Sunday, September 28, 2008
We throw around words like “classic” and “legend” on a fairly regular basis these days. This complacency of language can make us numb to their usage. Classic and Legend adeptly and naturally describe the personage of Mr. Paul Newman who passed away yesterday from cancer at the age of 83. For the details see IMDB’s article here: http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0574069/ or Yahoo’s write up here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080928/en_afp/entertainmentusfilmnewman_080928014506.
By all reports he was a humble and relaxed human being who never became full of himself. This actor, director, political activist, racecar driver, humanitarian and family man was happy just being who he was and helping others. To date the Paul Newman Association has given about $250,000,000 to charity. That’s not too bad for salad dressing and popcorn. Check out this: http://184.108.40.206/ and click on the YouTube link at the bottom. Amazing man. Amazing life. I was aware of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and how they helped seriously ill children but I didn’t realize that they have been doing what they do for the last twenty years. Wow. For more information on The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp click here: http://www5.holeinthewallgang.org/.
Apart from this lasting legacy of his generosity is the string of jaw dropping performances that he left behind as an actor. “Cool Hand Luke”, “The Sting”, “The Hustler”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and, of course, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, are so much a part of American cinema that you really have a hard time considering one without the other American cinema and Paul Newman, that is.
My heartfelt prayers are with his family and friends at this time. He and Joanne Woodward have been married for the last 50 years. Paul Newman was man who fought the good fight and used whatever means he had at his disposal to help others. He went out guns blazing – just like Butch and Sundance in Bolivia. He made a difference and inspired others to do the same.
Now there’s a legacy.