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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

340

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Paul Newman, Decency Manifest


So let’s set things straight: Paul Newman isn’t from Classic Hollywood. In fact, he’s not even scandalous — if anything, he managed to avoid scandal altogether, in a way that few stars have before or since. His star image was that of a genuinely talented actor, a kind man, a passionate philanthropist, and an absolutely devoted husband....

….who just happened to the most gorgeous thing on the planet. Sometimes I’ll say that a movie star is good looking, or sexy, or handsome, but I also realize that my opinion is subjective, and others might not find him to be so. But when it comes to Paul Newman, it is impossible not to find him attractive. He is objectively handsome. His blue eyes are un-unlikable.

What’s that you say? You don’t find Paul Newman attractive? You’re going to tell me so in the comments? You are a robot.

Usually the prettiest boys are the biggest assholes. If you went to high school or ever set foot in a fraternity, you know this to be true. But sometimes the prettiest boys don’t realize they’re pretty, and they somehow end up becoming decent human beings, getting really into car racing, making lots of pantry items, and using the profits from said pantry items to let kids go play en plein air. Paul Newman is one of those few and far between. Or, more precisely, his image is that of one of the few and far between — the guarantor that hotness and decency are not mutually exclusive.


The living, breathing Paul Newman probably screwed up, forgot to recycle, and got boogers. Yet once it was established that such a beautiful man had pledged faithfulness to his wife, the gossip press, from the fan magazines to Life, gloried in it. Amid the counter-culture, long-haired hippies, and free love, here was a guy who chose to take his non-goddess wife, move to Connecticut, and cook breakfast in his boxers for his loving family, tra la la.


But the media couldn’t have made the image of Paul Newman without the appropriate building blocks. Newman grew up in the suburbs of Ohio with a Jewish father and a Christian Science mother, and she encouraged him to do cute things like audition for school plays. His father ran a sporting-goods store, and Newman worked there after school and probably used his dimples to sell lots of women’s walking shoes.

Newman served in the Navy during World War II, putting in time in the Pacific theater and looking young and cocky in his sailor duds. He returned and enrolled at Kenyon College in middle-of-nowhere Ohio, thus giving Kenyon bragging rights over ever other small liberal arts college. (I mean, the only famous people who went to my small liberal arts college were Television Batman [Adam West] and Best Supreme Court Justice Ever [William O. Douglass, hollllla], both of whom Newman would tromp in a hotness fight. Why aren’t all of Kenyon’s recruiting materials just graduation statistics superimposed over Newman’s abs in Cool Hand Luke?)

Bygones. In 1949, Newman married a woman named Jackie Witte, who gave birth to three of Newman’s children but soon became a footnote in the grander Newman narrative. He also went to Yale for drama school, spent some time studying The Method at the Actor’s Studio, and eventually started appearing on Broadway. After some leading roles and a few forays into television, Newman replaced James Dean as a boxer in Somebody Up There Likes Me. And since playing a boxer = taking off your shirt, the film quickly attracted notice.

A string of unremarkable films kept Newman visible, including a role in The Long, Hot Summer, where he met one Joanne Woodward, a very talented and very blonde actress with a pointed look that makes one think of money, grace, or icequeens. Think no-nonsense Grace Kelly with darker eyebrows.

The Long, Hot Summer INDEED.

For all of Woodward’s relative plainness, she clearly had a power over Newman. He divorced Witte and married Woodward a few months later in what my decadent coffeetable book filled with beautiful pictures of Newman calls “an intimate Las Vegas wedding ceremony.”

As a wedding gift, Newman gave Woodward a silver cup, inscribed with:

“So you wound up with Apollo/If he’s sometimes hard to swallow/Use this.”

Funny! That is funny! Paul Newman is funny!

And here’s where the timeline becomes important:

January 29, 1958: Newman marries Woodward in Vegas.

March 26, 1958: Joanne Woodward wins the Best Actress Academy Award for The Three Faces of Eve; Newman and Woodward dance the night away at the after party; huge Woodward lovefest ensues.

April 3, 1958: Long, Hot Summer appears in theaters, featuring real chemistry between co-stars, which is TOTALLY OKAY because NOW THEY ARE MARRIED.

September 20, 1958: Release of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Liz in white slip; Paul in blue bathrobe; fighting, fighting, clawing, kissing, fighting. Ridiculous hotness:


With this series of events, Paul Newman became a thing the same way that, say, The Fassbender became a thing with the one-two punch of Jane Eyre and the New-But-Actually-Truly-Bad X-Men Origins. The recipe is simple: Play hot, mournful, and moody, then play a variation on hot and mournful and moody. Bonus points for being married to someone who is also beautiful but not so beautiful that you want to burn off her eyebrows while she’s sleeping.

But remember, the timing was perfect. First wife fades to the background; second wife comes to the foreground. This wasn’t necessarily novel, and I am not suggesting that it was deviously orchestrated. But it did allow for the narrative of Paul Newman, Perfect Husband to unfurl.

And unfurl it did — but somewhat slowly. Over the course of the next decade Newman and Woodward had three daughters, and Newman established himself through key roles.


Very stoic in Exodus, super sad sack in The Hustler, hating the universe in Hud, saying as little as possible in Hombre (“HOMBRE means man; Paul Newman IS HOMBRE!”), and in a moment that lives in the memories of every rebellious boy, eating 50 hard-boiled eggs in Cool Hand Luke.

One summer when I was bored and marginally employed the way people are after graduating from liberal arts college with a degree in Film Studies, I watched a lot of movies, but, most importantly, I watched the director’s commentaries for a lot of movies. And in the director’s commentary for 25th Hour, which might be the most woefully underrated film of the last decade, Spike Lee and the art director discuss how they were trying to figure out the perfect poster for Ed Norton’s apartment, and how that poster had to aesthetically and thematically convey his character’s stoicism and attractiveness and stubbornness.

This was obviously the poster, and this was obviously the man.

Cool Hand Luke was a huge hit, it and it had the potential to turn Newman into a hero of the counter-culture, which would be Peter Fonda’s fate two years later following the release of Easy Rider. But Newman’s extratextual image was so strong, it swallowed any suggestion of Newman as an actual rebel. Sure, Newman plays a “non-conformist” on screen, and sure, he’s campaigning for Eugene McCarthy, but will you take a look at those tennis whites!


Then, as if Newman needed people to love him more, he went and directed a film starring his wife. And unlike the times when Guy Ritchie directed Madonna and your eyes melted out of your skull, this film – Rachel, Rachel — is actually amazing, and received four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress.

For all its actual artistic merits, Rachel, Rachel was also a public relations dream, with critics lauding the way that Newman’s directing was effectively a love letter to his wife. Whether or not you agree, the discourse was in place: Paul Newman loves his wife so much that you can see it in the movement of the camera.

Newman’s reconciliation of ordinary, loving husband and ripped, rebellious dude was crystallized with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a film whose anti-hero cowboys are, in reality, super mainstream. Don’t mistake me: I love this film. I love the hokey use of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” while Newman fecklessly rides a bike. I love Robert Redford’s moustache and the saturated film process that somehow make Newman’s eyes even more startling. I even love the freezeframe at the end and all its suggestiveness of immortality.

