Saturday, September 27, 2008

R.I.P. Paul Newman, 1925-2008

We've lost yet another bright light and a class act, in every sense of the term. Paul Newman was an inspiration, both on-screen and off. Through his nearly 50 year career in film, television, and on the stage, he celebrated the underdog in us all, no matter from what part of this thing we call life. He also did the same through his "Hole-In-The-Wall Gang" camps for children and other charitable contributions. With actress and wife, Joanne Woodward, he maintained that rarest of feats, the so-called "Hollywood marriage". Even in light of the tragedy of losing a son, he continued to persevere and do some of his best and, what will continue to be, memorable work for years to come. I can't say that I've seen all of his films, not because I never wanted to, just haven't yet and hopefully will sometime--I can say, without hesitation, that he was always someone who delivered in his performances, whether it was one of a pair of outlaws on the run in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"; or one of a pair of con men devising a major revenge scam in "The Sting"(both films he co-starred with another wonderful and handsome actor, Robert Redford); an alcoholic lawyer on a major case in "The Verdict"; or a much older version of his classic performance of pool hustler, Fast Eddie Felson, in "The Color Of Money". His work as an actor will and should probably be studied by every young and up and coming actor in a class somewhere; one can only hope that his philanthropy will enjoy the same scrutiny and hopefully, emulation, for there can be nothing better in this world, than to make sure that a child endures a little less suffering and is given an opportunity to see that there is beauty in this world and that someone does care. Paul, you were part of that beauty and that someone who cared and you will be missed.

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