Paul Newman

Paul Newman got to be both handsome and talented and to occupy a seat at the head table of the great male movie stars, which means that he dined with the likes of Cary Grant and Marlon Brando, and that his Eddie Felson in The Hustler, across from the great Gleason, Luke in Cool Hand Luke, his Hud in Hud, put him right out on the edge of whatever it is that actors do.

My favorite performance by Newman, however, was as Sully in Nobody’s Fool, a mostly unappreciated picture that I thought was both affecting and real. Newman was about 69 at the time and he still lit up the role. Beautiful job.

His acting as the broken-down lawyer Frank Galvin in Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict was better than the film, better than the part, and better than just about anything you’ll see nowadays.

Nice work, Newman.

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