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As I have stated on this blog previously, we as a nation or a planet for that matter are diminished when we lose one of the people that are absolutely one of the best in the world at  their vocation. Sadly we are weakened today by the passing of the actor,producer,activist,philanthropist and race car driver Paul Newman at age 83. 

Paul is best known for his acting, and rightfully so, but do not underestimate his commitment to his country in many ways. Those of you under 20 think of him as the guy who sells the microwave popcorn, salsa, and other munchable foods, many of you may not know that all of the proceeds from his products were donated to charities.
He was also an activist for what we label today as liberal causes, he was a major antagonist to America’s beloved master of trickle down economics,and less distinguished former actor and former President Ronald Reagan. Based on todays economic woes it is safe to say which actor was wrong on economics and which one was not.

But I am here today to talk about my personal recommendations of his best films by picking one from each decade. These choices are mine, they are clearly subjective and I know I am leaving out people’s favorites, That is why I leave comments open, so that hopefully you can share yours.

Paul’s first role was a television show called “Tales of tomorrow” from 1952. His last appearances were as voice actor in the two “Cars” animated movies in 2006.

I now submit my choices-

1950s- Cat On A Hot Tin Roof from 1958

1960s-The Hustler from 1961

1970s-The Sting from 1973

1980s-The Verdict from 1982

1990s-The Hudsucker Proxy  from 1994

2000s-Road to Perdition from 2002

As I said above I am leaving off dozens of other excellent movies, but that  is for you to comment on.

I will end this article with a personal story of Paul Newman and my Dad. Paul lived in Westport, Connecticut for most of his life, He was a neighbor of one of my Dad’s best Friends Will Lerner, and met my Dad on a few occasions along the way. In my Dad’s later years he was a limousine driver and made a few movies as a bit actor for the great director of Silence Of The Lambs and other movies, Jonathan Demme. During one of his limo jobs a studio hired his company to drive Paul back to Westport and my Dad as the driver, needless to say they knew each other immediately and it was a pleasant experience. Many of you may know that Paul loved to race cars, well- as my Dad and Paul arrived in Connecticut, Paul asked my father to pull over on the Connecticut turnpike and then asked him to slide over because HE wanted to drive. As my Dad later told me Paul revved up the Lincoln and 100 mph was the average speed the rest of way to his Westport home.

Goodbye Paul, Rest in peace, and I wish warm prayers to Joanne Woodward and the rest of his family.

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2 Comments

  1. Great story, Robin
    I remember seeing them both in “Rally ’round the Flag, Boys” when I was very young. LOL what fun!
    Truly the great Hollywood couple, more so, a great couple who were most fortunate to be able to grow old together.
    I love the story ’bout your Dad and him, too .. . wow!

    thanks,
    Si

    • robintheboywonderingwtf
    • Posted March 17, 2009 at 12:46 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Si,
    Thanks so much for the comments. It was so hard to limit the choices for his movies to one per decade. He truly was my favorite actor growing up.Joanne’s performance in The Three Faces Of Eve is also legendary. His marriage to to Joanne is a model for all couples to aspire for and hopefully get blessed enough to have.
    It’s great to see that good people sometimes do get just rewards. 🙂


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