Star Quality

Paul Newman Knew Substance Comes Before Style

Paul Newman as private investigator Lew Harper in 1966's "Harper." (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)
By Patrick Ryan for Valet.
Published on September 29, 2008

On Friday, surrounded by friends and family, Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman passed away at his Connecticut farmhouse—far from the bright lights and cameras that made him a legend. He was, at once, grace and substance. A style icon somehow devoid of any vanity, he made a simple oxford button-down and cords look effortlessly cool. And though he famously rejected the "rubbish" of Hollywood, Paul Newman was, perhaps, the last real movie star.

I picture my epitaph: Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown.
- Paul Newman

Onscreen, he was a hustler, a rake or a rebel. But off camera, the man defined what it meant to be a true gentleman. The son of an Ohio sporting goods store owner, Newman was a World War II hero, a political activist, a race car driver and a philanthropist. In 1982 he co-founded "Newman's Own," an all-natural food brand, pledging to donate 100% of its profits of charity. To date, the company has raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars. So while it's easy to admire the guy for his sense of style, it's more important to remember his sense of self.


Five Iconic Films

Cool Hand Luke,
$14, at Amazon.

The Sting,
$20, at Amazon.

The Towering Inferno,
$15 at Amazon.

The Color of Money,
$9 at Amazon.



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