A Tribute to Paul Newman

by Brett & Kate McKay on September 27, 2008 · 30 comments

in Blog

Today, the great American actor Paul Newman died of cancer in his Connecticut home. He was 83. I’ve always been a fan of Paul Newman. He’s one of the last of the great manly movie stars. Newman played some of the manliest characters in American cinema and played them well, infusing each one with a cool, manly confidence.

But Mr. Newman was more than an actor. He served in the Navy during World War II, directed and produced movies, raced cars, started a successful business, and became a generous philanthropist.

Dashing and handsome, Newman had the opportunity to hook up with any woman he wanted. Yet he was a devoted husband to his wife of 50 years, Joanne Woodward. When asked why he stayed faithful to his wife, Paul would respond, “Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?” If only more of today’s philandering actors would follow Mr. Newman’s example.

We’ll miss Mr. Newman. But thankfully, he has left us a catalog of films that show manliness in action. I know his legacy will continue and that his films will influence another generation of men.

Below, I’ve included a short list of Mr. Newman’s manliest movies and a flim clip from each one. I hope you enjoy.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The Hustler

Cool Hand Luke (one of my all time favorites)

The Sting

Slap Shot

The Towering Inferno

Do you have a favorite Paul Newman film? Drop a line in the comment box and share with us.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 W. Mark Whitlock September 27, 2008 at 10:04 am

When I read the first obituary of Paul Newman, I choked up a little. It surprised me. I’m grateful for the way he carried himself. I appreciate even more his commitment to his second wife. Thanks for a great tribute.

2 Mr LD September 27, 2008 at 10:20 am

Gonna eat 50 eggs today in honor!

3 Roger Imhada September 27, 2008 at 10:44 am

I’m so saddened by this, we have lost a great Actor, a an American Icon and an example of manliness that we should all aspire to emulate.
Rest in Peace Paul!

4 Greg September 27, 2008 at 10:49 am

My favorite Newman film has always been “Cool Hand Luke.” I first saw it when I was in high school (in the 80s) and my preacher was doing a summer series of sermons based on movies. My family rented all the movies in the series and watched them before the upcoming sermon. “Cool Hand Luke” was one of the ones he used, and definitely stood out as the best film used in that preaching series. I’ve got the DVD now, and I keep going back to it whenever I want to settle in for a great movie. It’s my favorite Newman film, and one of my favorite films of all time.

5 Tom September 27, 2008 at 11:01 am

Not just a great actor, but by all accounts a great bloke. Once, as a way of gently chastising his friend Robert Redford for his perpetual tardiness, he had a cushion made with the words, ‘Punctuality is the courtesy of kings’ sewn on the front and gave it to him as a gift. The message infers that those who are always late are doing it just to show how important they are; whereas ‘kings’ do not, as they have nothing to prove.

6 Brett September 27, 2008 at 11:11 am

Great anecdote Tom! Thanks very much for sharing.

7 Alan September 27, 2008 at 11:46 am

One of my all-time faves of Paul Newman was a cameo appearance he had in Silent Movie. The scene that he was in was a wheelchair chase involving Newman, Mel Brooks, Dom Deluise, and Marty Feldman.

8 Jeff Stern September 27, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Personally, my favorite Newman performances and films have always been Hud and The Hustler – films where he plays deeply flawed men that you are alternately love, look up to, revile and despise – finally feeling all these things simultaneously for the character. Newman was able to take these characters who might be one-dimensional and flat on the page and imbue them with a deep sense of humanity (and not just by letting his own natural charisma shine through). That a man who was, from all accounts, such a great, concerned and compassionate human being was able to portray such deeply flawed and unlikeable characters in such a realistic way is a testament to his talent. That he was able to live his life in a way consistent with his moral convictions is a testament to his manhood. He will be missed.

9 Isabel Rebelo September 27, 2008 at 12:56 pm

We lost a great actor, a great Man, but above it all a great human being. The world will miss him and mainly all the people he helped throughout the years. He is what I call a “REAL MAN” with all it means. I wish there were more men like him in this world. He was very masculine, extremelly handsome, but treated all, mainly his wife and children, with deeply respect. He always have been on the top of my list as an actor and has a person.

