Actor Paul Newman passed away today after a long battle with cancer.
Mostly, I knew him from his food products. My family used to have Paul Newman’s salad dressing on our table every night. It was kind of like caesar salad dressing, only it had more of an “herby” taste. We also ate “Fig Newmans” for snacks. He was a celebrity who actually cared about health food, which meant that he probably ate a lot of the strange stuff that we ate.
As far as his movies go, I’ve only seen three: The Sting, Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid, and The Verdict. Oh yeah, and I also saw Paul Newman in a remake of Our Town.
I didn’t care much for The Sting, but I remember that Ray Walston was on it. He didn’t have his usual deep voice. But he’s always looked the same.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was okay. I thought Robert Redford was moodier than he usually is. Paul Newman was more happy-go-lucky, which I didn’t care for that much. He struck me as a prankster, or as the guy I’m jealous of because he always gets the girls.
But I really liked him in the Verdict. There he was, a desperate ambulance chaser who’s happy to have a good day once in a while, who goes against insurmountable odds and wins. He’s kind of cocky on that movie, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him when the judge refused to give him more time for his case. I’d feel low if that happened to me!
Our Town was just Our Town, only it had Paul Newman playing an elderly, sage-like narrator, along with other roles (e.g., the soda shop man, the minister). It also had that one lady from Saturday Night Live, Kate and Allie, and Third Rock from the Sun. She’s aging gracefully.
One movie that I’d like to see but haven’t yet is Absence of Malice, with Paul Newman and Sally Field. I think Sally Field is hot, and Paul Newman seems to play his usual moody common-man persona in that movie. I’ll have to check it out from the library sometime.
As far as Newman’s politics go, he was a liberal. He supported Eugene McCarthy in 1968, and Ned Lamont against Joe Lieberman in 2006. Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.