not, and he said something about how a signature was a very private thing and a very important thing to him, and, while he didn't want to be inappropriate, he had decided never to sign again after the last time that a man thrust a paper and a pen in his face as he stood at a urinal. The women got offended anyway and talked about how rude he was as they walked away. I just looked at him and shook my head in solidarity. Saw him in the same store a few more times before we moved back to New York, and I would nod in his direction when his eye would catch mine and he'd always nod back. Too bad he's gone. He was by far my favorite actor when I was growing up, and I think it wouldn't be too outrageous a claim to say that I've seen every movie he ever made--even the horrific "Silver Chalice."

posted by Devils Slide at 6:48 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by YoBananaBoy at 6:49 PM on September 27, 2008


***Pours out a 40 ounce bottle of salad dressing***


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posted by wendell at 6:51 PM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


My favorite Paul Newman story (besides Tilapias upthread) is the time my mom's friend spotted him at one of the grocery stores in town. She proceeded to call her mother, and the two of them followed Paul around the store like a pair of school girls, as he went about his business.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:18 PM on September 27 [+] [!]


Oh wow, I wonder if your mom's friend and her mother were the two women in my friend's story?
posted by Devils Slide at 6:57 PM on September 27, 2008


he was a great, great actor and seemed like a great and kind guy. i'm sorry he's gone.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:05 PM on September 27, 2008


> Oh wow, I wonder if your mom's friend and her mother were the two women in my friend's story?

That would be hilarious if it were. But I think this was in the late 80's, as I remember my mom telling me about it, and me going "who? the salad dressing guy." I think they just stalked him from the produce section and didn't approach him.
posted by mrzarquon at 7:20 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Halloween Jack at 7:35 PM on September 27, 2008


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My all time favorite actor.
posted by rainbaby at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2008


"Oh you cheap son of a bitch. Are you crazy? Those guys are retards! "
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:53 PM on September 27, 2008


Fuck.

God damn it, Newman.

We lost three great men today. We lost a legendary actor. We lost a proud political activist. And we lost an incredible, lifelong philanthropist.

God damn it, Newman. We need you now as much as ever, in every way.

I've got a bottle of whiskey and all your damn movies. And tonight's for you.

I'll see you in Australia, you crazy, beautiful, magnificent son of a bitch.
posted by churl at 8:45 PM on September 27, 2008


What a sexy, sexy man. I wish I had the patience to go through all the wonderful quotes that have been posted from his past movies, but the one performance of his that sometimes gets overlooked is the out-and-out anti-hero role that he played for Hud... (he had no redeemable qualities what-so-ever), and what a performance the guy gave! A true actor in every sense of the word... even when you hated him, you couldn't help love him.

Rest in Peace, sir--rest in peace.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:01 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by Smedleyman at 9:05 PM on September 27, 2008


I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of Mr. Newman at the last two Champ Car races I attended as he stood near his cars before the race and then celebrating after his car won one of the races. He will be missed.

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posted by gyc at 9:21 PM on September 27, 2008


Oh, this is... feh.

A few days ago, I was watching clips from "Hudsucker Proxy." This one and this one.

And he made a great salsa.

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posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:25 PM on September 27, 2008


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posted by lapolla at 9:50 PM on September 27, 2008


He and Joanne actually made it to their 50th anniversary (married in '58).

I'd love him enough if he'd only made "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and Newman's Own Grasshopper-Mint cookies, but add in $250 million to a wide range of charities, AND being on Nixon's enemies list ... an amazing human all around.

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posted by lisa g at 10:01 PM on September 27, 2008


My ex-girlfriend (a wonderful person) comes from a theatre family in Connecticut. A few months back, I mentioned Our Town, a play with great personal meaning to me (and a conversation about which actually began my relationship to this woman) to her father, and he pulled out a DVD of a performance of Our Town that the local theatre had put on a few years back, and had asked him to do the lighting design for.

This was Paul Newman's theatre, though, and Newman was playing the stage manager.

First of all, the performance was the best I've ever seen of the material, and I've seen it done magnificently a number of times in many different ways. Secondly, I should say that the lighting design was, indeed, superb and inspired.

Thirdly, however, I should say that I've long-past gotten over celebrity worship. I've known celebrities, had relationships with a few, worked with tons, and have come to the point where meeting famous people can be fun, and great for a story, in the best of circumstances, but isn't a life-changing or religious experience. This was the first time in years, however, when I was star-struck just to talk to someone who had worked tangentially with a star, and I just couldn't wrap my mind around it.

I realized, suddenly, that Paul Newman was above all of the rest of the movie stars out there (okay, not above all: Robert Redford, Marlon Brando, Liz Taylor, James Dean and Natalie Wood would have gotten a similar reaction from me.) But in Ridgefield, Connecticut (where my sister also lives), I can tell you that he was (is) at once regaled and considered just one of the townsfolk, if that makes any sense anymore. One of the greatest actors of the Actor's Age saw Broadway and went an hour north to run a community theatre in CT.