And sure, it was released in 1969, and it focuses on two outlaws. But Newman and Redford are outlaws in the way that the Oceans 11 crew were outlaws, which is to say that they were handsome men who used cunning and the occasional explosive to get what they wanted, including the girl. Butch Cassidy was counter-culture lite: You could, and still can, watch it with your gramma. Don’t even think of doing that with Midnight Cowboy, which was released the same year, was rated X, and makes Butch Cassidy look like a Disney film.

Butch Cassidy also forever yoked Newman with Redford in the public eye — an association reinforced by The Sting and the impossible truth that both men only continued to get better looking with age. If Tumblrs were around in the 1980s, there’d be one called FuckYeahCraggyDudes, exclusively devoted to mid-career Newman and Redford.

The 1970s and 1980s pass. Things get relatively steady. Newman and Woodward stay married, stay in Connecticut, and make a bunch of films, none spectacularly good or bad. The highlights:

1. The String = Perfect Saturday-night-stay-home-movie. The music (Joplin) will be your personal life soundtrack for at least a week afterwards.

2. Slap Shot = Obviously the best sports movie of all time. Broadly palatable in the way all sports/Paul Newman movies must be.

3. The Color of Money = B-grade Scorsese. Wins Newman an Oscar, but the Academy was clearly awarding every performance that was not this one. Tom Cruise is wee.

4. The Verdict = High production value John Grisham adaptation before there were John Grisham novels. Just because it’s directed by Sidney Lumet doesn’t mean it’s not a genre film.

5. Nobody’s Fool = So good but ADMIT IT, JUST ADMIT IT, probably could have been produced by Oprah.

Again, I’m not suggesting that these films aren’t entertaining — they obviously are. The Towering Inferno, for which Newman received an equally towering paycheck just to rescue people from a very tall building, might be the most blatantly entertaining of them all.


But they aren’t exceptional. Look at Brad Pitt’s career and you can say the same — apart from a Jesse James here and a Coen Brothers movie there, dude’s spending a fair amount of time with pablum like Benjamin Button, which is a Hallmark movie dressed in Oscar clothes.

The Newman mid-career canon was filled with strong, steady, and somewhat predictable films — and his personal life matched it perfectly. Sometime in the 1970s, it became clear that Newman was still with Woodward — no scandals, no affairs, just New England living, many children, and turquoise velour zip-up cardigans.


Which isn't to say that Newman was boring. There’s a difference between solid, reliably entertaining films — and a solid, reliable star text — and boring. Ben Stiller is boring. (At least his “sanctioned” image is boring; the secret anorexia? Not so boring.) Tom Hanks is super boring. Will Smith is boring. Dude doesn’t even cuss.

But not Paul Newman. Because you know what Paul Newman did? RACED FAST CARS.

His interest in cars started in 1968, when he played an Indy 500 driver in Winning. By 1976, he won his first title; in 1977, he finished fifth at Daytona; in ‘79, he got second at Le Mans. At 55! In 1983, he founded the Newman-Haas racing team, and kept racing throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, eventually winning the 24 Hours of Daytona. At age 66. I mean, I don’t know shit about car racing, but this all sounds like Paul Newman wasn’t just good for a celebrity, like the way that anyone who wins at Dancing at the Stars is a good cha-cha-er for a C-List star.


Boy oh boy did the magazines love to take pictures of Newman in his gear. Bright colors! Red and white and blue! AMERICA! People just LOVED it, but I can’t show you pictures because Time Warner will kill me in my sleep.

Race car driving may seem wild and crazy and at odds with Newman’s image, but please realize that race car driving is the most benign adventure sport of all time. I understand that it is actually very, very treacherous, but the point is it appears rather safe and clean and you’re inside of an f-ing car, a very expensive car, and people even change your tires for you. And this was before NASCAR (and racing cars) had become synonymous with trashiness. When Newman raced cars, it was the type of thing you did in Monaco.

Racing fast things, however, added the needed counter-point to Newman’s otherwise steady image. But just in case you thought he might be getting too wild, DON’T WORRY, he’s also making salad dressing. Yes, that big, broad, smiling face on your food items? That is an aging Paul Newman, so eager for you to make a Caesar Salad so that all proceeds can help ill children go to summer camp.

In the early ‘80s, Newman and author A.E. Hotchner started making salad dressing for fun and gifting it to friends. People loved it, so the duo thought HEY, WE HAVE AN ESTABLISHED STAR, why wouldn’t people buy things with his face on it? Salad dressing was the gateway drug to all sorts of cleverly packaged and quasi-healthy: Newman-Os, pizza, lemonade, spaghetti sauce, popcorn, all with Newman in some weird costume (look at him and Woodward in the overalls, lolz explosion) and slogans like “Made Fresh Since February.” (Bonus: the Mint Explosion Newman-Os MIGHT BE THE BEST COOKIE EVER? Discuss).


And these products made a lot of money! Like $300 million since 1982! For seriously ill kids! The money also underwrites an award for an individual who has bravely stood up for the right to Free Speech, which is just so philosophically awesome I can’t even stand it. I realize that these may sound like small things — celebrities give to charity all the time, although not always altruistically — but I want to underline that Newman was one of the very few who exploited his image with the explicit purpose of generating profits for charity. 100% of profits from these products. Can you imagine what would happen if Jessica Simpson did that with the money from her shoe line? Or Britney with any one of her 52 perfumes?

Hairpinners, Newman’s image is that of decency manifest. And if the man behind that image was not in fact similarly decent, then he may have pulled off the most impressive public relations coup of all time. I love a good scandal, and almost wish that there had been one in Newman’s life, if only because I like the guy so much and want him to be even more interesting. But here’s the thing, and Miley Cyrus and other contemporary celebrities, take note: It’s true that a scandal won’t (necessarily) decrease the value of your star brand. But there are different strategies for playing the game — alternate ways to have your name ring out, as Marlo of The Wire would say.

Paul Newman somehow managed to show the rest of the silver age stars that there was, indeed, a second path to enduring stardom, one characterized by decency, fidelity, and philanthropy.

When asked why he had never cheated on Woodward, Newman replied “Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?”


Newman at home with his steak.

I’m not some monogamy-proselytizer, and I’m not trying to say that all stars should be like Paul Newman. If they were, there’d be no good gossip, only Entertainment Tonight profiles of the star’s cute dogs. But Newman played the part of a decent, beautiful man so well, and so thoroughly, that his star will endure. His image seemed real, seemed possible — something to which both men and women could aspire. And if stars embody values that matter to us as a culture, then I’m mostly just thrilled that steady decency did — and still does — matter.

Previously: The Unheralded Marilyn Monroe.

Anne Helen Petersen is a Doctor of Celebrity Gossip. No, really. You can find evidence (and other writings) here.

340 Comments / Post A Comment

raised amongst catalogs

HOLY HELL, hold up. I cannot even read the piece because of that first photo you chose. My lord. My dirty, dirty lord. Yow.

melis

@vanillawaif That cup inscription is also an incredibly dirty joke, nu?

raised amongst catalogs

@melis Totally, but the the engraved silver aspect makes it classy.

Lauren Hayden

@vanillawaif SERIOUSLY. I am transfixed.

area@twitter

@vanillawaif Yesss. Pardon me, I seem to have lost my pants somewhere.

Ophelia

@area@twitter I think they're probably in the same place I just left my dignity.