10 Joseph September 27, 2008 at 2:38 pm

He was the whole representation of cool, really sad to see him go.

11 Diane September 27, 2008 at 4:21 pm

I am kinda down with this news…

but I will try and celebrate the great man he was

I will be reminded of him every day when I go to the fridge because he is on his fab products – I supported him and his charities for a long time… he was a great actor, great family man and great man!

12 k bennett September 27, 2008 at 4:57 pm

One oft-forgotten Paul Newman film that I especially enjoyed was Nobody’s Fool, from 1994.


RIP a terrific actor, director, race car driver, loving husband, entrepreneur, and all-around manly man.

13 Rob C September 27, 2008 at 5:55 pm

How could you leave The Verdict off that list, counselor?

14 Rodney Hampton September 28, 2008 at 6:58 am

Nobody’s Fool is pretty good. I watched Twilight the morning of my marriage while I waited around to drive to the church. In The Verdict he gave one hell of a performance. Cool Hand Luke is a classic. Don’t forget his portrayal of Doc Hudson in Cars: Even his voice lent gravitas to a role.

Paul Newman, another great Ohioan. He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.

15 Johnny Ham September 28, 2008 at 7:26 am

Every scene, every shot in, “The Verdict” was a work of art. Paul Newman and Charlotte Rampling, what a combination. It remains one of my favorite films.


16 Del "Abe" Jones September 28, 2008 at 9:10 am

Cool Hand Luke
Paul Leonard Newman
January 26 1925; September 26 2008

He was a quiet, private, Man
But, a giant, amongst the stars
A philanthropist to millions
And owned and drove racecars.

He was a producer and director
And an actor, beyond, compare
He won almost every award
A great talent, one, so rare.

His great films will last forever
For, new generations to see
And he will always be with us
In the pages, of our history.

He always said, he was just lucky
But, it was us, who were blessed
For, while he was in this World
He passed almost every, Earthly test.

The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp
Serving, those Children who are ill
Where they could have fun, just be a Kid
One of those dreams, he did fulfill.

He was a family man, first of all
Married to Joanne fifty years
And he has left, each one of us
Filled, with memories, grief, and tears.

Survived by Joanne and five Daughters
His Son, Scott, he’s gone to see
He’s broken the bounds of this Earth
And from his suffering, set free.

He’s gone, to a much better place
And, I’ll bet he’s looking down
With sparkling eyes, and famous grin
And saying, “I’ll always be around!”

Rest in Peace, Paul.

Del “Abe” Jones

17 Carol September 28, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Well done, you good and kind man.
May you rest in peace.

18 PAULA September 30, 2008 at 11:30 am

I first saw Paul Newman in From the Terrace in the 60′s and have been in love with him ever since. Rest in peace.

19 John F McCarthy September 30, 2008 at 3:51 pm

I knew Paul and his family back in the eighties. The nicest, most gracious, and humble man I have ever known. I had been a fan all of his career and admired him even more when I met him.

He was quite a wonderful man and will be the ONE that we all should want to emulate.

I loved Somebody Up There Likes Me, Nobody’s Fool, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the Hustler. But I could list his whole career here.

You’ll be Greatly Misseed as an actor and most especially as a Compassionate Human Being,

John F McCarthy

20 Bob Moore October 8, 2008 at 6:01 am

Sportswriter Frank Deford had a great commentary on Paul Newman , this is the link:

For my money Butch & Sundance was on of my top five movies, but you have to love “Cool Hand Luke”.

21 LTB October 9, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I heard Actor Newman died…

Some men you are, when you look too and lament the loss of an actor..

Real Men everyday live their lives courageously and honorably most times in obscurity. They are not pretenders, actors living in a make believe world..
They are not playing Cowboy or Soldier or Working Man or Prisoner they are the real thing.

The guns for the soldier are real and the blood, the long dusty ride of the cowhand is real. Those crazy fellows fishing the Bering Sea are more manly in their sleep than Paul Newman or those of his ilk..

