January 26, 1925 - September 26, 2008 (aged 83)
Newman enrolled in the Navy V-12 program at Ohio University,
hoping to be accepted for pilot training,
but was dropped when it was discovered he was color blind.
During the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945,
He was ordered to the ship with a draft of replacements shortly before the Okinawa campaign,
but by a fluke of war,
was held back because his pilot had an ear infection.
The rest of his detail were killed in action.
After the war, he completed his English degree at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, graduating in 1949.
Newman later studied Drama at Yale University, graduating in 1954,
and later studying under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York City.
"Almost everything I learned about being an actor
came from those early years at the Actor`s Studio."
Newman initially was hesitant to leave New York for Hollywood:
"Too close to the cake," he was reported saying, "Also, no place to study."
Newman was one of the few actors who successfully made the transition
from 1950s cinema to that of the 1960s and 1970s.
His rebellious persona translated well to a subsequent generation.
Won an Academy Award for best actor in the 1986
for Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money
and eight other nominations.
Newman and A.E. Hotchner co-founded Newman's Own,
a food company from which Newman donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity.
As of August 2010, these donations had exceeded US $300 million.
He co-wrote a memoir about the subject with Hotchner;
"Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good".
One beneficiary of his philanthropy is the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp,
a residential summer camp for seriously ill children, which is located in Ashford, Connecticut.
Newman co-founded the camp in 1988;
it was named after the gang in his film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
One camp has expanded to become several Hole in the Wall Camps in the U.S., Ireland, France, and Israel.
The camps serve 13,000 children every year, free of charge.
For his support of Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and his opposition to the War in Vietnam,
Newman was placed nineteenth on Richard Nixon's enemies list,
which he claimed was his greatest accomplishment.
Newman was an avid auto racing enthusiast
("the first thing that I ever found I had any grace in") .
The Newmans lived in Connecticut far away from Hollywood.
Paul Newman was well known for his devotion to his wife and family.
When asked about infidelity, he famously quipped,
"Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?"
He died of lung cancer at home surrounded by his family and close friends.
“I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either.
From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community.
There are so many qualities that make up a human being...
by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people,
what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.”
“If you're playing a poker game
and you look around the table
and can't tell who the sucker is,
“You only grow when you are alone.”
“You can't be as old as I am without waking up with a surprised look on your face every morning:
'Holy Christ, whaddya know - I'm still around!'
It's absolutely amazing that I survived all the booze and smoking and the cars and the career.”
“If you don't have enemies,
you don't have character.”
"Just when things look darkest, they go black.”
“Acting isn't really a creative profession.
It's an interpretative one.”
“To come up here and just get in the car
where there are no telephones and nobody to bother you,
you can just run around out there and see how fast you can go.
It's just fun.”
"Acting is a question of absorbing other people`s personalities
and adding some of your own experiences."
"I don`t think there`s anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic.
It`s the other attitude that confuses me. "
"One passion drives away the one before it."
"I never ask my wife about my flaws.
Instead I try to get her to ignore them and concentrate on my sense of humor.
You don`t want any woman to look under the carpet, guys,
because there`s lots of flaws underneath."
"If I ever feel like I`m doing something I`ve done before,
I scrap it and start over again."
"I`ve been accused of being aloof. I`m not. I`m just wary."
"I wasn`t driven to acting by an inner compulsion.
I was running away from the sporting goods business."
"I had no natural gift to be anything-
-not an athlete, not an actor, not a writer, not a director,
a painter of garden porches--not anything.
So I`ve worked really hard, because nothing ever came easily to me."
"The characters I have the least in common with
are the ones I have the greatest success with.
The further a role is from my own experience, the more I try to deepen it."
"I`d like to be remembered as a guy who tried
- who tried to be part of his times,
tried to help people communicate with one another,
tried to find some decency in his own life,
tried to extend himself as a human being."
"A man can only be judged by his actions,
and not by his good intentions or his beliefs."
"Study your craft and know who you are and what`s special about you.
Find out what everyone does on a film set, ask questions and listen.
Make sure you live life,
which means don`t do things where you court celebrity,
and give something positive back."
"I have an extraordinary attention span.
I manage to juggle two or three different ideas at the same time,
and that`s probably, if I have a gift,
that`s probably the best gift that`s given me."
"Joanne has always given me unconditional support in all my choices and endeavors,
and that includes my race car driving, which she deplores.
To me, that`s love."
"You can only put away so much stuff in your closet."
- ► 2012 (42)
- ▼ February (7)