I can’t think of a cooler guy than Paul Newman. Jack Nicholson might be closer to the standard definition of cool, but when you delve a little deeper Paul Newman has him beat by a mile.
Handsome Hollywood Superstar, Race Car Driver, & Philanthropist.
It’s possible I’m a little biased because “Cool Hand Luke” & “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” are two of my all-time favorite films. On our second date, I made my wife watch, “Cool Hand Luke” If she wouldn’t have liked it, there wouldn’t have been a third date.
I’m not kidding.
Here’s another Cool Hand Luke story: My brother was dared to try the “50 egg” stunt. He made it to 33. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about run, don’t walk to your local library or visit your friend who owns every movie ever made, and watch this film right away.
I always give credit to William Goldman’s screenplay when I profess my love of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, but a good script is worthless without great actors. And Newman did a wonderful job of playing Butch.
Our mutual appreciation for this film gave me and my father-in-law something to talk about when we first met. And to this day when I take my Grandma bowling, she uses the moniker, “Sundance” and I’m “Butch”.
But oddly enough it was his portrayal of Sully in “Nobody’s Fool” that really made him a star in my mind. That film has a soft spot with me, because Sully is exactly what my Dad would’ve been like if he lived to be an old man. When my children ask about their Grandpa John, I’ll show them this film.
But it wasn’t just his acting that earned my admiration.
Newman’s Own is a well-known brand that we see everyday when we visit the grocery store, but what makes that brand special is that they donate their profits to charity. Over $250 Million has been given already.
For a guy who could have just sat back and counted his money, relishing in his fame, Paul Newman chose to make a difference in peoples lives. It takes a lot of courage to step out and do extraordinary things, and in that regard Paul Newman was a very brave man.
In tribute, I’m going to swing by the store today and pick up some Newman’s Own Salsa and some Light Sun Dried Tomato Salad Dressing (paying cash of course). And after I put the kids to bed, I’ll watch Cool Hand Luke for the umpteenth time.
Thank you Paul for a life well lived…we’ll miss you.
Until next time,