They are real men who experience real the victories and defeats.. Not Hawking pictures of themselves on Salad Dressing Bottles or Spaghetti Sauce.

Man Up… the real heroes are fellows like Col Lewis Millet, Dr Jonas Sallk, FDR. Along with millions more who haul themselves to jobs many do not much care for to provide a future for themselves and their families.

They do not live lives of excess, lives of flattery…and adulation… and they like it that way.

Can Actors be real Men.. Sure…..

General Jimmy Stewart , Pilot, 23, B17 Bombing Missions over Europe.. Sgt Clark Gable Gunnery Instructor. Steve McQueen (troubled Marine), Lee Marvin (Plumber) Combat Marine. Professor Emeritus, Dollege Dean, NRA President Joe Foss (MOH).. Ronald Reagan… in the middle of defeating the Soviet Union shot by a real assassin…with a real bullet in his side…. his comment to the Doctors as he lay on the Operating Table… while the bullet was still in him….” I hope your all Republicans.”..

Pay Homage to Pretenders…..Pretty Boys like Newman?

Don’t make me Laugh.


22 Brett October 9, 2008 at 1:19 pm

@LTB – FYI: Paul Newman served in the Navy during WWII. Signed up right after he graduated high school.


And also FYI: We’ve highlighted other fallen soldiers on the site.


Before you get all high and mighty, do some research.

23 LTB October 9, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Originally Posted By Brett@LTB – FYI: Paul Newman served in the Navy during WWII. Signed up right after he graduated high school.


And also FYI: We’ve highlighted other fallen soldiers on the site.


Before you get all high and mighty, do some research.

Nothing High and Mighty about it and I am sorry you missed my point.

I acknowledged actors can be manly and gave some example..
Nor were my comments or example only focused on Military Service..

The posts I read could have come out of “Vogue” or “Glamor” Magazine and it got my Goat.

I enjoy this site. Thank you for creating it. Thank you for creating a simple place for comments.

If this site is about Real Men should it not stick to the lives of real men.
Not Actors, Politicians, the “Rich and Famous”?

There are plenty of media outlets that talk of nothing else everyday.

Why not continue to focus on real men and what it means to be a real man… living in the real world . They are the ones who have earned my respect.

Sincerely and Respectfully


24 Mobilesventek October 10, 2008 at 7:56 am

Can’t believe you left out my favorite Paul Newman movie: Harper (and the later sequel – Drowning Pool)


And LTB – lighten up! Sheesh, we can’t appreciate a great actor and a decent man without you butting in with your ‘bubbububu…butwaitaminute’? Take a chill pill and relax.

25 movie fan October 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm

I have always admired Paul Newman for putting his money to work in such productive ways…

26 Paul forever October 13, 2008 at 12:48 am

So many memorable roles in many great movies. And so much famous quotes.

27 Uberhack July 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm


I realize I’m very late to this party but I would suggest to you to research a little more about Paul Newman before you criticize the honoring bestowed him here.
Newman never made a dime by hawking pictures of himself on spaghetti sauce and salad dressing. All profits went to charity.
Further, I would suggest you read this article on Newman published after his death:
Any man who went to the lengths that he did to bring happiness to those less fortunate, especially children, deserves a place as a man of honor just like the fine gentlemen you mentioned.

28 Grant August 23, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Love the site, but, hate to break it to you that that is actually Steve McQueen (playing Chief Michael O’Hallorhan http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072308/) in that scene from the Towering Inferno and not Mr Newman.

My favourite would be Cool Hand Luke.


29 Larry Notestine March 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Watch ‘Hombre’ sometime. Paul’s character was looked down upon by every other character, but his guile and ability saved all of them. That movie is very touching, and I feel in watching it again and again that Paul embued the character of John Russell with his own personal courage and character. Paul Newman’s legacy will live forever, a reminder for all of us to be better than what we sometimes settle for.

30 B-Doc July 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm

It’s ironic how his marriage to Woodward is upheld as noble in contrast to today’s philanderers when, in fact, his relationship with her was a five decade affair. He was already married to another woman when he started chasing Woodward. If he could have been as devoted in his first union, the accolades would be deserved.

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