A Tribute to Paul Newman
For those who say that Paul Newman doesn’t belong in a category with the great classic movie stars of the Golden Age — that without his deep voice and amazing blue eyes he’d be just another action hero — I’ll only mention this statistic: He has appeared in around 60 theatrical motion pictures, and has been nominated for Best Actor nine times. That’s an awfully good success rate.
To be specific, he was nominated for Best Actor in 1959 for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, in 1962 for The Hustler, in 1964 for Hud, in 1968 for Cool Hand Luke, in 1982 for Absence Of Malice, in 1983 for The Verdict, in 1987 for The Color Of Money (for which he finally won), and in 1995 forNobody’s Fool. (All dates are the year of the awards show.) All this in addition to a Best Picture nomination in 1968 for Rachel, Rachel, which he produced, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1993. And that doesn’t take into account the Cannes Best Actor award for The Long, Hot Summer in 1958 and the numerous other honors over the past 40-plus years.
Paul Newman was born on January 26, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. He acted in school plays, spent a year at the Yale Drama School, and studied at the New York Actors Studio. He appeared in a number of roles on television, followed by his Broadway debut in Picnic in 1953.
His first film was The Silver Chalice, in 1954. He thought he did such a poor acting job that he took out a full page ad in Variety apologizing for it! Luckily, his next film was Somebody Up There Likes Me, in which his great portrayal of boxer Rocky Graziano drew rave reviews from the critics. He went on to become one of the top box office draws of the 1960s.
Until his recent death at the age of 83, Paul Newman had been married for many years to actress Joanne Woodward. Along with Aaron Hotchner, he was the founder of “Newman’s Own,” a line of salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, and other food products that has earned over $100 million, every penny of which was donated to charity (primarily to a camp for children with terminal illnesses). In addition to directing and producing movies, he was also a serious automobile racer. A supporter of liberal political and social causes, he served as an American delegate to a UN disarmament conference in 1978.
I am personally a big fan of Paul Newman’s, and was saddened by his recent passing. Many of his films are among my 200 favorites. This feature includes links to tribute sites, movie reviews, photos, posters, and more.
Part I: Introduction
Part II: Paul Newman Tributes and Other Pages
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find His Movies