Saturday, September 27, 2008

One less rebel: Paul Newman, 1925-2008

In today's NYTimes

Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as ''Hud,'' ''Cool Hand Luke'' and ''The Color of Money'' -- and as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario -- has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

That's quite a résumé--including "popcorn impresario." Even Orville Redenbacher, when he died, was characterized by the Times only as an "agricultural visionary."

The Times adds this about Newman:

With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. ''I was always a character actor,'' he once said. ''I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood.''

From The Hustler (1961):

And one last item:

Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon's ''enemies list,'' one of the actor's proudest achievements, he liked to say.

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