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Let us praise Paul Newman


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While Jeffrey Wells spreads the rumors that the great Paul Newman is running out of time, MSNBC reports:

Oscar-winning actor Paul Newman, responding to a flurry of unconfirmed reports he is gravely ill with cancer, issued a terse, cryptic statement on Tuesday that shed little light on his actual condition.

“Newman says he’s doing nicely,” his spokesman, Jeff Sanderson, said in a message e-mailed to Reuters and other media outlets in answer to queries about the cancer reports.

Reached by telephone in his Los Angeles office, Sanderson declined to elaborate or give further details.

Whatever the case, this is terrible news. Lung cancer is always terrible news, but it's also distressing to think that this great actor, who was, in my opinion, doing his finest work in his later years, may not be with us much longer. While I love Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Cool Hand Luke, I prefer the grizzled, textured performances in Nobody's Fool, Road to Perdition, and even The Hudsucker Proxy. Heck, even his voice work in Cars qualifies as a great performance.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Really sorry to hear this, and I'm heartened by the fact that there appears to be denials as well as confirmations. But at 83 I've been fearing hearing of his death for a while. In short Newman rocks, as many of you know my favourite actor, and seemingly such a great guy in real life as well - a long long marriage and his generosity with his whole quirky salad thing. I hope he makes 100.

Matt

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Let's not forget that Newman and his wife, also an actor, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few months ago. How often does THAT happen in Hollywood?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Let's not forget that Newman and his wife, also an actor, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few months ago.
I didn't

;)

Matt

For many years, Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward returned to his alma mater, Kenyon College in Ohio, and helped the college kids put on plays. They did this without fanfare, and frequently brought along some of their Hollywood friends to help out. Living in the hinterlands of Mount Vernon, Ohio, it was always astounding to me to be able to venture the four miles over to Gambier (where Kenyon College is located) to watch such stellar actors and actresses. A year ago he donated $10 million to his alma mater, the largest private endowment the college has ever received.

He's a great actor. He's an admirable human being.

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MattPage wrote:

: I didn't

: ;)

Whoops, right you are, then. My bad. :)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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While I love Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Cool Hand Luke, I prefer the grizzled, textured performances in Nobody's Fool, Road to Perdition, and even The Hudsucker Proxy. Heck, even his voice work in Cars qualifies as a great performance.

Aww, I can't make up my mind about eras and why should we. He hates his performance in The Chalice, but he's been constistent since then for, what, 50+ years!!! Jumping around, I like Long Hot Summer (with Woodward), The Hustler, Exodus, The Private War of Harry Frigg, The Sting, The Drowning Pool, Sometimes A Great Notion, Absence of Malice, to name a few. Not all of those were good movies, but he was fun to watch in all of them. Like I say, 50+ years of consistence at a high level.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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  • 3 months later...

More news today, and not very good, if rumors are to be believed...

Newman Cancels Appearance After Alleged Health Decline

24 September 2008 6:24 PM, PDT

Legendary actor Paul Newman was forced to cancel a recent appearance at a charity event as a result of his declining health, according to new reports.

The 83-year-old Oscar-winner was allegedly given weeks to live last month, prompted by reports he had completed chemotherapy treatment at a New York hospital - where he was photographed leaving looking thin and frail.

Rumours of his declining health and alleged lung cancer diagnosis surfaced earlier this year, following his withdrawal as director from a production of Of Mice and Men in his native Connecticut.

At the time of the reports, Newman's spokesman denied the actor had cancer.

But according to new claims, Newman was forced to bow out of the event in their Connecticut hometown - where he was set to co-chair with his wife Joanne Woodward on 15 September.

A source tells the National Enquirer: "Joanne had dearly hoped Paul could attend the charity gala at the Westport Country Playhouse, which she built for the community. She knew he'd want to say a few words publicly.

"But Paul couldn't do it. Some of their closest Hollywood pals were there, including Julia Roberts, Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones and Bernadette Peters... Paul assured Joanne that he'd be supporting her in spirit."

