Paul Newman, RIP

Paul Newman has died at the age of 83. He is one of a very small group of actors whose presence, at one time, was enough to cause me to see a movie.

Here’s a list of Newman’s films. My favorites are Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Long Hot Summer, and Hombre, where Newman plays a blue-eyed Indian. Newman also played pool shark Fast Eddie Felson twice, 25 years apart, in The Hustler and The Color of Money. He was brilliant both times.

Like just about anyone who was in college in 1967, I must also mention Cool Hand Luke. In that flim the Newman character, a prisoner, bets his fellow convicts that he can eat 50 eggs, and proceeds to eat them. This led to egg-eating contests in frat houses all over America. The winner of Dartmouth’s contest issued a challenge to Newman. The actor was gracious enough to respond. He said: “You probably think I can shoot pool too.”

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