Saturday, September 27, 2008

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Paul Newman died. He was 83. I heard he had lung cancer. He always seemed to be one of those casual, part time smokers. He seemed pretty moderate about almost everything. If he had a flaw, that might be it.

I always thought actors come in two flavors. Those that pretty much just portray themselves and those with real range. Paul Newman may have been the most attractive male screen star that ever lived. Every nuance of his personality that came through on celluloid, made you want to like him. His charm worked equally well on both sexes, gay and straight, rich and poor. I don't disparage those that just portray themselves. Nothing can match real authenticity of character in a screen portrayal, especially when it is so magnetic. That's what Paul Newman had, in Spades.

He had a lot of fame and a lot of money, for a long time. This can warp a person. It didn't seem to affect him that much. Some people use a lot of money to live like a Maharajah. Some people use a lot of fame to espouse their own philosophy as the one true way. He didn't do those things.

He had interests that he pursued. He had some life tragedies that he got through. He had a stable family life. I never heard that he disowned any loved ones or made them jump through hoops for money. He gave a shitload of money to charity, some say it was in the hundreds of millions. It's said he did this mostly anonymously. He was the kind of guy that liberals think is liberal and conservatives think is conservative, admired by all. What a guy.

His movies were mostly good. Not deep, not shallow but worth the price of admission. Make you laugh. Make you cry. Make your heart pound. Make you grab onto the edge of your seat. I've probably seen all of them, many of them a lot of times, by choice. That's saying something.

His biggest hits weren't usually my favorites. Some of his flops, I really liked. WUSA was one of my favorites. He was terrible in Slapshot but it was a great movie anyway. He was great in Westerns but Butch Cassidy sucked.

He lived an active life until recently. He lived a pretty long time. I think his friends, family and legions of fans will miss him. You can't really do much better than that. I think almost everyone wishes their life was like Paul Newman's. I do. Don't you?


Navy Blue Cougar said...

I have a lot of respect for Paul Newman. It is refreshing to see someone that has been very successful in life giving back to society. Paul Newman has made many large charitable donations. Even better, as you pointed out, a lot of this was done anonymously, and not just as a way to promote himself. Paul Newman was a very good man and has left his mark on this world.

Nereus said...


Yeah, He wore the dirty blue shirt and rag hat like the rest of us...
That made him OK in my book for what ever political bent the took after.
If ya stand tall and do the job to defend the constitution, then after you want to endorse Castro as president. Good on ya.

In his later years, I don't agree with his politics. But he did give back to the world with his "hole in the wall" charity that took care of youngsters who had other issues in life, but had the chance to have a good experience with life for no $$$$ because of Mr Newman. Most of the bucks made off that salad dressing went to this charity.