JoanTition

@vanillawaif Do not Google image search Paul Newman... you will get lost there FOREVER.

or do.
I did.
It's glorious.

FloraPosteHaste

@vanillawaif yowsa trousers. reminds me of my ex, also half-jewish. mm-hmm.

Katie Scarlett

@vanillawaif That bulge!

raised amongst catalogs

@Katie Scarlett Right?! It's kind of like the catcall, "Hey, baby, do those legs go all the way up?" Except in reverse, and about a penis. (So...not like that catcall?)

the angry little raincloud

@vanillawaif
Ohhhh. I was logging in to say the same thing. Haven't even read it: just wanted to drool. Damn. And I always thought his finest attribute was his superior take on the Oreo. Sweet Jesus. Hubba hubba.

jams

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hairspin

Holy lord that photo. I scrolled my curser over it (ahem) and laughed when I saw the caption "wow." Indeed.

cheapchampagne

@hairspin This makes me want to go back through every other hairpin post ever to look for alt text.

applestoapples

Paul Newman is just perfection. The sexual tension between him and Liz Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is as thick as humid summer air. I need to smoke a cigarette just thinking about it.

If Paul Newman held me to his naked chest, I'd have the same facial expression as that dog.

christonacracker

there is still a place in this world (and in my pants) for FuckYeahCraggyDudes.

christonacracker

@christonacracker alternatively, CraggyDudeSandwich, which is an endless series of me photoshopped between pics of Newman and Clint Eastwood from GB&U era.

karion

If Tumblrs were around in the 1980s, there’d be one called FuckYeahCraggyDudes, exclusively devoted to mid-career Newman and Redford.

I find you positively delightful, Anne Helen Petersen. Everything about this piece is made of chiseled win.

Also, I can't stop staring at the pics with Robert Redford.

parallel-lines

@karion I'm more of a Redford girl myself.

Tuna Surprise

@karion
I want to be the meat in a Redford/Newman shirtless sandwich. Mmmmm...mmm...mmm.

raised amongst catalogs

@parallel-lines I wouldn't kick either one out of my bed, but I do have to say that last Saturday's viewing of The Way We Were has the scales tipping in Redford's favor at the moment. But then...there's that first photo, so...

karion

@parallel-lines: As am I, and I am not typically drawn to the blond menfolk. But Redford's raw masculinity and ruggedness absolutely does it for me.

Clooney is my ideal and forever will be. For years, I have adhered to the mantra that there is one God but Clooney, and Matt Damon is his prophet. They are my modern day Redford and Newman. But I am finally coming around to the importance of Pitt as the Holy Ghost in that scenario.

wallsdonotfall

@karion May I propose a compromise?

fleurdelivre

@parallel-lines Me too, guys! Watching the Sting in high school was a revelation.

tortietabbie

@parallel-lines I saw Redford in a documentary recently (Buck) and he was looking old and grey and a bit haggard and I still wanted to fuck his brains out. Hubba!

candybeans

@karion can we talk about how awkward it was to watch Butch Cassidy for the first time with my fiance, while i tried unsuccessfully for 2 hours to stifle delighted giggles with the constant explosions of handsome on the screen? and, that redford/newman mashup photo is banaaaanas, @wallsdonotfall.

PistolPackinMama

@karion I KNOW RIGHT? Redford and Newman... in one image. Aie!

PistolPackinMama

@karion I keep liking your comments...

There is no god but Clooney and Matt Damon is his Prophet... is PRICELESS.

queenieliz

@karion Yes! Newman is by no means not good looking, but give me Redford!

Bebe

@vanillawaif *sob* Oh my god, that movie!!! The part where she calls him and says you're supposed to call your best friend when your heart is broken, only he's her best friend? *SOBSOBSOB* I have to go now. I have something in both my eyes.

raised amongst catalogs

@Bebe That is happening in my real life right now and watching it on television was painful yet cathartic all at once!

Bebe

@vanillawaif That is definitely the go-to "I need a good, cleansing cry" movie. Oh, Hubble.

Slapfight

@karion Oh Bobby Redford is perfection. Brad Pitt is the modern day watered down counterpart.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was the original Brokeback Mountain.

area@twitter

All of my attempts at language have been replaced with gusty sighs. Utter perfection.

christonacracker

@area@twitter Fanning the hell out of my parts right now, I'll tell you that.

area@twitter

@christonacracker Ridiculously handsome gentleman? Oooh, yes please. Ridiculously handsome gentleman + thoroughly decent human being = my body is not ready for this. ::swoon::

Jenn

@applestoapples ^^^ Oh. Oh MY. There is nothing "not safe for work" about this?...at the same time...IT MAKES MY DOWNSTAIRS TINGLE AND I'M AT WORK AND. OH MY.

applestoapples

@Jenn The best part is "oh, it's onnnn" look from 1:03 to 1:05.

pterodactgirl

@applestoapples This clip gave me butterflies.

Bittersweet

@applestoapples: Holy crap. *fans self*

wasabi peas

Why didn't anyone tell me the salad dressing guy #couldgetit?

ok i've figured it out: women laugh alone with salad because they're thinking about the fineness that is Paul Newman.

Beck Rea@facebook

@wasabi peas BWAHAHAHHAAA!!! If only he made water, then we would know why we have trouble with it.

Caryn Josepher

I just fell in love with that man all over again....i think my sigh is sighing.

HeyThatsMyBike

He...he just...I can't even....

Also finally somebody has the ladyballs to write some realtalk about Ben Stiller. Eat something, Ben! And buy some food for your wife, too, while you're at it!

Craftastrophies

@HeyThatsMyBike I did not KNOW this about Ben Stiller, and it puts a whole new spin on Dodgeball.

HeyThatsMyBike

@Craftastrophies It has definitely gotten worse over the last couple years - leading to his shockingly sunken-in/gaunt face during his SNL appearance. He has a pretty round face naturally (I mean, look at Jerry Stiller), so now his cheeks are literally like sagging off his face. It looks bizarre.

hairspin

I just put Long Hot Summer in my Netflix queue and there are SO MANY Play Instantly Newman films!!!

melis

Surely there's a production company somewhere with the wherewithal and the vision to remake Midnight Cowboy with Butch Cassidy-era footage of Redford and Newman.

Lucienne

@melis Surely the existing homoeroticism in Butch Cassidy would render that ... well, not moot. But it seems easier to just watch it.

melis

@Lucienne If you knew the first thing about me, you would know that there is never enough homoeroticism.

annepersand

Sometimes I make my Newman-O's wrapper and my 1973 Great Gatsby DVD box kiss.

anotherkate

@melis @melis I wish I could like this more than once.

Anne Helen Petersen

@anotherkate I think that might be the best comment ever to appear on something I've written

femme cassidy

@melis Okay, I might not be remembering this right, but wasn't the word "homoeroticism" actually coined in an academic paper SPECIFICALLY to describe Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid?

boyofdestiny

Everybody knows that New Jersey's own William Brennan is the best-ever Supreme Court justice. But yeah, Paul Newman is pretty awesome.

candybeans

@boyofdestiny THIS, THIS is right. Brennan 4evr.
I have so so many strong feelings about Brennan, which i should probably take somewhere else than this thread, but, yes. this.

