There used to be a time when watching movies was a satisfying experience, before the action flick became dominant, and actors such as Paul Newman were one of the reasons cinema – American cinema – was worth watching. He was also always a captivating figure off-screen, slowly evolving into a major philanthropist, entrepreneur and race car driver and owner. He also married a beautiful woman who is also a talented actress in her own right. As an actor, the last 30 years have yielded only a couple of gems: Nobody’s Fool, Absence of Malice and of course, the incomparable Slap Shot.

Okay, not Slap Shot. He had a few duds. But what can you expect in a career as lengthy as his?

Of course, prior to that, in his prime, Newman also had some great hits: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Hustler, Hud, The Sting, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and of course, the amazing Cool Hand Luke.

He never stopped working, never stopped racing and never stopped running his philanthropic foods company. I guess he just ran out of time and that’s too bad. I’ll miss him.






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themiddle

7 Comments

  • Let’s not forget his role in Exodus, for which he was chosen because he was a Jew who didn’t look “Jewish.” And so, in the tradition of our people, Zichrono Livracha.

  • Paul Newman Was My Rebbe

    The late Paul Newman, 83, who passed away this Shabbat, was my rebbe, well, one of them. Married for half a century, having known triumphs and tragedies, surviving the Navy during WWII (tried to be a pilot but the blue eyed man was color blind so ended up as a tail gunner and back seat radio man on torpedo bombers), struggling as an actor, returning to Shaker Heights to tend to his father’s sporting goods store, and then making it as an actor and starring in Exodus (cheesy to some, but in light of the times, an amazing production), to me, he is better known as a philanthropist. He was one of the founders of The Hole in The Wall Camp, 20 years ago – a camp that kids would literally force themselves to stay alive a little longer to attend. In the kitchens of then Westport caterer Martha Stewart, he started his salad dressing company. It was neighbor and grocer, Stew Leonard, who first carried his products. All net profits, $175 million over 25 years, went to charity. I remember meeting his daughter at the Fancy Food Show several years ago, when they were starting their line of cookies. Politically active, Newman was an anti war activist and supported Lieberman’s opponent

    Newman, the son of Arthur Newman and Theresa Fetzer, teaches us that it is never too late to contribute your time to philanthropic activities.

  • I just want to say that Slapshot is amazing, probably the funniest movie ever made. Definetly not a dud, just not something your average females going to get excited about. I can tell you that every guy I ever knew that played hockey loves slapshot.

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