I have never considered myself a "fan" of any celebrity or actor. I have never written a fan letter to anyone. I did not have boy posters up on my wall as a teenager.
Yet last Saturday Morning, I found myself in tears over a perfect stranger. I could not believe that I was crying over someone whom I had never meet, only watched on the screen. It felt so silly, but I could not help it.
Yes, he was know for his ama
zing generosity, his huge heart over the less fortunate, his passions in life, and his famously dazzling good looks.
But untill 4 years ago, Paul Newman was just a distant blip in my radar. A name I certainly knew, and thought well of for sure, but nothing to get emotional about.
Four years ago I was in the library, looking for a movie for the kids and I to watch. A few really, as my husband, Marty, was away on a business trip for a week. He often goes away for a week at a time for work. We are close, and really miss him a lot. He is a great fun big kid that we all enjoy and look up to. So I come across a movie, "Cool Hand Luke". My eyes go large as I take in the picture on the video cover. Silently, I show my kids the video. They both stare. Finally, Betsy says " I
did not know Marty acted?" Cameron says "No way! That totally looks just like Marty!". I agree. We check out the movie. At home, I study the character Luke, and notice his behavior, his cadance of speach, his attitude. Marty 100%.
Apparently I married a young Paul Newman and did not even know it....
Yes, I can see the differences. Paul has a different chin, his nose is slightly straiter, etc.... but the simularities are still there. The same height and build. The same hair. The same facial structure. The same piercing blue eyes, and my favorite, his smile.
So when Marty got home from his trip, we showed him the movie. He did not see so many simularities in how they look, but more so the his attitude. HE LOVES Paul Newman, gets a real kick out of all his movies.
The kids and I then took it upon ourselves to borrow every movie available at out library (that is a lot) that Paul Newman has made. We generally only view then when marty goes away for a work trip. We are much happier with the "Original" version of Marty, but somehow, watching Movies of Paul Newman gave us some kind of substitute when Marty, daddy, was away. A reminder of someone we loved, and knew loved back.
Marty had just gone away on a business trip last Friday. So that night, we all cuddle up in out bed and watch "The Long Hot Summer". That is the one in which he falls in love with his wife, Joanne Woodward. The kids and I fall asleep before it is over. Right at the part where Ben Quick takes over
in the general store. In the morning, I go to my computer to check my email, and see that Mr. Paul Newman has passed away. So I cried, and called Marty. Or tried to call as Marty left his cell phone in the cab....
I was 20 minutes late to a trunk show as I could not stop crying long enough to put on my makeup.
It is like when Betsy cries at the end of "Cool Hand Luke", or any of the many movies in which a character that Mr. Newman plays dies. She gets all upset, and yells at her dad "Why did you have to die?" She KNOWs the difference, she is 12, but the emotions are the same.
So an actor that reminds me and my family of my husband has sadly died. I have never been a fanatic, and I hope this does not seem too wierd. It seems a little wierd to me. But I seem to remember my mother crying over John Lennon.
We humans are a bundle of strange and complicated emotions. Mr. Newman charity's has inspired us too. I have always hoped one day that I could offer my line of jewelry as a 100% to charity business, like Newmans Own. I want to do this before I grow super wealthy, we just want to be able to support ourselves with one income. Marty is going back to school to get his engineering degree to make that possible.
"I picture my epitaph," he once said. "Here lies Paul Newman, who dies a failure because his eyes turned brown."
Film Critic Pauline Kael wrote in 1977 about Mr. Newman, "His likeableness is infectious; nobody should ever be asked not to like Paul Newman."