What must it take for a man to have everything in life and know, so simply and sincerely, to continue to be as good a man as he can be for the world, and for his community? To work at your career for over a half-century, and to find ways to keep doing it, not for the money or fame, but the sheer love if it? And to try to help others achieve that same joy?

Newman's passing depresses me, not for Paul, and not for the world, but for myself. His death makes me question whether I can ever have not only his kind of talent, but his kind of humanity, and I keep returning to think that no, probably I cannot.

I close this with a quote from, yes, Our Town:
EMILY: Do human beings ever really realize life, as they're living it?

STAGE MANAGER: No. The saint and poets, maybe. They do some.
Paul, you were a poet, and leaned towards the saintly. If you didn't realize life, then by gof there's no hope for the rest of us.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:01 PM on September 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


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posted by mmoncur at 10:10 PM on September 27, 2008


Nobody can eat 50 eggs.
posted by jlbartosa at 12:03 AM on September 28, 2008


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posted by strangememes at 12:05 AM on September 28, 2008


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posted by OolooKitty at 12:31 AM on September 28, 2008


'shakin the tree boss'.
posted by docmccoy at 1:22 AM on September 28, 2008


My mom and I watched the original black and white version of Long Hot Summer after the color remake with Don Johnson had aired. It amazed me that Paul Newman's eyes were SO BLUE even in black and white. And the chemistry with Joanne Woodward!

My sympathies to his wife and children and family.

All the good works. I'm sorry he's gone.

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posted by lilywing13 at 1:27 AM on September 28, 2008


Totally by accident, "Cool Hand Luke" was the first movie I went to without my parents. For some strange reason, the Louisiana theater had it paired with the Jungle Book matinee (This was before the MPAA rating system). My seven year old friend and I fidgeted through CHL and then went ga-ga over the Jungle Book. Still, I remember scenes and emotions from that showing of CHL to this day. In case you're wondering, the egg-eating scene made the biggest impression on 7-year old me.

Nowadays, I'd say "Hud" is my favorite Newman vehicle (simply because of the movie's stark, beautiful cinematography, along with Newman's great performance), but I haven't seen them all.

I will miss ya, Paul Newman.

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posted by telstar at 1:28 AM on September 28, 2008


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posted by XMLicious at 1:35 AM on September 28, 2008


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posted by clearly at 1:42 AM on September 28, 2008


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posted by Skygazer at 1:46 AM on September 28, 2008


Rest in Peace!
posted by mg1313 at 1:56 AM on September 28, 2008


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:(
posted by schyler523 at 6:32 AM on September 28, 2008


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posted by kryptos at 6:53 AM on September 28, 2008


I *hate* this year. Another great gone.

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posted by ninthart at 12:41 PM on September 28, 2008


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posted by samsara at 6:47 PM on September 28, 2008


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posted by ahdeeda at 8:05 AM on September 29, 2008


Rest in Peace Paul.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:21 AM on September 29, 2008


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posted by ktoad at 8:53 AM on September 29, 2008


Damn.

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posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:43 AM on September 29, 2008


You know, I found out about this this past Saturday morning, and I watched the news a while but I really had to go to the hardware store. There were a bunch of people there, and the hardware store -- that one in particular -- is not the kind of place people go to shoot the shit, you know, discuss politics or the weather or sports, it's not the barbershop, it's not a café, it's not even your little local grocery store, it's a big busy place sparsely furnished very old skool, full of hammers and all kind of hardware and of dusty greasy metal stuff. It's the kind of place you go to, you get your stuff, pay and leave. The staff isn't even that nice, come to think of it. It's the way a hardware store should be, you know.

And I get my stuff and wait for my turn but the line isn't moving and there's a bunch of customers, all men, a kid in his twenties, then older men, even a senior citizen, a beautiful scene where everybody is busy discussing their favorite Paul Newman film, their favorite Paul Newman moment, and everybody has a different one, and I realize that each and every one of those moments is enough to build an entire career on, it's all gold.

And he gave us one after another, for 50 years. Not even Brando had that kind of career. The only other contemporary performer I can think about who operated on that level of almost inhuman excellence is not even an actor. It's Michael Jordan.

I went home and I thought, today I don't care about his greatest most shining moment, I'd love to see him once more time as an old man, playing a meanie and having the time of his life, once again, on the set. Directed by those two crazy Jewish kids from the midwest.

3:10

"It's a pity to waste a whole Montecristo"

I'm ridicolously thankful for all this man gave us with his films. And don't even get me started on all the good he did to humanity thanks to his many charities.

Goodnight, sir.
posted by matteo at 12:25 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by ahimsakid at 12:29 PM on September 29, 2008


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posted by 404 Not Found at 1:50 AM on October 2, 2008


Late is better than never, I suppose. RIP.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:46 AM on October 3, 2008


I'm kind of clueless about popular culture. I always have been. Growing up, we always had a bottle of Newman's Own Vinaigrette in the fridge and I would pour it over every salad I ate as a child.

I had no idea who he was, other than the fact that I saw his face every time I at a salad. For me, Paul Newman equaled salad.

He will be missed, but his delicious dressings will live on, I hope.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:30 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


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