Actual stars may die, movie stars never do. Not the ones that shine as brightly as Paul Newman. His eyes were the bluest, his brilliant smile lit up the screen like no other. As for his film career, his roles jump at you, a criterion for distinguishing true actors from simply competent ones.
The name Paul Newman starts an honor roll of great parts that only he could have done justice to. The Hustler, of course, with its remake the Color of Money that finally earned him an academy award, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Left-handed Gun, The Prize, classics such as Sweet Bird of Youth or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cool Hand Luke, he could play them all.
An actor since age 25, an Actors Studio graduate, he was the ultimate rebel, a subtle Marlon Brando, not afraid to interpret the underdog, the loser, the impotent, drunk husband, or the aging hustler as well as the sexy, charismatic male lead. His characters in film didn’t prevent him from being always gracious, smart, and politically engaged in real life, as his Greek god good looks didn’t prevent him from being in love and married to the same woman, Joanne Woodward—herself a unique and idiosyncratic actor–for almost 50 years.
Thank you for your great legacy, Paul.