The Lady of Shalott

I could just look at him until the end of time.

deliosaur

Be still, my heart. Those baby blues get me every time. I am one of those Kenyon alums that relish a connection to the man. When I was there, I had a Paul Newman "Read" poster on my wall. He was lounging and reading on a billiards table (dreamy!). My ultimate dream was that he would knock on my door and say that the room had been his when he was there. We would obviously then get married...talk about a meet-cute!

lemon-difficult

@deliosaur I'm a Kenyon alum too! <3

deliosaur

@lemon-difficult yay KC! Imaginary Cove hairpin meetup (i sooo wish!!!)?

lemon-difficult

@deliosaur ahh... sadness. I was one of those Kenyon people who didn't do Newman Day, and now I realize... I should have been eating Newman-O's for 24 hours instead.

omgAileen

@deliosaur Fave thing about hanging out in the Kenyon archives: going through all the Paul Newman photos, both his dreamy undergrad days and that time in 1980 when he came back and directed a play. We should really use more of those photos in the Kenyon promo materials.

COVE HAIRPIN MEETUP.

deliosaur

@omgAileen I feel like every day is Newman Day considering how much Newmans Own Salsa I partake in! Also, remember when new Toledo Lounge waiter told me they got rid of the Paul cut out? 1) I demanded to know where it went and 2) it turned out to be a lie and they actually cut him in half to fit above the bar!

chloealys

@lemon-difficult Wait that is the best idea ever!

I'm glad to have come upon this article (and by article, I mean pictures) while "studying" in the Hill Theater.

hairspin

"Hallmark movie dressed in Oscar clothes" Yes to so much.

Gracefully and Grandly

I'm so excited to read this. Paul Newman is my absolute favorite. Those pictures - gasp, it's too much!

N Bryner@twitter

Here is where I tell my Paul Newman/Joann Woodward story.
Summers during college I interned at a huge theatre festival in the Berkshires (yes, that one). One night I was working box office and this older couple comes up to request assisted-hearing devices. The gentleman looks up at the wall behind me and sees an NEA poster with Paul Newman on it and says "Hey, that's me!" Because it was Paul Newman. 75 years old, and as gorgeous and sexy as ever. We joked a bit about the poster and how THAT Paul wouldn't need an assisted-hearing device. I assured him that he was just as good-looking now as he was then. Then he and Joann headed to their seats.
I swear to god, they both had halos. They emanated light. They were sweet, and down to earth, and gorgeous, and lovely.
I met A LOT of stars those summers, young and old, stage and screen, but those two were hands down my favorite.

JoanTition

@N Bryner@twitter your story gave me chills of awesomeness.

thebestjasmine

@N Bryner@twitter That is the best story in the entire damn world.

Nutellaface

@N Bryner@twitter You wouldn't be talking about the theater festival in the Berkshires with the words Berkshire, theater, and festival in the name, would you? Because I totally apprenticed there and all I ever wanted was a Paul & Joanne encounter.

N Bryner@twitter

Nutellaface, I'm actually talkihng about the festival with the initials WTF. A little further up the road.

DrGirlfriend

@N Bryner@twitter I have heard several stories of run-ins with them, and every one of them follows your pattern. I have loved Paul Newman forever, and I am so glad to hear once again how awesome he was. Thanks for sharing.

Linney

@N Bryner@twitter Having grown up in the Berkshires, I had a few run-ins with Paul and Joanne (mostly from afar) but my favorite was also at the WTF. I dropped my program and it went under my seat and who passed it over my shoulder to me? Paul Newman. It was a little piece of heaven taking the program from him and for the rest of the play, I was left wondering, "how the hell did I get better seats than Paul and Joanne?"

kayjay

I'm eating his salad dressing right now. Spooky!

Okay, back to reading because I eat this stuff WITH A SPOON.

Craftastrophies

@kayjay For a second there I thought you meant you eat the salad dressing with a spoon.

I'm still not sure that's not what you meant.

tunnyciegos

Lol @ "The String." You're close.

The rest of this is as perfect as the man.

OnceWhen@twitter

was unsettled by the comparison to Brad Pitt, as I suppose he really could be the next Newman?

also, love how humble the kitchen & home shots are. can we return to that, please? no one needs a million dollar (+) home. no one.

raised amongst catalogs

@OnceWhen@twitter But then how else do you make the normals feel inferior?

propermake

@OnceWhen@twitter matthew machonaughey was supposed to be the next paul newman but then the bongos and the bad movies happenned.

Anne Helen Petersen

@propermake oh god, always with the bongos and the beach.

propermake

@Anne Helen Petersen yeah that should have read the bongos and the constant shirtlessness but c'est l'espirit de l'escalier.

Faintly Macabre

I love these! He was already old when I was little, so I only realized what a big star/dreamboat he'd been a few years ago. However, I have to disagree with you about the cookies--peppermint Joe Joe's are the best cookie.

tortietabbie

@Faintly Macabre Peppermint Joe Joe's are a thing? Oh my god. Cookies for dinner, asap.

candybeans

@Faintly Macabre well, i'm sorry to report that the numbers are in, and you're both wrong (but anne helen peterson less so), because Ginger-Os are The Best Cookie.

Faintly Macabre

@tortietabbie Only around Christmastime! They just started having them ~last week. And because they're limited-time-only, it means I/you simply must buy five boxes at a time.

Natalie Stone@facebook

@Faintly Macabre YES! Ginger-Os for the win!

inkysmudge

@Faintly Macabre I see where you're coming from, but I'm forever embittered towards Peppermint JoJos because I got a box of the chocolate-covered-with-candy-cane-bits version of them at a White Elephant party two years ago and someone STOLE THEM from me. They are forever tainted with my bitterness. Mint Newman O's were there for me in my sadness, and I've never tried any other version of Newman O because I know if I'm as obsessed with the rest as I am with the mint ones I'm gonna be like that guy who is too large to get out of bed. I may already be that guy.

hairspin

Every man should be like Paul Newman.

leonstj

@hairspin - wait, should I have not been going for the "paul giamatti / phillip seymour hoffman hybrid"? Feck.

noodge

@hairspin @leon/saintjean: cheesy love moment warning: my beau is - objectively - probably not nearly as hot/philanthropic/panty dropping as Paul Newman, but subjectively, I think he is. In the eye of the beholder blah blah blah...

gravie

@hairspin A friend's boyfriend looks like Paul Newman. It's PAINFUL how much he looks like him.
Which she pointed out the first time I met him, of course. Siiiigghhh.

MsChilePepper

@leon.saintjean I don't know about any of the other lady Hairpinners, but I'd do ya. ;)

noodge

Anne Helen Peterson: I love your pieces. The love you have for film and the people who made them is so captivating. Thanks!

Catherine C.@twitter

My friend's mom won that free speech award and she had a photograph of her and Paul Newman from the ceremony in her kitchen. I about fell down when I saw it. That man was Another Level.

QuiteAmiable

I would be his steak at home ANYDAY.

D.@twitter

@QuiteAimable Rare...as in rarin' to go...;)))

oh, disaster

Goodness gracious, that first picture stopped me dead.

fleurdelivre

The whole gist of this post is how I feel about Lou Gehrig. That man just loved his mother so much!

