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Paul Newman, 1925-2008

The first presidential debate has been trumped on news pages all over the Internet by word of the death of Paul Newman yesterday. He was 83.

On top of being a great actor, Paul Newman undoubtedly had one of the coolest screen presences in movie history, as exemplified by his title (and perhaps most iconic) role in films like Cool Hand Luke (pictured above). He first hit it big in the late 1950s, with starring roles in William Faulkner’s The Long, Hot Summer and Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (both 1958). He went on to play likable rogues in movies like The Hustler (1961), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and The Sting (1973). However, he appeared in a variety of other films as well, including Exodus (1960) and Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain (1966).

Later in his career, he finally won a performance Oscar for his work in The Color of Money (1986) after seven unsuccessful nominations. He was nominated again (but failed to win) twice more: for Nobody’s Fool (1994) and Road to Perdition (2002), one of the finest performances of his career. His last role was as the voice of Doc Hudson in Pixar’s Cars (2006). However, I think it’s fairly obvious that he leaves behind him more than a few movies that will (actually, have) stand the test of time.

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~ by Jared on September 27, 2008.

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