Tonight’s news has saddened me greatly, Paul Newman has died, quite simply I was a big fan, I first remember him in “Somebody up there Likes Me” a movie about the boxer Rocky Graziano a much copied film and brilliant for it’s time, Newman jumped off the screen and demanded that you like him and everyone did. He was of course an incredibly successful screen actor, “Cool Hand Luke” “The Hustler” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and his legendary pairing with his great friend Robert Redford on “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid” and “The Sting” I seem to have grown up with him and people like him.
Part of the attraction with him and his friends and artists was of course their impeccable Liberal Credentials, there was never any doubt what side he was on and he also made millions for charities, a real nice, decent man who also just happened to be a great film star.
I saw him being interviewed one night on the matter of a list which the Nixon White House had issued of people that he (Nixon) didn’t like and considered as enemies, being told that he was on the list he expressed great concern and read the list for himself. He then wrote to the White House complaining that he was worried that he would not be on it, and also that he thought he should have been placed higher up.
My favourite screen memory of him was as a half breed Indian in a movie called “Hombre” his character has been captured from a stage coach and held by the baddies, there is a fellow passenger with them who is a rather high class lady. She tells the passengers of her disdain for Indians whom she regards as savages and recalls with disgust that someone once told her that they (Indians) eat dogs. A clearly simmering Newman says “lady have you ever been hungry” ? she retorts “no but I hope you’re not suggesting that I would eat a dog” Newman fixes her with those famous piercing blue eyes and says “lady you would fight over the bones” a great line delivered by a great actor and a great American.