Kara Reynolds

Oh my god, Anne Helen Petersen, or as I like to say, AHP, you are the bomb, girl. You are bringing back the good old days when I was not allowed to watch anything unless it was on PBS, The History Channel, TCM or AMC. Little did my parents realize that I was watching Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, Hombre, Cool Hand Luke, etc and slowing realizing I was a, into guys and b, was SO going to rebel counter-culture, old school style as soon as I could!

Saiko

Can we not with the Joanne-Woodward-was-ugly, anymore? Otherwise, great piece.

Anne Helen Petersen

@Saiko I don't think she was ugly! She was very pretty! But there is some sort of a belief that the Paul Newmans of the world can only be with the Liz Taylors of the world, and I love the fact that he (and, say, Matt Damon?) are proof that this doesn't have to be the case.

melis

MATT DAMON (sorrrrrrrrrrrrry).

wharrgarbl

@melis Matt Damon doesn't like shitty cameramen.

Kara Reynolds

@Anne Helen Petersen Can you do a Greg Peck?! PLEASE I BEG OF YOU!? Pretty please? With cherries and Roman Holiday on top?

joie

@Saiko Greggie Peck is my Paul Newman. He is the dreamiest dreamboat, followed closely by Peter O'Toole.

Bittersweet

@melis: Met Matt Damon once, at Jillian's in Boston. Very handsome, very friendly, very thin, not very tall.

Anne Helen Petersen

@Kara Reynolds Gregory Peck's high pants in Roman Holiday, I DIEEEEEEEEE

carogriffin

@Anne Helen Petersen Is Matt Damon's wife not considered super-hot? I don't know, maybe it's just my personal opinion of him--he's definitely handsome, but he's got a sort of weird face? I definitely was thinking they were equivalent in attractiveness.

Craftastrophies

@heyits PETER O'TOOLE! His sparkly eyes SLAY me. Ded. They slaymeded.

wharrgarbl

I don't find the man attractive. But I do find the characterization of him to be found in the article above intensely charming.

noodge

@wharrgarbl where is the emote for GOBSMACKED. in the realm of human existence there has to be outliers, i suppose. but how i feel about his appearance is so strong that my mind is blown that anyone can't find him attractive.

christonacracker

@wharrgarbl YOU ARE A ROBOT.

wharrgarbl

@teenie There's nothing wrong with him, he clearly conforms to aesthetic principles, etc. I just find his face kind of nebulously off-putting and the rest of him not all that with the proverbial bag of chips. He's a fine actor, and by all accounts a fine human being, and fodder for a fine article, but young-him still does not not have a standing invitation to my pants-party.

Also, I categorically deny all allegations of mechanization. I'm a purely biochemical monster.

Faintly Macabre

@wharrgarbl It's okay, he's not my favorite looks-wise, either--a little too blond/lacrosse-player-y. Maybe because I've never seen him in a movie? Sometimes actors get more attractive once you see them in a really awesome role.

iceberg

@wharrgarbl But... but... who DO you find attractive if not Paul Newman?

wharrgarbl

@iceberg I find Johnny Depp to be hot in the way that suns are hot, to the point where I am seeking legal advice about the viability of taking out a restraining order against the things that come out of his mouth on behalf of his looks.

iceberg

@wharrgarbl Ooh good answer!

wharrgarbl

@iceberg What we need to do, I think, is develop a way to duplicate Paul Newman's reported personality as an injectable formula. Failing that, we should find at least find some way to induce the most beautiful amongst our celebrities to be secret juiceboxes, instead of loud-and-proud juiceboxes, if they can't find it in their hearts to be Paul Newmans.

candybeans

@wharrgarbl how interesting... i would be hard-pressed to find someone i've never met more attractive than Mr. Newman, but have never, ever ever gotten the Johnny Depp thing, not for a moment. Are they mutually exclusive somehow? And, @faintly macabre, i think you *do* have to see him in a movie. it's his smile and voice in combination with that physique that really make him divine.

wharrgarbl

@candybeans I don't know. They might be? I've never been in a situation to discuss Mr. Newman specifically with fellow Depp aficionados.

@faintly macabre Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Even if you still don't get what all the girls are raving about, like me, it's still a pretty sweet movie. I think that was the first movie where I consciously thought "This movie was just really well done" in addition to enjoying the movie. Everything just really works in that movie.

Craftastrophies

@wharrgarbl I am with you. I find Newman to be beautiful, and I totally understand the fuss, but he doesn't float my personal boat. I am right on board with clean shaven/stubble JD, but the weird beard changes his face too much. I used to not get the Depp thing, but Chocolat tipped me over the edge.

However, in all Kill/Marry/Fuck games, Liam Neeson always wins. ALWAYS. I wouldn't have thought this was so, before I tested it scientifically, but it is so. (Although I haven't tried a mixed gender K/M/F, so...)

femme cassidy

@wharrgarbl There's a typo in your comment, you misspelled "the best movie ever" as "a pretty sweet movie."

MsChilePepper

@wharrgarbl I'm with you. I mean, I can see why people think he's The Hotness™, and I don't think he's fugly or anything, he's just not precisely my personal idea The Hotness™. Plenty of other fellas make me tingly in my ladyplace, but Paul isn't one of 'em.

HillsideHoyden

OMG we went to the same college, we are now honorary BFF.

Anne Helen Petersen

@HillsideHoyden you are a FIGHTING MISSIONARY? i dare not repeat our school's chant.

dustwindbun

This was awesome but I have to share! Paul Newman is so lovely but I can't quite soak it up properly because my grandfather looked just like him. Srsly. Blue eyes and all. So it's a bit weird for me. But I think I might have to go watch some of his movies and think about my grandpa and how I miss him?

Tailfeather

@dustwindbun Whoa. Get it, Grandma!

Inconceivable!

@dustwindbun My grandpa looks just like Sean Connery (who, while not as awesome as Newman, was pretty good looking back in the day). So I feel you.

queenofbithynia

I am a robot but I do agree he was nice-looking. But jesus that "footnote" line is cold as ice. He did cheat on the footnote with Joanne for a couple of years before divorcing her, didn't he? I realize he was decent and handsome for the next fifty years after that, and true love compels the best of us, but fidelity what.

note: my cat is a huge fan of paul newman brand catfood, whether he was decent to his first wife or not. she don't care.

Anne Helen Petersen

@queenofbithynia I'm not saying I think she should be a footnote -- no one should be a footnote -- but rather that she became a footnote in the Newman's star narrative. The same way that Angelina Jolie's marriage to that cute guy from Hackers has now become a footnote.

Bittersweet

@Anne Helen Petersen: That cute guy from Hackers? You mean, awesome Jonny Lee Miller from Emma?

Anne Helen Petersen

@Bittersweet i mean I LOVE HIM, even if I get him mixed up with Alessandro Nivola (whom I also love)

Lucienne

I was holding my breath the whole time waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had tissues handy and anything, because noooo, not Paul Newman! I need my illusions about him to remain unshattered. Imagine my relief that they've emerged intact!

Paul Newman and Gregory Peck: most perfect men in the world, y/y?

raised amongst catalogs

@Lucienne Oh my god, Gregory Peck's voice. That is all.

Lucienne

@vanillawaif It produces vibrations.

raised amongst catalogs

@Lucienne You said a mouthful.

