Paul Newman

Paul Newman set the standard for me, in so many ways. I don’t know if it’s true that, after Butch Cassidy and The Sting, he wanted to do The Front Runner with Redford, with himself as the coach and Redford as his athlete-lover and that Redford refused, but his wanting to do it (and Redford’s refusal) both ring true to me. He was a brave and beautiful, essentially modest, man. In the last photograph I saw of him, a few weeks ago in one of those gloating tabloid exposures of the frail, he looked like my father, which shocked me. In this photograph – and there are a million others – he looks both drop-dead cool and aware of what that costs. I saw a man who looked like him once, many years ago, outside a pub in Notting Hill, so like him I actually thought it was, and still remember my heart missing a beat, my breath failing. I stood and stared at him, utterly without the power to move away. I can still remember how he was dressed. 

I borrowed this photo from jockohomo datapanik. Thanks.
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