Paul Newman – Behind the Blue Eyes

Day 142 of Colourisation Project – September 26

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

That movie star and philanthropist, Paul Newman quietly turned over the entire value of his ownership in Newman’s Own—the company that makes salad dressings and a range of other food products—to charity, speaks volumes about the character of the man. Two years before his death, Newman’s contribution to  the Newman’s Own Foundation Inc. was an astounding $120 million.

Paul Newman

US Navy Photo: Paul Newman 1945 – Coloured by Loredana Crupi

One of a new breed of leading men, Paul Leonard Newman took Hollywood by storm in the late 1950s and early 1960s, achieving superstar status for his portrayals of charismatic characters in such classic films as The Long Hot Summer,  The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Verdict and The Color of Money, for which he won an Academy Best Actor award.  Newman appeared in more than 65 films over a 50 year career in which he was nominated for nine Academy Awards. A gifted actor he was also an award-winning director and throughout his lifetime won numerous awards including six Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, Cannes Film Festival Award and an Emmy Award.

Never fitting the classic Hollywood mould, Newman was more than a distinguished actor. Described as an honorable ‘man of conscience,’ by Gore Vidal, he was a committed political activist, one of Hollywood’s biggest celebrity agitators supporting the civil-rights movement from the very beginning, participating in sit-ins and demonstrations and giving money to Martin Luther King Jr. for the cause.

In the 1968 presidential election, he incurred the wrath of the Republican candidate Richard Nixon, for his strong anti-Vietnam sentiments and support of Democratic candidate Eugene McCarthy. After Nixon won the election, Newman expressed pride at being number 19 on the President’s enemies list.

In 1978 US President, Jimmy Carter appointed Newman as the US delegate to a UN nuclear disarmament conference. Newman continued supporting Democratic candidates throughout the years and in more recent years, Newman was concerned about global warming, supporting nuclear energy development as a solution.

Known for his amazing screen idol good looks and possibly the bluest eyes on the planet, Newman was never one to flaunt his celebrity. He was guarded about his privacy and manged to remain elusive, always hiding those magnificent eyes behind dark sunglasses when he was out in public. Nonetheless he had one of the most recognizable faces in the world due to his philanthropic business enterprise, Newman’s Own; a line of food products bearing his name and image on the label, the full proceeds of which after taxes went to charity. As of 2013, the franchise had donated in excess of $380 million!

After his 28 year old son, Scott died from a drug and alcohol overdose in 1978, Newman established the Scott Newman Center in his son’s honor dedicated to helping health care professionals and teachers educate children about the dangers of alcohol and drug use. The organization also initiated the Rowdy Ridge Gang Camp, a system of summer camps for families recovering from the problems associated with drug use and alcoholism.

Up to the end of his life Newman remained committed to his charitable work, saying it was ‘his greatest legacy, particularly in giving ailing children a camp at which to play’.

Mr. Newman once told a reporter,

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives. The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”

Newman who aged gracefully to become one of Hollywood’s elder statesmen died on this day September 26, 2008, aged 83 after a battle with lung cancer.


“I picture my epitaph. Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown.”   –  Paul Newman

This entry was posted in Colorization, Colourisation, Hollywood, Photography, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Paul Newman – Behind the Blue Eyes

  1. Great guy, and one of the rare ones that stayed true to his wife and family. Nice work on the eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

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