Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Paul Newman: Philanthropist, Movie Star and Human

As a Man of Many Faces, I’m most impressed with His tireless Philanthropic endeavours…


What do Y’all think of when you hear the name Paul Newman? Is it one, or many of his 58 movies Filmed over his 50 years Movie career?


For many years previously, I only drank Newman’s Own lemonade, for which I’m dually impressed that in the first 25 years of existence, Paul donated over $250 million dollars! And later bequeathed his share of the company, estimated at another $120 million. Reportedly, as of 2021 Newman’s Own has Donated over $570 million to Charity, Aye Karumba!


Not to mention his tireless, unselfish dedication to his Hole in The Wall Camps for Disadvantage Kids originally just with Cancer, before expanding the types of Illness’s qualifying deserving Children admittance to these amazingly therapeutic Camps!


For which now I feel a tad bit Sheepish knowing I once Mocked thee Big Unit’, aka Justin Wilson running his Newman Haas Lanigan Racing car with it’s sidepods adorned in Hole in The Wall Gang Camps livery! Since as much as I’m impressed with Newman’s Own amazing monetary contributions to Charity, I’m even more impressed now, after “reading,” Err listening to the Book Paul Newman: A Life a second time with the Hole in The Wall Gang Camps instead! Which was a Nod to the Desperados Gang in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid movie.


As my favourite Quip from the entire book is the part about one of Paul Newman’s many unannounced visits to one of the Camps, presumably the original camp in nearby Ashford, Connecticut. As one of the Kids attending tugged upon Paul’s pant leg. Asking Him, Are you A movie Star? Yeah, I did a couple of movies. Were you in cool Hand Luke? Yes,

I did Cool Hand Luke. Boy, Movies sure make You look Young!


As Newman’s Mega Philanthropy efforts are how I wish to remember the Movie Star, Political Activist and Racecar Driver…


But I Don’t want Y’all to think I’ve Drunk Newman’s lemonade and that it was a Fairytale Celebrity life that Paul lived. As three major items in His life make it painfully aware that He was Human like All of us.


Newman was a life long Alcoholic, beginning his Drinking “Career” as early as High School? Not to mention Joking often that He’d majored in Drinking at College. And was notorious for having a beer in his hand in almost Any setting. Not surprisingly, Anhieser Busch was a longtime personal racing and race team sponsor with it’s Budweiser brand, which I believe also supplied Paul with All of the free Budweiser Beer He could Drink.


Whilst Paul’s most tragic moment of his entire life occurred on November 20, 1978.


On Sunday, November 19, 1978, Paul’s only son (and firstborn) Scott Newman spent the day watching the LA Rams with a friend, beginning by having a bunch of rum Drinks. As a Hollywood Stuntman and having crashed his motorcycle recently, Scott was in much pain. So a friend gave him some Valium’s. And then Scott went back to drinking rum.


Then later on, Scott took some more valium before contacting his Psychiatrist, who gave him a bottle of some different Pills. Making a long story short here, Scott continued mixing Drugs before calling it a night. And then Scott was pronounced Dead shortly after 1AM November 20, 1978 at Age 28.


And while Paul and his second wife Joanne Woodward enjoyed a long and presumably mostly Happy Half Century of Marriage. Paul probably regretted one of his Quips regarding Joanne, once telling one of the numerous Reporters always Hounding Him, regarding temptation: Why would I go out for Hamburger when I’ve got Steak at Home?


Yet apparently that’s exactly what befell Paul on the set of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. Since the Book claims it was a well known secret what Paul and Nancy Bacon, a Hollywood Reporter were up to. With the Cast often joking that Paul Doesn’t go out for Hamburger, but Does Bacon! As the pair reportedly had an On Again, Off Again Affair for One and a Half years before Nancy finally ended it, claiming that Paul was Always Drunk.


As Nancy Bacon was either married, or partners with Don Wilson of the Tacoma, WA Instrumental Rock Band The Ventures, since I Don’t remember now. As the couple had a Daughter before they Split up.


As The Ventures biggest Hit Song was Walk, Don’t Run, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Charts, whilst I was unaware they were also responsible for the original Hawaii 5-Oh TV Show’s “Intro” song…


As Nancy would Tell All first in interviews and then later in a book that I believe was titled Stars in My Eyes, Stars in My Bed. While it’s worth noting that the Newman’s, i.e.; Paul and Joanne Never Disputed Nancy’s Accusations over Paul’s Infidelity. Instead Paul just recommitted himself even further to Joanne and they lived together for the rest of his life, quietly celebrating their 50th Anniversary the same year Paul Died.


Thus Paul Newman, Mega Movie Star was Human after All, just like the rest of us. But what impresses me most about the late Actor is when asked about His doing Philanthropy work. Newman told said Reporter, His Only problem  was with those Who didn’t!


Whilst I felt it Karmic, Apropos or Symbiotic that just after I’d finished reading the book the first time in February 2020, I came across Paul’s longtime neighbor, Friend, Fishing Buddy and Co-Founder of Newman’s Own. The Author A.E. Hotchner’s Obituary in The New York Times, who Died at the remarkable age of 102…