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Paul Newman, RIP

What a great guy. What a great actor. He had a long career. He made lots of hit movies in the 60's and was adored by all the ladies because of his rugged good looks and famous blue eyes.

He differed from most male heartthrobs in a couple of admirable ways. One of them is that he was faithful to his wife, Joanne Woodward. He was famous for saying "Why do I want to go out for hamburger when I have steak at home?". And guys could enjoy his work. I remember how excited I got as a kid when Hombre came on TV. This was when I was in my early teens. Boys that age are notoriously averse to pretty boys.

His early work endured. I know lots of guys who are much younger than me that like Cool Hand Luke. I can think of very few other movies that old that are admired by that many twentysomethings.

He aged gracefully. During the 1980's, when he was in his late fifties and early sixties, he enjoyed a resurgence in his career, playing down-on-their-luck middle aged guys in such films as The Verdict and Absence Of Malice.

He believed in helping people, and more importantly, he did it very inconspicuously. I knew about his line of
salad dressings for a long time before I knew that the profits went to charity.

He was an avid race car driver, and one journalist has expressed the opinion that "Had he never acted, his racing career alone would have garnered him great fame and fortune".

Speaking of vehicles, I found this tidbit in one of the many articles written after his death:

h he did sometimes fly home by helicopter, landing in the open school grounds near his house before flight regulations made that more difficult

Wow. I wonder if he did it while school was in session. If all those schoolkids got to see a helicopter land, with a movie star in it no less, he may be the coolest guy that ever lived.

He lived a long and full life. The only thing I would have wished differently for him is that he would have died on a slow news day. The elections, the bank crisis, and gas shortages have crowded out a lot of the attention he deserved. Even from me. (Although I have the excuse that I'm not a journalist but only play one on the net...dumb old real life has kind of gotten in the way of blogging.)

He was an actor, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a race car driver.

And not only that, BUT HE COULD EAT FIFTY EGGS!!

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