Paul Newman, one of Hollywood’s most undeniably charismatic figures, would have celebrated his 89th birthday this past week. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve uncovered an informative, feature-length documentary that features frequent collaborators such as Eve Marie Saint and Robert Redford candidly discussing Newman’s personal life and his most celebrated roles.
Originally airing on A&E, biographer Elena Oumano pinpoints the arc to some of Newman’s most notable characters in films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, and The Hustler — that of “the anguished, alienated loner, that cannot function in society but slides by on his talent.” The film also details his breakout role in Robert Wise’s Somebody Up There Likes Me, occurring because the actor originally set to star (James Dean) tragically died.
Newman’s other passions are explored, including his food company Newman’s Own, a basis for his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, which was born in a moment that could be featured in any of his films: Newman didn’t like the taste of the salad dressing at a high-end restaurant and thought he could make a better one. The details of the actor’s life are as compelling as his cinematic creations and one can check it out below, along with a short interview featuring the icon discussing how he came into his profession.
What’s your favorite performance from Paul Newman?