Such very sad news this weekend that Paul Newman passed away at the age of 83. For most of my life, I was in screen love with this icon of the film world. Talented, sexy, generous, Newman was a legend. He had the most piercing blue eyes ever captured on film, and a mischievous twinkle that made you wonder what all he had going on. He starred in some of my very favorite films with other screen legends like "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" with Elizabeth Taylor, "The Color of Money" with Tom Cruise, 'The Road to Perdition" with Tom Hanks, "Absence of Malice" with Sally Field and "The Sting" with his pal, Robert Redford. One of his earliest roles - and a movie that I saw in a 7th grade health class, of all things - was as boxer Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me." Yeah, I probably fell in love with him then.
Of course there was all of his charity work, his Newman's Own products that pumped money into children's programs and his Hole in the Wall Gang organization. Yet he also raced cars alongside Tom Cruise. He was sugar AND spice, handsome and edgy. He was HUD. He was Cool Hand Luke. He was sexy from his earliest days long until he was an elder statesman of the movie industry. But he was also devoted to his wife, a legend in her own right, actress Joanne Woodward.
Paul Newman was simply one of those actors you thought would always be around. He always had been, right? For sheer joy, rent "Cars" just to hear his voice.