No other American actor was the Alpha Male for so long. Whether he’s a muscled, sulky-lipped stud (in earlier films such as The Hustler, Hud and Cool Hand Luke) or a grizzled, irresistible Everyman (in later works such as Nobody’s Fool and Twilight), Paul Newman can make women…well… you get the picture.
Menthol, aqua, cyan, ultramarine, cobalt, cerulean, Antwerp, sea, sky, azure, Lake Louise: Newman has inspired more hacks to find variations on the word “blue” than any man in history. And while he’s easy on the eyes, there’s nothing easy about Paul Newman’s screen persona. He’s not afraid to play troubled losers and cocky opportunists (Sweet Bird of Youth, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof); he enjoys making women struggle with their ambivalent strains of distaste and lust. You love him, but you don’t always want to.
Leonardo DiCaprio and other actors take note: Newman, an eight-time Oscar nominee and 1986 Best Actor winner, learned early on never to take himself, or his beauty, too seriously. Or rather, he takes life more seriously than fame–which is why he lived in Connecticut, raced cars, ran charities, seemed happily married and behaved, in general, like the anti-hunk.
In His Own Words: “I resent people who have big talents and don’t work at it, because I have a tiny little talent and I squeeze the tube dry.”