Goodbye, Butch

Paul Newman died Friday of cancer at age 83. More than just one of my favorite actors, he was a person I admired greatly for his charity work and his attitude on celebrity.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of my favorite movies, one of those I’ll stop to watch if I’m flipping channels and happen to come across it. I never get tired of it, and of course Newman’s performance is a big reason why. His stream of consciousness chatter – played off of Robert Redford’s Sundance’s squinty-eyed frustration (mostly at the messes the characters got into due to Newman’s Butch’s hyperactive scheming) – is classic stuff. I’d also point to The Verdict and The Color of Money as favorites of mine from Newman’s career.

The amazing success of the “Newman’s Own” products and the charities they supported were an even better reason to admire the man. I never saw Newman tooting his own horn over the success of that work of service to his fellow man. It was always handled as matter of fact and coolly as the man seemed to be himself.

Newman was a well known hater of celebrity and the hoopla of Hollywood. In spite of that, I can’t think of a greater giant of a movie star than Newman. Anything he did as an actor felt special. Ten Academy Award nominations, with a win and two honorary Oscars give testament to the respect of industry. The legacy of his charity work should draw the admiration of all.

2 Responses to “Goodbye, Butch”

  1. Jeri Says:

    I admired him a lot as well – as a man and a leader, not so much as a celebrity in the entertainment industry.

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