September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Dies

Funny thing about Mr. Newman, I've never considered him one of the best--just one of my favorites. Part voice, part character, part icon I suppose. My favorite story of him is when he took out a newspaper ad to apologize for his lousy performance in The Silver Chalice, the kind of action that suggests self-deprecation, humility, persistence. Not that all of his work is a shining beacon of light over the vast darkness of Hollywood. But he does have so many great performances.

Look at Cool Hand Luke, Nobody's Fool, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or Road to Perdition. With the exception of Cool Hand Luke, none of these films come close to perfection but his performances in each and every one of them is remarkable, full of nostalgia and a confidence from an older, better era of film-making. Old-school charisma or, as the slogan on the cover of my Nobody's Fool DVD says: Worn To Perfection.

I don't know the man outside of his film characters, but the records of his charity work are equally if not more impressive. The loss is two-fold; not only do we lose another link to a dying era in film-making, we lose a humanitarian. And Lord knows there's not too many of them around either. So, I doff my hat to Mr. Paul Newman. A person worth remembering.

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