Paul Newman (1925-2008)
January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008
As you know, legendary actor and humanitarian Paul Newman passed. This is a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry, charitable organizations and fans alike.
Although I have not seen all of his films, these are the ones in which I remember him fondly (most of which were not considered ‘hits’)…
Absence of Malice 
Directed by and co-starring Sydney Pollack, this is easily my favorite Newman film of all time. An intense newsroom thriller; his chemistry with Sallie Field is incredible. Newman received a Best Actor nod.
Harry & Son 
I have no idea why this father-son drama touched me so much when I was younger, but I watched it every time it aired on cable. Co-starring Robby Benson.
The Hudsucker Proxy 
An underrated Coen Brothers film. And the one where serious thespians Newman, Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh were actually…damn funny.
Road to Perdition 
I’m still not sure why this one wasn’t more successful at the box office. Newman received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in this dark tale of family loyalty. From director Sam Mendes, co-starring Tom Hanks and Daniel Craig.
Empire Falls 
A very well produced HBO miniseries with a stellar cast (Newman & Woodward, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn and Aidan Quinn). Newman received both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Of course he was more well known for and fantastic in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Color of Money (for which he received his only Oscar – Best Actor) and Cars (as the voice of Doc).
But perhaps the most impressive characteristic of Paul Newman was his amazing generosity. Long before the days of well publicized celebrity adoptions and financial contributions to various causes, Newman created a very successful company (Newman’s Own) whose profits are donated entirely to charity. His philanthropy was unprecedented and his spirit will be missed.