Rakish Icons: Paul Newman

Paul Newman was a dazzling actor, but became more of a legend for his off-screen exploits and the photographic stills that revealed his rakish charisma.
Paul Newman as Hud Bannon, 1963.

There is the Herculean Newman of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, Hud, and The Hustler - classics of the fifties and sixties heyday in which he found fame - but there was another version of the man that remains seared into the minds of film fans. Images from him snacking on popcorn (a treat he liked so much, he would start selling his own), racing Porsche's at Le Mans (“the only thing I am graceful at is racing a car,” he would say, after filming Winning in 1969), or drinking bottles of beer, show a person with total confidence in himself - unfazed by the expectation of the mid-century celebrity, or the shadows of refined leading men of yesteryear like Cary Grant. He wasn’t Cool Hand Luke when off-duty, but an ordinary person—whose mistakes and passions would define his eternally posted image.


January 2023


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