Hollywood legend Paul Newman succumbed to his battle with cancer yesterday, thus extinguishing one of the most revered stars in the Hollywood sky.
For me, Newman was my favorite iteration of the archetypal outsider – at turns impish and deadly serious, cool and collected, and just generally the guy you wanted on your side of the fight. Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, The Sting, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Slap Shot… The man was just a big part of my cinematic childhood.
And in later years I was always taken aback reading about his charitable efforts, such as donating all the profits from Newman’s Own to various charities and organizations, but much of my admiration came from being in Kansas City during the filming of Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (which seemed to use my entire junior year class as extras at one point or another.). I had an opportunity to meet both Newman and the wonderful Joanne Woodward during the shoot, and they were among the most gracious and accessible actors I’ve ever encountered.
The man was a class act, and I for one am sad to see him go.
G’night, Paul Newman.