Paul Newman at 80


Paul Newman at 80 by Christopher Sandford. Great piece. Glowing, but not without warts, including the McQueen rivalry and his divorce of his first wife:

Somebody Up There [Likes Me] was also the blink-and-you'll-miss-it film debut of a 26-year-old hustler playing the bit part of Fidel – 'a blade-wielding punk' as the credits put it. From then on, Newman's career became a kind of pace car for Steve McQueen's. Somebody's director Robert Wise is only the most compelling witness to the fact that it was 'undeclared war' between them, two physical types whose all-American qualities inspired entire PhD theses, not to mention Erica Jong's orgasm in Esquire. The feud reached its own climax when the two superstars came to debate their billing, eighteen years later, in The Towering Inferno. A compromise was agonizingly reached whereby McQueen's name would be on the left, and Newman's a shade higher, exactly a foot to the right, on the marquee. That twelve-inch gap was a 25-year rivalry in miniature.

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Neat little article, though the last paragraph is out of left field.

Agreed. I think I know what he's trying to say, but it's poorly done. Also not a fan of the Depp comparison (as much as I enjoy his work).