- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008

Humanitarian

“[Paul] Newman loved those stories. He loved to talk about the little kids who had no clue who he was, this friendly old guy who kept showing up at camp to take them fishing. While their counselors stammered, star-struck, the campers indulged Newman the way they’d have indulged a particularly friendly hospital blood technician.

“It took me years to understand why Newman loved being at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. It was for precisely the same reason these kids did. When the campers showed up, they became regular kids, despite the catheters and wheelchairs and prosthetic legs.

“And when Newman showed up, he was a regular guy with blue eyes, despite the Oscar and the racecars and the burgeoning marinara empire. The most striking thing about Paul Newman was that a man who could have blasted through his life demanding ‘Have you any idea who I am?’ invariably wanted to hang out with folks - often little ones - who neither knew nor cared.”

Dahlia Lithwick, writing on “Paul Newman: He used his fame to give away his fortune” on Saturday at Slate.com

Man

“I’ve always been a fan of Paul Newman. He’s one of the last of the great manly movie stars. Newman played some of the manliest characters in American cinema and played them well, infusing each one with a cool, manly confidence. …

“But Mr. Newman was more than an actor. He served in the Navy during World War II, directed and produced movies, raced cars, started a successful business, and became a generous philanthropist.

“Dashing and handsome, Newman had the opportunity to hook up with any woman he wanted. Yet he was a devoted husband to his wife of 50 years, Joanne Woodward. When asked why he stayed faithful to his wife, Paul would respond, ‘Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?’ If only more of today’s philandering actors would follow Mr. Newman’s example.

“We’ll miss Mr. Newman. But thankfully, he has left us a catalog of films that show manliness in action. I know his legacy will continue and that his films will influence another generation of men.”

Brett & Kate McKay, in “A Tribute to Paul Newman” on Saturday at the Art of Manliness (artofmanliness.com)

Actor

“You can’t put [Paul] Newman into historical context without invoking [Marlon] Brando, who, when [Tennessee] Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ hit Broadway and then, four years later, became a movie, shocked and enthralled audiences. His Stanley Kowalski, the working-class lout raised to preening, violent alpha male, radiated a sexual threat never before seen in a movie man. (Brando said he hated Stanley, and was annoyed that the character was viewed as an archetype of the sexy outlaw hero - the same opinion that Newman had of his own Hud Bannon.) …

“Newman, born just nine months after Brando, didn’t become a star - playing the boxer Rocky Graziano in ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ - until nearly nine years after Brando began his ‘Streetcar’ stint on stage. But when Newman did hit it big, the two actors’ similarities and differences were immediately apparent.

“Physically, Brando was a Roman statue, thick and commanding, with a touch of early decadence. Newman was a Greek statue, with classic lines and perfect proportions. There was less calculation in his gaze, more precision in his diction. Whereas Brando was always trying to smash his own iconography … Newman soon settled comfortably into a more familiar role: movie star.”

Richard Corliss, writing on “Remembering Paul Newman, Humanitarian and Actor” on Saturday at Time magazine


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