A spokesperson for Newman said last month he is "doing nicely", but has neither confirmed nor denied he has cancer

.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I don't mean to be annoying, but would it be OK if we maybe didn't post things like this on this post unless he actually dies? If they're true then he clearly doesn't want them being discussed in public, and if they're not then there's not much point anyway. I don't want to come across all preachy, but I guess I'd just prefer it that way.

Matt

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Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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This is sad news. A class act, and one of my favourite actors. I will miss Paul Newman. :(

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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I'm honored to have watched the guy. As I said above, I can't pick an era. I like his work throughout his career. Even better, he was a peerless racecar driver well into his sixties. He has my admiration for two of my addictions.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I'm sad. The last role I saw him in was the Stage Manager in Our Town (2003)--he was perfect.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I'm honored to have watched the guy. As I said above, I can't pick an era. I like his work throughout his career. Even better, he was a peerless racecar driver well into his sixties. He has my admiration for two of my addictions.

Co-owner of Newman-Haas racing which was one of the premiere Indy car teams in the 80s and early 90s (before the IRL-CART split). I can remember seeing Newman back in the garage area in front of his trailer when I used to go to the Meadowlands Grand Prix in the late 80s (the futile attempt to bring Indy car racing to the NY market).

"Winning" wasn't the best racing movie I've ever seen, but it is a great time capsule piece showing the Indy 500 during the days when everyone knew Indy car racing was the best form of racing in America.

RIP, Paul.

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I think Robert Redford has said it best...

"There is a point where feelings go beyond words," Robert Redford said in a statement. "I have lost a real friend. My life - and this country - is better for his being in it."

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Joe Morgenstern panned an upcoming film on Firday that stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro (both mid to late sixties) as tough 40 something cops. Newman gets two and a half pages because he aged well and with dignity.

He played young men into his thirties, maybe forty because he could get away with it. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was in 1969. Newman played tired and slowing down in a young man's game in his Butch. He was only 44. He wisely chose roles that reflected his maturity. Few have done that, particularly those of his stature. Heh, he let his racing be the source of eternal youth, but even then he didn't cheat youth for too long. He backed off and became a team owner late in life.

That's why he's missed and that's why he sustained a marvelous career for so long depicting many, many stages of life.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I think the thing with DeNiro and Pacino is perhaps not that they are desperate to show themselves to be young, but might just be that there are so few roles for older people in films these days. As the Empire summary said "it's a sad indictment of the roles available for older actors that these two are reduced to this".

Matt

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Looking thru my prized DVD collection, I find I only have three Newman films: Butch Cassidy, Cool Hand Luke, and ... The Towering Inferno (guilty pleasure).

Of his other must-sees, I'm in the unenviable position of finding his performances to be spot-on, while finding the final product lacking. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, The Verdict... I'm talking to you. (Still on my haven't seen yet list: Hud, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Buffalo Bill, Fort Apache The Bronx and Road to Perdition...here's hoping that TCM will accomodate...).

Looking thru my prized pantry and refrigerator, I have had Newman popcorn, Newman salad dressing, Newman salsa, Newman pink lemonade (less sugar), and Newman black bean dip with corn. I happen to live three towns away from Westport, and used to serve at a parish there, where some of the choir members had shared stories of seeing Newman in town.

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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You found the Hustler lacking? On a par with The Verdict? It's one of my top ten (I think)

Matt

Sorry to offend. I loved the opening twenty-or-so minutes. That was cinema perfection. Then it became overlong, drawn out, meandering, moody, and when the final confrontation came, it jump-cutted to Minnesotta Fats saying "Well, you beat me." Certainly there's a great character story there, but I couldn't get into it.

The Verdict was a film that I dislike more upon each passing viewing, and it rests entirely upon its final sequence, which was recut after initial audiences passed on the original ending. Sure, the revised ending is an uplift, but an utterly dishonest one which makes no sense whatsoever, unless the jury deliberately disobeyed the judge's directives to not include a certain testimony as part of the evidence, or took the judge's directive itself as part of the evidence. Either way, the audience is denied hearing the resulting logic in the jury deliberation room, and what results is an entirely unearned... um, verdict.

Both films are prime examples of Newman's A-plus quality devotion to his character, but are cut short due to the climactic endings which cheat. YMMV.

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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