Paul Leonard Newman, 1925 - 2008
Studio publicity still (1975)
Born: 26 January 1925, Shaker Heights, Ohio
Died: 26 September 2008, Westport, Connecticut
Newman's parents were Eastern-European immigrants who ran a sporting-goods store. He was educated in the public schools, participating in school plays from age seven, and graduating from Shaker Heights High School in 1943. He went on to Ohio University at Athens where he pledged Phi Kappa Tau, the fraternity later made Newman's "Hole in the Wall Gang Camps" their national philanthropic focus. When World War II broke out Newman joined the US Navy V-12 program, hoping to be trained as a pilot, but those blue eyes are color blind. He served in support for torpedo bombers and later flew as turret gunner in an Avenger torpedo bomber flying off the USS Bunker Hill. After the war he earned a degree in speech from Kenyon College (1949), a degree earned primarily in drama classes because the school didn't offer a drama degree. He went on to get a second degree from Yale University (1954) and studied under Lee Strasberg of the Actors's Studio at New York City. Newman described his first movie role in 1954 as "giving a clinic in bad acting" but started getting serious parts almost immediately. He appeared in 65 films during a career that spanned 55 years, the last four films being voice parts. He won an Oscar, and was nominated for eight more, won three Golden Globes (including New Star of the Year for his very first film), a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy, and several Sports Car Club of America road-racing championships. He sold enough salad dressing and popcorn to give nearly $300 million to charity. He was diagnosed with lung cancer early in 2007, the information became public in June of 2008, about three months before his death.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Paul Newman quotes:
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- A man can only be judged by his actions, and not by his good intentions or his beliefs. permalink
- Acting is a question of absorbing other people's personalities and adding some of your own experience. permalink
- Acting is like letting your pants down - you're exposed. permalink
- Acting isn't really a creative profession. It's an interpretative one. permalink
- Almost everything I learned about being an actor came from those early years at the Actor's Studio. permalink
- As long as my heart continues to beat, I think I will continue. permalink
- Being on President Nixon's enemies list was the highest single honor I've ever received. Who knows who's listening to me now and what government list I'm on? permalink
"Newman remains animated at 81", interview with Craig Modderno, Reuters (12 June 2006)
- Every time I get a script it's a matter of trying to know what I could do with it. I see colors, imagery. It has to have a smell. It's like falling in love. You can't give a reason why. permalink
- For those of you who like to scarf your popcorn in the sack, the good news is that Newman's Own contains an aphrodisiac. permalink
- From the beginning, our management philosophy was, 'If we ever have a plan, we're through.' permalink
- I cannot bear to look at a film that I made before 1990. Maybe 1985. There's no sense even trying to explain it. I really just can't watch myself. I see all the machinery at work and it just drives me nuts, so I don't look at anything. permalink
- I check my pulse and if I can find it, I know I've got a chance. permalink
- I didn't have anything to run for that really grabbed me, except what I happened to be doing, which was the theater. It wasn't as though I really made a commitment to it; there wasn't anything else around. So I wasn't driven to become an actor - it just seemed to be the thing that I managed to do best. permalink
- I don't think there's anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic. It's the other attitude that confuses me. permalink
"Paul Newman's Road To Glory", interview with Paul Fischer, Film Monthly (1 July 2002)
- I had no natural gift to be anything, not an athlete, not an actor, not a writer, not a director or a painter of garden porches, not anything. So I've worked really hard, because nothing ever came easily to me. permalink
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