Katie Walsh

Just wanted to share that my prof recently claimed, during a lecture on Color of Money, that Paul Newman was bi and intimated there was something going on with Cruise during filming. I mean, secret vacations together doesn't necessarily mean anything but just food for thought. Great job on the star image, though Paul. And he is the gorgegousest thing ever. That first photo is criminal but also the best example for appreciating pants penis out there.

themegnapkin

@Katie Walsh I feel like, if he were bi, that he would have better taste than to hook up with Tom Cruise? Tom Cruise =/= steak.

Kara Reynolds

@themegnapkin Hahahaha Agreed! Ew, Tom Cruise. If there was any homoeroticism, at least Redford or McQueen as co-stars to sleep with.

Morgan LeFay@facebook

@Katie Walsh your professor is a loathsome bucket of swill and a fucking hack.

glitterary

He does seem like a really nice guy, but now I want to know what happened to his first wife.

raised amongst catalogs

@glitterary She wasn't steak!

applestoapples

@glitterary Joanne happened. They were buddy-buddy for a couple years, then Paul fell in love with her and he stepped out on his first wife for a couple years more before he decided to divorce her.

SarahP

@glitterary ME TOO! I mean, we've read about how agents swept things under the rug, but really, he divorced his wife (with whom you have three kids!) for Joanne Woodward and NO SCANDAL ensued? How did he do it?!

ALSO, we know Nell Newman went on to take over the Newman's Own stuff, but what about the kids from his first marriage? Where are their cookie packages?

(Okay but even if he was secretly maybe a jerk?, those eyyyyyes!)

wee_ramekin

@glitterary Okay, so, this is from Mail Online, so take it for what it's worth, but here's a pretty detailed account of what happened with his first wife.

raised amongst catalogs

@wee_ramekin Kind of reminds me of Johnny Cash & June Carter.

queenofbithynia

@vanillawaif ...if Johnny Cash had pretended to be engaged to Gore Vidal to make June jealous and force her hand.

melis

@queenofbithynia SOMEBODY WRITE THAT STORY PLEASE. Choire's a big fan of historical fiction, right?

HeyThatsMyBike

@vanillawaif Excellent comparison. In addition to the "footnote first wife" kind of comparison, I had also heard Joanne helped clean up Paul's somewhat worrisome drinking and such a la June (though I think Paul's drinking was not quite as serious as Johnny's substance abuse problems, but who knows?!)

QuiteAmiable

@wee_ramekin Could you imagine if PAUL NEWMAN came to your door peddling encyclopedias? HOLY CRAP.

wee_ramekin

@QuiteAimable You.guys. My dad was also an encyclopedia salesman. I guess what I'm saying is, that is somehow relevant.

QuiteAmiable

@wee_ramekin I will now aspire to find an encyclopedia salesman that will let me be his "steak at home".

JuiceBox

@queenofbithynia Totally looked to see if somebody would mention Gore Vidal's part in getting them married before I got around to reading this. Hairpinners are awesome.

KarenBoston

@SarahP: His son, Scott, from his first marriage died of a drug overdose.

nimblicity

Yeah OK, I scrolled down the first photo. Then scrolled up again. Then scrolled back down slowly.

BRB, I have to go... do... things... or something.

dakdakdak

Forget Kenyon, Paul Newman went to my HIGH SCHOOL (in suburban Ohio). When I was growing up, there was still a Newman's Sporting Goods operating in the area, which my mother loved, and which was reputed to still be owned by the Newman family, though it may well have been an homage.

propermake

@dakdakdak shaker heights holla! apparently he also used to be an usher at the cedar lee.

lemon-difficult

@dakdakdak Shaker! One of my best friends from Kenyon also went to the same high school...

Alli525

Holy HELL is right... um... new phone background, new everything background, I'll be in my bunk, thanksbye.

World of Sass

Can someone please get this lady a "Scandals of Classic Hollywood" book deal already?

City_Dater

Love him, love her, love them together. GREAT photo choices!

He's such a good example of an actor who made mostly wise, not-flashy choices toward building a very long career. And she ran Westport Country Playhouse quite well, by the way, during her tenure.

kayjay

He was a class act. A real mensch.

nyikint

I love these discussions of how hot kindness and decency is in men.

kayjay

@nyikin A-friggity-men! I've never been much for the bad boys, myself. I find kindness and decency blazing hot.

area@twitter

@nyikin Yes. Sweet decent guys will forever have me smitten. For all time. Throw in a love for dogs and lo, I am lost forever.

GSamms

The woman next to "Pa Newman" on the package of cookies isn't his wife Joanne Woodward, it's their daughter.

mayfly

@GSamms Yes, and she seems really cool! She was a biologist and now I think she basically runs Newman's Own and advocates for sustainable agriculture.

Guy DeBr0'd

@mayfly She wanted her dad to do organic stuff and he said "You're a Newman too." So she ran with it (with some processing and distribution help, I'm sure). She runs the whole shebang now?

Edit: Oh, Wikipedia sez Newman's Organics started as a division, and it's now her own company.

tortietabbie

Paul Newman is not my "type" (if such a thing exists), but ho momma...those blue eyes make me a little weak in the knees. Also the charity stuff! I love that!

redonion

This just made my day. Nothing bad can possibly happen now, thanks to the Paul Newman protective charm has just been cast over all of the everything. Yowza.

tralala

Lovely article! One thing: the woman on the cookie package is his daughter Nell, not his wife.

junkle

Recalling Adam Sandler Hannukah song

Paul Newman is half Jewish; Goldie Hawn's half too,
Put them together, that's a fine looking Jew!

cheapchampagne

Am I the only one who is mesmerized by the pendant resting upon his chest in that photo with the dog? I don't typically like jewelry on men but I want to be/have that pendant.

anotherkate

@cheapchampagne It's a Star of David. Most often worn by Jewish folks.

cheapchampagne

@anotherkate I was talking about the one in the fourth pic, actually -- looks like maybe some kind of polished rock? Although the Star of David looks very fetching on him, too. :)

Inconceivable!

<33333333333333

(I don't really have words here...especially re: that first photo)

EMarrinner

"For all of Woodward's relative plainness..." Wow, girls. Start reallocating your Sephora budgets, there is no hope for any of us. Consider: http://rantingsofamoderndayglamourgirl.tumblr.com/post/3227417613/joanne-woodward

kayjay

@EMarrinner I know she said "relative" plainness, but I don't see it. Relative to what? Newman's good looks? There is nothing plain about that woman.

bitzyboozer

@EMarrinner It does sound harsh but I think I kind of get what she's saying. She was definitely a good looking lady, but she always seemed to me more "normal person beautiful" than "movie star beautiful."

Diana

Just to sum this up, today the Hairpin ran posts on graduate theses about Beyonce songs, semi-obscure costume dramas, and shirtless Paul Newman. It's only noon. This is going to be a great day for my relationship with the Internet.

whoaisme

fun fact: a google search of "shirtless paul newman" is probably not blocked by yo're company's firewall

kayjay

@whoaisme I'm waaaaaaaaaaay ahead of you.

datalass

It's so true about his personal wonderfulness seeping into all his roles. Even when he's playing a total cad, like in the film "Hud", he's still Paul Newman. There's a point in that film when the father (Melvyn Douglas, maybe?) says, "Hud, you've got no integrity." I usual whisper reassurance to Melvyn that, really, it's cool, because Hud is actually Paul Newman.

pterodactgirl

@datalass Yes, this. I totally do this as well when watching classic movies alone. I'm always all, "Cool your jets, man, that's Paul Newman/Steve McQueen/Cary Grant. OBVIOUSLY everything he does is just fine."

omgAileen

@pterodactgirl CARY GRANT. And yes, I do that with films too. Even when Paul Newman is shoving all those eggs in his face during "Cool Hand Luke" or when Cary Grant is being kinda sketch in "Charade," it's totally fine. They are unimpeachably wonderful.

samigator

YES I HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR THIS POST MY WHOLE LIFE.

