Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman 1925-2008

I was saddened to hear of Paul Newman's passing this past week.

I've always admired Paul Newman for his acting. Who doesn't love the coolness he imbued in his roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, and The Road to Perdition? Always in control. Unflappable. Watching him you just knew he could handle anything with aplomb.

I looked up to Paul Newman for his philanthropic work, too. And as a matter of fact when I was in college, in one class we were asked to name someone we looked up to and I named him for this very reason. Anyone who can take his celebrity and direct it to something good, is ok in my book.

The same coolness he brought to the roles he played on film, he brought to the race track on race day. He raced sports cars, those cool exotic machines that go fast and turn both left and right. I saw him race back in the late `80s or early `90s at Watkins Glen. Although he drove different cars in different classes, at the time, I think he was driving the Spice SE89P #002 Oldsmobile V-8 powered beast in the GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class. I don't remember how he did but that's besides the point. I saw him up-close walking behind pit row and in that stride you could just see the same coolness he brought to his character portrayals. I didn't say anything to him, but I should have.

I hear he liked beer.

Let's lift one in memory of Paul Newman: Actor, Racer, Philantrophist, Beer Drinker. May ye rest in peace.

1 comment:

John P. said...

I remember him pulling up in his race car, stepping out and standing a couple feet from us. I gotta say, he looked way taller and way more handsome in person, if that's possible.

A real Talent and from I've learned a real gentleman. I have two of his great movies here on DVD. The Hustler, and The Color of Money. Should be watched back to back with a dozen or so really good beers nearby.