Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A beautiful man

Last night I was wondering whether my headline about Paul Newman was correct, that he really was the last of the great Hollywood stars of his generation. Liz Taylor is still alive, and as the radio news pointed out a few moments ago, so is Clint Eastwood, arguably a greater actor and certainly a great director. But I can't imagine the same intense feelings of sadness and nostalgia when Eastwood dies, perhaps because he has always been a man's man, while Newman appealed across the board.

Paul Newman was a wonderful actor, a mensch and an all-round beautiful person. We rightly distrust the elevation of physical beauty, and we rightly argue that good looks don't equal moral character. But sometimes you just have to give in and say you're glad that the world is full of what is wonderful to look at. When Paul Newman smiled he lit up everything.

But even Paul Newman wasn't quite born beautiful, as his very first screen test with a guy called Jimmy reveals

8 comments:

Arabella said...

I think your headline is fitting - Paul Newman was certainly last of the great guys.
I don't think Eastwood comes close as an actor - lack of subtlety marks his directorial style as well, but seems to suit the kind of cinematic stories he likes to tell.
But hey ho - time to find that Judy Garland book.

Arabella said...

I think your headline is fitting - Paul Newman was certainly last of the great guys.
I don't think Eastwood comes close as an actor - lack of subtlety marks his directorial style as well, but seems to suit the kind of cinematic stories he likes to tell.
But hey ho - time to find that Judy Garland book.

Arabella said...

Woops.

Deja Pseu said...

I dunno, I think he looks pretty good there. :-)

Paul Newman also proved that old adage, "beauty is as beauty does." His charities have generated millions of dollars to help kids.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Mensch is the right word. What a loss.

Duchesse said...

Great actor, great humanitarian, love you, man.

Cindy said...

I have to agree with daja pseu, that face.....ummmummmm. He was sexy and gorgeous but more importantly he was generous and kind and he made a darn good tomato sauce. Not only that, his coffee beans are the best I've had.

Anonymous said...

So is lauren bacall. Now there's a woman of some considerable style