TallBrooke

Oh God! Paul Newman, celebrity love of my life! Thank you for the pictures, and for maybe bringing him to the attention of some people who only know him as a (handsome) cartoon face on their pasta sauce.
Words cannot describe how much I love this man. But, even more, I love how much he clearly adores his wife. I love their relationship (as we on the outside perceive it). I think the only couple that compare are Eric and Tammy Taylor. That just shows how exceptional their marriage was: the only partnership that comes close is fictional. :)

raised amongst catalogs

@TallBrooke I don't know why but my heart just gets all warm and fluttery whenever someone references FNL. Thank you for that.

rootmarm

True facts: He was the first dude ever that made me take notice of dudes. So cute.

noReally

You know he really loves her, because when he met her she had the worst haircut of her entire career. Long Hot Summer was good, but god, those bangs.

bookbike

Wait - WHAT?!?! That's PAUL Newman's face on my cookies?? Like, THE Paul Newman made my cookies?? How did I not know this?? I always thought the cookie Newman's were just some rando cookie-makers...
My mind is blown.

bookbike

@heyad also....I just feel like Paul Newman's gay...I don't know why...I just do..and I'm gonna say it.

treeskier170

What a great story. I'm continually impressed by the level of writing and creative ability those who contribute to this site have. Kudos to you all.

Ophelia

I have a friend from college who looked kind of like Paul Newman. But now he's a crazy right-winger (complete with climate change denial), so his hotness plummeted.

propermake

@Ophelia uh, i hate when that happens.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Ophelia: There's not much else that can make a heart sink faster than when you learn something like this about a person you're into. It's a like a forcefield pops up.

KeLynn

HOW did I never ever know that he was associated with Newman-Os! I want to go to Kroger tonight and buy it all.

Princess Slayer

I love everything about this post. Everything! Paul Newman's was the only celebrity death I really cried over.

Tulletilsynet

...

Lady 146: "Oh my; Paul Newman was hot."

Lady 147: "Oh my; Paul Newman was hot."

Lady 148: "Oh my; Paul Newman was hot."

...

pterodactgirl

@Tulletilsynet It bears repeating.

Tulletilsynet

@pterodactgirl
What impresses me is how many different ways ladies find to say this.

PistolPackinMama

@Tulletilsynet I'm not bored reading yet.

femme cassidy

@Tulletilsynet It's true every time!

(This comment has no real purpose; I'm mostly just posting so that people who are scrolling down the comment thread can be continually refreshed by tiny pictures of Paul.)

Tulletilsynet

@AnthroK8
I think The Hairpin would kind of confuse my mom? But she'd be all over this post.

dg
dg

1) I stopped looking for things to read on hairpin as soon as I saw Scandals of clas...
2) "Sure, Newman plays a “non-conformist” on screen, and sure, he’s campaigning for Eugene McCarthy, but will you take a look at those tennis whites!" I die!
3) So glad to learn more about him than, the cookie guy.

inkysmudge

Paul Newman and MINT FUCKING NEWMAN O'S may be the two things I feel most strongly about having in my life. Oreos sob into their little hydrogenated oil pillows wishing they could be half as close to cookie perfection as Mint Newman O's are. And Paul Newman... I rest my case. A+, Hairpin.

New Hoarder

OMG I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOOOVE PAUL! Sorry, too much cupcake sugar. I haven't read this yet because all I can see on this page is cherubic angels around Paul Newman's face.

I'm currently reading Esther Williams' biography... now that book has a TON of Classic Hollywood Scandals in it, whew!

angryjones

Oh my goodness a fellow Whittie! Actually now I think I may remember you from a writing class. Great piece!

Anne Helen Petersen

@angryjones I'm '03.....

angryjones

@Anne Helen Petersen Me too! Did you take Craig Lesley's creative writing class?

Anne Helen Petersen

@angryjones YES. Oh weirdddddddddd

sam.i.am

When I asked my TWA air hostesses who their favorite star was, they all sighed and said, "Paul Newman." Like, it was no contest.

Also, "The 25th Hour" is crazy underrated. SUCH a good movie.

ArgosMama

Amazing lovely post!

Bebe

All I am thinking right now is "SIGH. He is sooooo handsome."

Four Horsemeals of the Eggporkalypse

Please tell me one of the Pinners is going to start FuckYeahCraggyDudes. Please.

sophielouise

@Four Horsemeals of the Eggporkalypse FuckYeahCraggyDudes NEEDS to exist already.

liznieve

so definitely to the right, then, eh?

ladygarden

Note that Newman got into his career in drama because he was kicked off the Kenyon football team for partying too hard.
-proud Kenyonite

kumquatmay

Here's where I tell my friend's Paul Newman story. She was at college in CT, and her car broke down with a flat tire in the rain. A car pulled up and asked her if she needed any help--and it was Paul Newman and Joanne. She had already called AAA, and was like, no I'm cool, but thank you, and they sat there with her until Aaa came.

She told this to me later and I was like PAUL NEWMAN OFFERED TO CHANGE YOUR TIRE...? AND YOU SAID NO??

PistolPackinMama

@kumquatmay I DIE. DIIIIEEEEEEEEEE.

gfrancie

@kumquatmay I'd have him change the tire and then I would keep that busted tire forever and ever. The end.

Bebe

@kumquatmay My mother would have disowned me if I'd done that!

My mother-in-law's friend owns a tiny toy store in a resort town, and she said Paul Newman came in once to buy a gift for one of his grandchildren, and she and another older woman (in their 60s) just couldn't wait on him - they were giggling and hiding behind their hands because, in her words, "His EYES." They had a teenage girl working there part time, and she had to wait on him and wrap the gift. He was very funny about it all, and once when the owner did dare to peek at him, he batted his eyelashes and then winked at her. Which of course, made her dissolve into even more giggles. I would DIE.

gfrancie

I... yeah. Pictures. So pretty. Loss of vocabulary. Gonna go have some me time.

tunnyciegos

Just found this fun clip of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward on What's My Line: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVkMS7k1p-s&feature=related

And if Joanne Woodward was plain, jeez, I'd like to be half that plain.

carogriffin

TRUE FACT: Newman-Os taste better than actual Oreos.

lookskyward

Slightly off topic, but for any other Canucks out there: is anyone else getting a strong Jack Layton vibe from the photo of Redford in profile?

planforamiracle

@lookskyward YES! I think it's the combination of righteous moustache, laugh lines, and being photographed mid-sentence (as politicians so often are, haha)

Speaking of cake, I have cake

Aaaaah Paul, so beautiful, the subject of many google image searches. But weirdly I understand @heyad who interprets him as gay. I reckon he probably wasn't, but I understand why people might think he was. He had a strangely detached air sexually in his movies, and not just in Cat. I even saw it in the clip linked above with the Swedish woman. He didn't have the powerful 'maleness' described in AHP's Marlon Brando entry, for example. There's scenes in his movies where he seems profoundly inaccessible to his female love interest, despite his gorgeousness. His was a classical beauty - he had a perfect Greek profile - but though he was a wonderful actor with tons of charisma, he always seems to be holding something back. Hard to describe. Anyway, he was gorgeous, and a lovely person, and even his leaving the first wife doesn't seem so bad (by Hollywood standards) when you read the details and see that he did have a conscience about it. Him and Joanne's long successful marriage justified the end of the first one IMO.

