Monday, September 29, 2008

Cool Hand Newman

Paul Newman, the actor and philanthropist, passed away this weekend. He was 83. We found this fitting tribute: Sometimes nothing can be a pretty cool hand (the line that gives Cool Hand Luke its title).

Partial film list:

Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) - Rocky before Rocky
The Long, Hot Summer (1958) - with Joanne Woodward, who would become his wife, and Orson Welles
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) - with Liz Taylor and Burl Ives
The Young Philadelphians (1959) - why I wanted to be a corporate tax attorney (trust me, the glamour is overrated)
Exodus (1960) - directed by the great Otto Preminger
The Hustler (1961) - with the immortal Jackie Gleason
Hud (1963) - "the man with the barbed wire soul"
Harper (1966) - his classic private eye role
Cool Hand Luke (1967) - his best role
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) - his best film
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) - he is "the law west of the Pecos"
The Sting (1973) - his best caper movie
The Towering Inferno (1974) - his only sellout movie
Slap Shot (1977) - his classic sports comedy
Absence of Malice (1981) - with Sally Field
The Verdict (1982) - why I didn't want to become a personal injury lawyer
The Color of Money (1986) - Oscar for Best Actor, with Tom Cruise
Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) - all about the bomb, with John Cusack
Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990) - I love the tornado scene
Nobody's Fool (1994) - his chick flick
Road to Perdition (2002) - Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, with Tom Hanks
Empire Falls (2003) - Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor

He was nominated six times for the Best Actor Oscar before winning for The Color of Money (not his best performance) and once afterward.

Other notable accomplishments:

In World War II, he was dropped from Navy pilot training due to colorblindness and went on to fly from aircraft carriers as a radioman and tail gunner in the Avenger torpedo bomber.

He appeared on Broadway in Picnic, The Desperate Hours, and Sweet Bird of Youth.

He was 19th (out of 20) on President Richard Nixon's enemies list (compiled by Charles Colson).

He was an avid auto racer. He won several championships at Sports Car Club of America events, finished second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979, and won his class at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995 at age 70.

His Newman's Own line of food products (which includes salad dressing, pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, salsa, and wine) has donated over $250 million to charity.

That's not nothing.

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