Remembering Paul Newman
Paul Newman passed away over the weekend at the age of 83 from cancer. He was one of the last of the great 20th Century movie stars, and indeed, one of the greatest actors I’ve ever seen.
The first film of his that I ever saw was “The Towering Inferno” when it premiered on a relatively new cable channel called HBO in December 1975. Believe it or not, I would not see a Paul Newman film on screen until “The Color of Money” in 1986. But in between, of course, as I learned to appreciate good film, I would discover and cherish such titles as “The Hustler”, “Exodus”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Verdict”.
His passing causes me to reflect not only on his great career but also the fact that there are almost no Hollywood legends left. People of my generation (I was born in 1967) have stars like Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Jessica Lange to look to as our screen legends.
But what of the future? My son is two and a half years old and it almost breaks my heart to think that by the time he’s a young man, the actors of today who may or may not qualify as tomorrow’s Hollywood legends are people like Ashton Kutcher, Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Reese Witherspoon.
If this is the case, then frankly, I weep for the future.
Rest in peace, Paul. We loved you. We’ll miss you. We’ll never forget you.