Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Paul Newman, one of the last great actors from the 20th-century, has died. He was 83.

His New York Times obituary describes his life and career best:

If Marlon Brando and James Dean defined the defiant American male as a sullen rebel, Paul Newman recreated him as a likable renegade, a strikingly handsome figure of animal high spirits and blue-eyed candor whose magnetism was almost impossible to resist, whether the character was Hud, Cool Hand Luke or Butch Cassidy.

He acted in more than 65 movies over more than 50 years, drawing on a physical grace, unassuming intelligence and good humor that made it all seem effortless. Yet he was also an ambitious, intellectual actor and a passionate student of his craft, and he achieved what most of his peers find impossible: remaining a major star into craggy, charismatic old age.

Paul Newman was one of those actors who you liked no matter what. Actually, he was probably the only actor who has the ability to make you enjoy everything he works on. While the news of his death isn’t surprising (there have been reports of his failing health for months), it is still sad. Hollywood without Paul Newman and the world without Paul Newman isn’t going to be pretty one. In recent years, he was like the ambassador who never had to show up for anything but everyone still loved him. Without him, there is going to be something missing. I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been alive for some of his career and that I got to see some of his work. And for me that’s pretty special.

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