Paul Newman: 1925 - 2008
Paul Newman died of cancer yesterday, September 26, at his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83.
Mr. Newman is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joanne Newman, five daughters, and a number of grandchildren. The Newman's only son, Scott, died in 1978 of an accidental drug overdose.
I was about to post this up -- have been working on it now for hours -- and I just realized I forgot to write anything about Mr. Newman's Academy Awards. In retrospect, while they seemed to have mattered at the time, I'm glad about them really only for the pleasure the awards must have brought him at the time, for the opportunities they placed in his path, hopefully for the joy they may in the future bring his family as they recognize how his peers honored his craft, and as a symbol to all young actors learning their craft which says, "This. Watch this. THIS is how it is done." With 10 Academy Award nominations, one win, one honorary Oscar, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Mr. Newman was one of the most honored members of the Academy of all actors in recent memory. His wife, Joanne Woodward, has also been nominated by the Academy four times (including once when directed by her husband), winning once.
In well over 50 years, I am certain it was the journey and the people met along the way which were most valued, not the awards earned. Which is not to say that the awards were not valued, I am certain they were. At the time, I remember how much the Oscar for The Color of Money meant to Mr. Newman, to finally win a competitive Academy Award after so many nominations. He had even refused to show up -- politely of course, sending word he still hoped to win one in person -- when he was honored with an honorary Oscar. It took a while... a LONG while... but a number of nominations later, Mr. Newman had his very own, competitive Oscar. *smiles* And even nominations to follow.
Still, what I remember most about Mr. Newman is not his movies or his Oscars. Or even his timeless marriage, which, even with its ups and downs, clearly put family first and without question, women were equal in THAT home, long before they were in the rest of the country.
What I remember most about Mr. Newman is how gracious he always was. It did not matter to him if someone was a star, a day player, a grip, a star-struck fan, a waitress or waiter, or simply an ordinary woman or man trying to earn a living. Mr. Newman was kind and warm to everyone. He especially loved children.
What I hate about writing this is, it sounds like the kind of crap one writes in a hagiography, as if I am in the bag for Newman.
1. There are worse people to be in the bag for, than Paul Newman. And
2. Every word of this is the Gods' straight truth.
Newman sounds too good to be true, because in my life, I've only met one or two people like Paul Newman. He was the Real Deal. He came from The Greatest Generation, and truly he was great.
Rather than spend more time writing about Mr. Newman, instead I am simply going to put up some images and let you remember... Paul Newman.
Paul Newman. Cool Hand Luke. 1967. photo Warner Brothers.
Cool Hand Luke
Paul Newman & Katherine Ross. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. 1969.
photo 20th Century Fox.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Paul Newman & Robert Redford. The Sting. 1973. photo Universal.
Paul Newman & Elizabeth Taylor. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. 1958. photo MGM.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Paul Newman directs wife and star Joanne Woodward to Oscar nomination. Rachel, Rachel.
1968. photo Warner Brothers.
Paul Newman & Sally Fields. Absence Of Malice. 1981. photo Columbia.
Absence of Malice
Paul Newman. The Verdict. 2002. photo 20th Century Fox.
Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, & Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The Color of Money. 1986.
The Color of Money
Paul Newman & Tom Cruise. The Color of Money,
promo cover with Academy Award sticker. 1987.
The Color of Money
Paul Newman. Founder, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
photo HitWG, date unknown.
Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camp
Mr. Newman was a wonderful man.
The world was richer for his life and art.
I will miss him.
My condolences to his family.
Tat Tavm Asi.
Mr. Newman highest art was his taking care of others.