New Hoarder

Okay, so I just had a flashback of my first "encounter" with Paul Newman: The Fabulous Five. When I was in elementary school, I read a book series called The Fabulous Five (a spin-off series from the Taffy Sinclair (bitch!) books). I remember that the first book described Jana's nice but boring boyfriend, Randy Kirwan, as having eyes that looked like Paul Newman's (who? Not a member of NKOTB?) or something. Years and years later I was all, "Ohhhhh, so that's why Jana was so devastated when Randy went into a coma after that car accident!"

katesmash

Ever since I understood what a handsome man was, I've thought that Paul Newman was the most handsome man to ever walk the earth. Better than James Dean. He's just perfection.

Also, as a sauce purist who rarely buys pasta sauce except for in the more dire of circumstances (I always make my own), Newman's Own Marinara is TOTALLY BOSS.

sigerson

I love the reference to Marlo Stanfield. I also love Paul Newman, but the allusion to The Wire is fantastic. You gotta make your name ring out, yo?

femme cassidy

Can we talk about how Butch Cassidy and The Sting are two of the most perfect movies in the entire universe? Why didn't Newman and Redford make several hundred more buddy movies about good men driven by cruel circumstance to live outside the law, and in which at least one of them has a mustache?

slutberry

Is it evidence that I grew up in the boonies that I NEVER made the connection between Newman-O's and Paul Newman? Until you told me?

D.@twitter

@Teffodee Me too! I always thought they were just a kindly spokescouple in a sweetly non-ironic "American Gothic" pose!!

Trilby

Poor Mrs. Newman. In every picture with her in it, I'm like trying to see around her big head. Get the hell outa there Mrs. Newman, yer blocking my view!

Pixie Bernard@facebook

Slap Shot as merely the best sports movie of all time? "Broadly palatable"? That's the equivalent of saying Newman was a fine fellow. For shame, Ms. AHP!

camarofox79

i can't believe i am just now reading this because he is seriously hands down my favorite. have you guys seen HUD? cause that scene where he asks Patricia O'Neal what else she's good at while undressing her with those amazing eyes (even in black and white) and playing with a daisy while lounging on her bed is just too much. i had to rewind it seriously like 5 times.

clipse

My thoughts upon seeing the first picture:

Look at that nice, handsome, Jewish boy!... Look at those abs!... and wow, his junk, too.

Oh Paul. What a stud.

CeCe

the Paul Newman piece from your archives was FANTASTIC
I congratulate you @ HAIRPIN FOR SELECTING IT FOR YOUR SITE AND I CONGRATULATE AND thank the author for such a well written and well organized piece ! I dig your humor !!

Pixie Bernard@facebook

Why doe everyone continue to ignore AHP's unjust and egregious vilification of Paul Newman's best film, Slap Shot? It's as if Hairpinners were more concerned with Paul Newman's abs than with the merit of his Soul, a possibility too horrendous to even contemplate.

Beck Rea@facebook

I love LOOOOVE that Paul Newman didn't have sad little man titties like so many of his movie star peers in the 50s and 60s...nor is he scarily 'roid-ripped like a lot of our movie stars now.

He just looks like...he could go chop some firewood. Whilst handsomely breaking a sweat.

Or buck hay bales.

Or fix a car.

He just looks...good.

And fuckyeahcraggydudes must happen,
productivity be damned!

whimseywisp

<3 this like whoa

jackeemarie

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Here's a (very small) scandal for you:

Before enrolling at Kenyon, Newman was a student at Ohio University, where he was expelled for rolling a keg down Jeff Hill into the president's car.

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The woman on the packages of food isn't Joanne Woodward; it's their daughter, Nell.

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My son went to the afore-mentioned camp. Newman didn't just donate money, he founded it, helped build it and guided its vision. He loved the kids and they loved him, with no pretense. Half the kids didn't even know who he was, and just called him "Mr. Newman." Legend is that he was sitting at lunch with a bunch of the kids and they saw his picture on a carton of lemonade. One kid asked him, "are you lost?" He let the camp celebrate him once, and that was less than 5 years before he died. Guy was one-of-a-kind. And by the way, when I saw him at camp and he was in his 80s, those blue eyes were THE SAME as in the photos here.

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I know this is old, but I just got to it today. Paul Newman was an amazing human being. And so easy on the eyes. However, that is his daughter, Nell, in the overalls on the cookie package, not Joanne Woodward.
Also, and this is just a personal pet peeve, I despise the term "gifted". Why can't you just say "given"? It means the exact same thing, is nearly identical, except that it has one fewer letter,and has the bonus point of being an actual word.

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know this is old, but I just got to it today. Paul Newman was an amazing human being. And so easy on the eyes. However, that is his daughter, Nell, in the overalls on the cookie package, not Joanne Woodward.
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I met him at a lecture in 1974 the year he turned 50. It was a film lecture and one of the few public appearances he made. At 50 he was breathtaking..not as tall as I imagined but like everyone here states....just Greek god perfection. What must that have felt like? Yet he managed to be a beautiful person too.these greasy celebutards spreading their privates all over the internet for their 15 minutes, need to take a page. He didn't need talent the world would pay to just LOOOK at him, but he had skills and it shows in his performances. HUD? SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH.....he's so gorgeous it's painful.
Oh yeah one more thing ....never gay. Not a bit. Clooney? As much as it pains me to say it, maybe, but Newman No fucking way. Period

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Well, I would say his first marriage, whether doomed or no, could have been more honorably terminated. I mean, he might have divorced her and then pursued the other. Not very ethical of the two people having the affair. I love the person who posted, "Oh it wasn't ethical of his first wife not to agree to ending their marriage." WHAT! And, I think the whole perfect marriage, soul mate thing is a bit overdone. I'm sure they had their problems just like everybody else. But, they were most likely better at keeping them behind closed doors. The truth lies somewhere between sinner and saint. He tried to do a lot of good in his later years, and there is no denying his incredible appeal. I mean, come on, the guy made movies with some of the hottest women in Hollywood. It's hard to believe he wasn't tempted and perhaps Woodward was good at looking the other way or just plain, forgiving him his faults. She wouldn't have been the first wife to do so. Movie stars are human beings and it's kind of ridiculous to put them or their long term marriages on a pedestal. I mean, look, I know people who have celebrated their 50th anniversaries and hate each other. But, they kept living together anyway, maybe out of habit, maybe because they were honorable people and believed in keeping vows to each other and to God. I'm not saying that is the case with N and W, just that nobody has the perfect marriage.

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I'm so excited to read this. Paul Newman is my absolute favorite. Those pictures - gasp, it's too much!
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