Paul Newman: This Is How It’s Done,
A toast to a true leading man
-April Daniels Hussar
I’ve always thought it’s a little creepy how upset some people get when celebrities die – sharing in a grief for someone we’ve never even met so often seems just weird and false. But I felt more than a pang when I heard the news about Paul Newman over the weekend. Thinking about it, I guess it’s that, even though I never met him, he was a light in the world. It wasn’t just through art that he made his mark; he was a dedicated philanthropist and activist … spreading money (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars) and organic popcorn through the world to the people who needed it most.
And DAMN was he a looker.
I remember well the first time Paul Newman really made an impression on me. His blue eyes wooed me from a rented copy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – and he instantly supplanted all others on my dreamboat list. Unfortunately for me and my stalker-like tendencies, the man on the screen existed approximately 30 years earlier. I may never have wished harder for a time machine.
Of course, even armed with a time machine and my ravishing good looks (if you don’t believe me just ask my mom!), I would have come up short, because Mr. Newman, he was a-taken. As he famously told Playboy magazine when asked if he was ever tempted to stray from his wife, the gorgeous Joanne Woodward: “Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?”
A 50-plus-year marriage with a true soul mate and partner … now that’s sexy.
So listen up all you aspiring heartthrobs, all you up-and-coming leading men of Hollywood. Paul Newman left you some pretty big shoes to fill. Not only do you have to be devastatingly handsome and ooze talent from your very pores, you have to be an all-round-stand up guy … a family man, devoted, chivalrous, compassionate and full of love for the world.
The Bettys raise our glasses to you, Mr. Newman. And to Joanne Woodward – may we all be as lucky in love as you have been.