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Some thoughts on Paul Newman.

It is hard to summarize the life and career of anyone, let alone Paul Newman, in a few hundred words. As a result, I am not going to even try.

So are some thoughts from myself and some of the Crimespree staff on the works, and life, of a great actor and man.

From Jon Jordan:
My earliest recollections of going to the movies involve Paul Newman. I remember seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the theater when it cam out. I remeber watching Cool Hand Luke every time it came on TV. For me he was one of the first movie stars I remember seeking out films by. His presence added a lot to some really great flicks. I was really thrilled by his performance in Road to Perdition. It’s a shame he and Redford never found another project to do together. He will be missed.

Randy Otteson:
“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo! ….shit. Man, that sucks.” ZzZzZzZzZzZzZz

Was pretty much my reaction to the news that Paul Newman had died (I was sleeping when my cousin yelled it to me). It wasn’t until later that it really hit me: Paul Newman was dead! I had known it was coming, that he was sick. But still it was Paul F’n Newman. He’s been around forever (forever for me being 38 years[my age]). EVERYTHING he has been in (that I have seen) I liked because he was in it. Even in the less than good movies, HE was always good, bringing a crappy movie to a tolerable level. I can’t think of any of those at the moment, but they are there. Butch and Sundance the Early Days! Wait, no. He wasn’t in that, thank God. Slapstick 2! No, he wasn’t in that one either, whew! Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 2: Big Daddy’s Revenge! No, that one I made up. The point being, he had charisma, like-ability that came across on screen. You could have teamed him with Carrot-Top and afterward say: “You know that Carrot-Top isn’t as bad as I thought.” Because Paul Newman radiated so much like-ability he infected the people around him with it. …Eew. I need a different metaphor.

He wasn’t just a great actor, he was a humanitarian, and by all accounts a really nice guy. Someone who didn’t let his fame inflate his self worth, instead he used it to shed light on the poor and the down trodden. He gave money to charities all over the world, started camps for kids, started Newman’s Own food company of who’s profits go to various charities.

He didn’t make a lot of movies that last few years, but as long as he was alive, there was a chance, a chance that he would make another movie, or show up in something. But that chance is gone and I am very sad. The world is a little less sunny now. (Sappy and trite, but true).

For me, the thing that stands out the most is that Paul took aging in stride and even embraced it.
He took on roles that reflected his age and the issues that come with getting older. Many actors are terrified of getting older and keep playing action leads with romantic interests that are half their age (Zeta-Jones/Connery in Entrapment comes to mind).

Perhaps the best example of this is Nobody’s Fool, an amazing film based on the work of Richard Russo. It was Newman’s last leading role. If you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

It is an excellent example of Mr. Newman’s brilliance.

His death brought tears to my eyes. It is awful to have to say goodbye to such a class act.

Jeremy Lynch