How did he walk the line between so many contradictions and make them all work so well together? He was a good boy! He stayed with the same woman for over 50 years*. He donated millions to charity. He set up a fund to keep kids in school-- and yet, the coolest kids and the baddest bad boys still idolized him. The served in WWII, he chain-smoked cigarettes**... the man was a race car driver, for goodness sake! It doesn't get much cooler than Paul.
And he was smart! He was a man of the arts, of drama. He delivered thoughtful performances on screen and on stage- some roles that probably won't be considered by A-list actors today. He protected the First Amendment by giving out the PEN Award each year! He was politically liberal, and fought against the Vietnam War, for Gay Rights and raised awareness for Global Warming... and yet, is there one right-wing supporter, one good ol' boy out there who doesn't love the face of Cool Hand Luke? who didn't want to be Fast Eddie??
And on top of all these other contradictions, was his gorgeous, jaw-dropping good looks. The man was beautiful, and it didn't look like he tried at all. It didn't even look like he cared!*** He was a man's man, and us ladies loved him for it.
So here's my homage to Paul- who brought me a lot of happy over the years... through his amazing films. his generosity. his lemonade. and his beautiful face! I look at these pictures, and I smile...
It's just a coincidence that I start with a picture of him shirtless ;)
Him and Joanne at home- read more about them here
*When asked if he ever cheated on his (second) wife, Joanne Woodward, Paul responded. "Why go out for hamburger when you've got steak at home". Ewwww. but also Awwww.
**Chain-smoking, while certainly cool in theory, is pretty terrible in real life. It stinks, it makes most normal people look gross, and it kills- It killed Paul Newman. There, that's my PSA.
***It was referred to a lot in his movies- at least the Tennessee Williams ones (Maggie the Cat tells him how good looking he is, and then the boys beat him up in Sweet Bird of Youth to make him lose his good looks)- both scenes were kinds tragic.