Monday, September 29, 2008

Paul Newman, how I adore thee. . .

Confession time (ala Marti): I love Paul Newman. I have loved Paul Newman. I do love Paul Newman, and I will love Paul Newman (literary reference, though a non-Newman film). A few years ago, my Tivo was stuck with a single movie for months--The Long Hot Summer. After first viewing it, and subsequently, rewatching it that summer (and other, countless times), a girl never longed to be named Clara or be changed into a pillow more than I.

My first Newman movie was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid because my dad liked westerns. I don't know if I was really blind or just silly, but for some reason, I thought Redford was the hottie in that one. I must have been drunk (side note: I have never been drunk, so probably not, but someone must have slipped me something).

A few years later, I saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and repented. (So sorry, Paul, I have no idea what I was thinking. My heart will always be yours. Bob, who? Also, you aged so much better!) Ahem. Sorry. The most gorgeous couple ever to grace the screen (seriously, Brad and Angelina, who?). She of the purple eyes. He of the piercing blue (and it is not just me who thinks so). I loved the emotions he could evoke, and how much I really just wanted to stare. Partially because below the surface, so much happened--even a blink expressed emotions.

Though I have seen many of his other films, none could compare to how I felt watching The Long, Hot Summer. Okay, even now I can't get enough. Watching him fall in love on screen and off was electric. You knew these two would be a powerhouse couple, and they were for 50 long years and countless projects together. In the few interviews they have done together, they seem constantly in love even 50 years after it all began. I think there is just something extremely sexy about a man who faithfully loves a woman. Gorgeous.

My mother called my sister to tell her to break the news to me gently, as I was going to be in mourning. B thought it was funny. I agreed with Mom, and have been sighing and searching for all the information available (see the end of the post if you don't believe me). He was a pretty extraordinary human being, and I am pleased I have been able to truly adore him for such a long time.

A few years ago, a good friend gifted me with a picture of the young Newman. I still have it. I have just been looking for a frame. I randomly also have a black and white print of one in my office (print as in, from the printer)--just for those days when you need to take a break with a good sigh (and to wish for a good snog). Today, I noticed it again--I had completely forgotten I had it.

Ah, Paul, seriously, I adore you, and I will miss you.

Just in case you have missed anything, here are posts from his daughters, foundation, racing partners and just other links that I have amassed:

Hollywood Mourns Newman's Death
28 September 2008 7:36 AM,

Hollywood stars Robert Redford, George Clooney and Julia Roberts have led the tributes to movie legend Paul Newman, who lost his battle with lung cancer on Friday.

News of the Oscar winner's death was confirmed by his spokesperson Marni Tomljanovic on Saturday, and the tributes have been flooding in ever since.

Redford, who starred with Newman in 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, was one of the first celebrities to comment on the 83 year old's passing.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Spy Game actor said: "There is a point where feelings go beyond words. I have lost a real friend. My life - and this country - is better for his being in it."

Clooney hailed the late Cool Hand Luke star as "the best" in the business, saying, "He set the bar too high for the rest of us", while his Ocean's Eleven co-star Roberts adds, "He was my hero, he was a total inspiration."

Newman, who died at his home in Westport, Connecticut, had reportedly been given only weeks to live after completing chemotherapy treatment at a New York hospital in August.

He was nominated for 10 Oscars in his five-decade-long career, winning the best actor accolade for his role opposite Tom Cruise in The Color Of Money in 1986.

He also won two Golden Globe awards, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Cannes Film Festival award and an Emmy award.

In 2007, he announced his retirement, admitting he was too old to continue his work in Hollywood.

But his legacy will be remembered for years to come, claims actor/director Kevin Spacey.

He says, "An era just ended. Paul Newman was a great humble giant. He said it was all down to luck, but the rest of us know it was his talent, wit and generous heart that made him the star he was.

"He should be an example to the acting profession because he seemed to
have had his ego surgically removed."

Newman was also famed for his charity work. Following the death of his only son Scott from an accidental drug overdose in 1978, the star set up the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention.

He was also the founder of food company Newman's Own, from which Newman donated all profits and royalties to charity.

And filmmaker Sam Mendes, who directed Newman in Road To Perdition in 2002, has credited the star for his philanthropy: "Working with him on Road to Perdition was the highlight of my professional life. To say he was an extraordinary man would be an understatement. It seems to me one of the great 20th century lives, a shining example of how to use global fame for the greater good."

Newman is survived by his wife - actress Joanne Woodward - and their three daughters, Elinor, Melissa and Claire. He also has two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, from his first marriage to Jackie Witte.
Newman's Daughter: 'Fans Should Support Each Other'
29 September
2008 5:15 AM, PDT

Latest: Hollywood legend Paul Newman's family has urged film fans to honour the Cool Hand Luke star - by doing a good turn for a friend.

The actor was almost as famous for his generous nature as for his roles in Oscar-winning classics Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting.

And, following his death on Friday, Newman's family wants the world to pay tribute to the star by doing something philanthropic.

His daughter Melissa says, "I guess what I really wanted to say was that anybody who wants to honour the memory of my father should know that he was all about doing things for other people.

"And if anyone's interested in honouring his memory, you could bring a bowl of soup to a friend or you could be philanthropic in some way, and just, you know, look out for each other."

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