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Paul Newman Biography

Better Essays
Timothy Walsh
Mrs. Merrill
Adaptations Yellow
9 December 2014
Paul Newman Biography Paul Newman was a man of many hats; the great actor could be found on the silver screen, on the racetrack, and in the boardroom of several charitable organizations. Newman had appeared in sixty-five films over his fifty year career and accrued ten Academy Award nominations (Harmetz). He was humble, yet passionate for his craft, which is how he was able to maintain his stardom later in life, a feat seldom achieved by actors (“Paul Newman.” Newsmakers). Looking back on his life, Paul Newman said, “I’d like to be remembered as a guy who tried – tried to be part of his times…tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn’t complacent, who doesn’t
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Newman began his career in acting on Broadway during the early 50s and was starring in feature films by the end of the decade (Harmetz). His first feature was the Warner Brothers film The Silver Chalice in 1954. Newman would later publicly apologize for his performance in this movie (“Paul Newman.” Matinee Classics). He would soon get his next big break when he starred in Somebody Up There Likes Me in 1956. The lead role, originally written for James Dean, was passed on to Newman after Dean’s tragic death (Harmetz). It was clear that Newman was on the rise, but some critics were quick to dismiss the young actor as just another pretty face (“Paul Newman Biography”). He was perhaps best known for his striking blue eyes. Even he attributed part of his success to his eyes, saying, “I picture my epitaph. Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown” (Harmetz). However, Newman’s 1958 role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof proved that he had the acting potential to match his looks (“Paul Newman Biography”). The film was MGM’s highest-grossing movie of the year, and Newman’s performance earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor (“Paul Newman.” Newsmakers). By 1970, Newman had accrued four more Oscar nominations. He was nominated for lead performances in The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), and Cool Hand Luke (1967) (Ebert). In addition, Newman directed the 1968 film Rachel, Rachel starring his wife, which was nominated for Best Picture (Harmetz). His superstardom was set in stone with the release of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, which starred Newman and his friend Robert Redford in the title roles. The film stands as one of the most successful Westerns in history (“Paul Newman.” Newsmakers). During this period, Newman was best known for playing rebellious characters, but his undeniable charm made
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