Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman 1925-2008

Movie poster for HARPER (1966), one of my mother's favorites.


Reflexively, I almost called my (deceased) mother when I heard Paul Newman had passed.... he is so closely associated with her in my mind, that I cried for her all over again. She loved him SO much. I didn't have to read any of the official obituaries, since I already knew his life story; his movies, his long and stable marriage to Joanne Woodward, his car-racing, his son Scott's death, his politics...

Speaking of which, she was PROUD AS HELL of his progressive politics. During a conversation about conservative Hollywood people like Reagan, Schwarzenegger or Bo Derek, she would invariably remark on how pleased she was that "Paul didn't turn out like that!" She also periodically reminded me that he was a Buckeye--to her, the most famous and important one.

The proceeds of his organic food line, Newman's Own, go to progressive charities. Regarding this venture into business, Newman once said "The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is out-grossing my films!" (note: I particularly recommend the fire-hot pretzels and Ginger-O cookies!)


I don't know where the following excerpt is from... but it appears to be a segment of an old British TV documentary about Newman and Woodward. I chose this because I love looking at old stuff, and my mother was endlessly dazzled by the Cinderella-story of modest, Georgia-born Woodward moving to Hollywood and landing an Oscar and a leading man.

Also, check out the young, drop-dead handsome Gore Vidal at about 1:45. (WHO KNEW he used to be gorgeous?!?) My apologies for the documentary's use of the c-word to describe disabled people, herein used to describe Piper Laurie in The Hustler at about 3:13. At the time of the film, this word was acceptable and routinely used to describe Laurie's character (in reviews and trailers) and unfortunately, I believe the word is still in use at various news outlets today.

The increasing political involvement of Newman/Woodward is also chronicled here.

I will miss him, the beautiful Buckeye who made my mother flush and laugh, her eternal fantasy man.


mikeb302000 said...

Thanks for a great post, Daisy. I really loved the video.

John Powers said...

When I was a boy playing soccer on the fields of the YMCA in Greenville one goal was along a fence line. And the house right behind the fence I was told and believed was the house where Joanne Woodward grew up. Not sure it was true, probably was although she hadn't lived there for twenty years or more at the time. Still I felt like I was close to someone great.

Daisy said...

She didn't grow up there, but lived there while she attended high school. :) I think maybe 2-3 years total?

I'm not sure if the house is still there. Woodward returned to Greenville in the early 90s (I think?) for the funeral of her high school acting teacher.

Darkstarjamblog said...

You gotta love this guy. Thanks for the great post!

movie fan said...

it's hard not to admire Paul Newman for putting his money to work in such productive ways, such as his Newman's Own line--high quality stuff and the proceeds go to good causes... very smart. said...

It won't work in actual fact, that is what I suppose.