Remembering Paul Newman

Everybody’s been doing their tributes in the 24 hours since the actor died, so I thought I’d offer mine.

My husband Michael and I used to live in Weston, CT, the town right next to Westport where Newman lived for years. He was never into the Hollywood scene. He was a “local” who didn’t take his celebrity too seriously. His house, while on a sprawling piece of property, wasn’t a movie star mansion but a charming white clapboard New England farmhouse built in the 1800s.
When Michael was in high school, he had a summer job delivering groceries for a neighborhood market – a job that brought him to Newman’s house one afternoon with food and several cases of beer. Newman was in his garage when Michael drove up. Here was this screen legend wearing jeans and a T-shirt and a metal beer bottle opener hanging from his neck. He was working on his Volkswagon Beetle, which he told Michael had a Porsche engine. He offered Michael a beer and my husband, never one to refuse an alcoholic beverage, accepted. “He was so friendly,” Michael recalled. “And he tipped really well.” LOL.
As for me, I used to shop at a gourmet food place in Westport called Hay Day. One summer morning, many years after Michael’s interaction with Newman, I was picking through a large basket of fresh corn on the cob when I realized I had grabbed the same ear of corn as someone else. I glanced up and it was Paul Newman’s blue eyes I was staring into! OMG! But that’s the kind of thing that happened with him. He was always out and about by himself. No entourage. No fuss. Just the real deal. And btw, he insisted that I take the corn. He was a gentleman too.


  1. jimmy27nyy

    Sad to hear about the passing of Paul Newman …

    He was an all-time classic: actor, and gentleman; and, will be remembered just as much for all his charity work … Paul Newman will be greatly missed !!! … My “almost” brush with fame, with Paul Newman, was seeing him walking around JFK Airport, in New York, many years ago … I was waiting for the arrival of someone, and, there was Newman just walking through the crowd [either waiting for someone; or, departing – I really don’t know] … He was wearing sunglasses, and to this day, I “think” it was him … I didn’t approach him, nor did anyone else; and, within a few minutes he walked passed everyone, and I guess, he either boarded his plane, or made contact with whomever he was waiting for … And, that was that — my Paul Newman story !!! … My three favorite Paul Newman movies are: “The Hustler” – with Jackie Gleason, and George C. Scott [who both were also great in the movie]; “The Color of Money”; and, “The Verdict” … May we all keep Paul Newman in our prayers; and, May he rest in peace … Jimmy [27NYY] …

  2. Jane Heller

    Exactly my sentiments, Steve. Newman was a classy guy.

    I like all the movies you mentioned, Jimmy. I’d also add his last big feature film, “The Road to Perdition.” He played an Irish mob boss and was really great. Rent it if you haven’t already seen it!

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