All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Somebody Up There Likes Him

I was truly sorry to hear that Paul Newman had died. Then I thought about the first film I could identify him with and it came to me in a flash - "Exodus". Ari Ben Canaan himself. Then Butch Cassidy, The Sting, Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler....

What a guy!

It then occurred to me that Paul Newman was so much more than just an actor. This man did something worthwhile. He actually put his money where his mouth was and set up the Hole-In-The-Wall camps. He changed peoples' lives. He didn't just take their minds on a little cinematic trip, he gave them memories that lasted so much longer than the average screening time of one his movies.

I remember going through a period in my teens when I couldn't get enough of Paul Newman's movies - whether it was Butch Cassidy, The Sting, The Verdict or even Exodus. I just loved this guy in a way that only a man can love another man without it being any way sexual.

I don't think I ever lost my admiration for him. His easy charm, effortless acting and all round coolness were things that I could only aspire to emulate. He was like Steve McQueen, another favourite, but funnier.

And now he's gone and all we've got left are the movies - but for some others, their grandfather's friend who was terminally ill spent a wonderful few days at the expense of Mr Newman and hell, isn't that more important than watching a movie, even a great one at that?

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