Remembering Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Just found out Paul Newman passed away at his home in Westport, Connecticut on Friday.

He was one of the most entertaining actors I’ve ever come across. There were so many movies he was involved in during his career. But what I didn’t know was he was a philanthropist to many charities during his distinguished life.

25 years when I was working at a supermarket in my home town, I noticed “Newman’s Own” popcorn. All of the proceeds went to needy charities, as well as his “Hole in the Wall Gang” camp for kids. Talk about a straight up guy!

He left behind a wife, Oscar winner Joanne Woodward, and three children.

Here’s some of my favorite movies from the great actor. I hope you put some of these films on your movie rental list.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) – Newman snagged his first Oscar nomination as the alcoholic, ex-football-player husband, Brick, trying to come to terms with his father’s illness and a disatified girlfriend (Elizabeth Taylor). This is one of Tennessee Williams finest plays.

The Hustler (1961) – One his most intense roles as a pool hustler opposite Jackie Glesson as Minnesota Fats. He would reprise his role in 1986 in “The Color of Money”, which he would get his long awaited Oscar.

Cool Hand Luke (1967)“What we got here is a failure to communicate!” Newman is outstanding as the doomed prison savior. If you look at the supporting cast, many of them would go on to bigger and better things. But it’s Lalo Schifrin’s musical score (Later used as WABC’s Eyewittness News theme.) that make the movie.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – The line,“Who are those guys?”, comes to mind. A loose adaptation of the “Hole in the Wall Gang”, the inspiration of his camp for kids. One of the most popular films of the late 60’s. His collaboration with Robert Redford would continue 4 years later, but their friendship would last generations.

The Sting (1973) – Newman plays a con artist who, along with a lesser known (Redford), attempt to steal money from a big-time gangster (Robert Shaw). This surprise winner of the 1973 Best Picture Oscar would grow in time. Entertaining as well as fascinating to watch.

Slap Shot (1977) – Newman plays a hard luck hockey player/coach who tries to shake things up a bit with his rag-tag team, all with disastrous results. This film is my favorite comedy of all time, not to mention, my favorite sports movie of all time.

Fort Apache:The Bronx (1981) – One of his most innovative roles as a disillusioned cop in one of the most dangerous precincts in New York City. Note:When I’m in Canada, the line “Let the Brother Go!” comes to mind. For the lack of black people up there! It was a line from this film.

The Verdict (1982) – Newman gives the finest performance of his career as a recovering alcoholic lawyer who takes the chance on a seemingly impossible malpractice case. Though he would win for “The Color of Money”, the academy righted the wrong in 1982.


About smoothjazzandmore

I'm a TV producer and an Internet radio broadcaster. I also write for my blogs (An Op-Ed Blog and a Football Blog) here at WordPress.
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