Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman, 1925-2008. R.I.P.

Legendary actor Paul Newman died today from complications from lung cancer. He was 83.

Newman appeared in such films as HUD, Cool Hand Luke, Exodus, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, The Sting, Slap Shot, Verdict and dozens of others.

My favorite Newman film would one of his more recent works - Nobody's Fool. I saw it in London with former British Labour MP Jimmy Wray when I interned for him in 1995.

Newman was well known for his social activism. Yes, he was a staunch liberal but he put his liberalism to good use. In the early 1980's, Newman established a line of products called Newman's Own. When one thinks of Newman's Own one tends to think of salad dressing but there were other products such as popcorn, cookies and some pretty good lemonade. All profits are donated to charity. Amongst other things, the proceeds have created a series of summer camps for children afflicted with cancer.

Newman was also well respected amongst the NASCAR crowd. He developed a passion for auto racing after making a film in 1969 called Winning. Newman would become a race car driver and finished 5th at Daytona in 1977.

He truly was a man for all seasons. Fortunately, his works will continue to be enjoyed for many seasons to come.

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