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Paul Newman has seen a lot of ink since passing away on Friday, but we can’t help but add a little more. It’s hard to think of a more endearing movie star, or a more stringently moral one.

He was also the last star of his kind, bridging the gap between Old Hollywood’s contract players and today’s twenty-million-dollar free agents. More than James Dean or even Marlon Brando, Newman shaped the movies he was in around his own persona, the loveable, beatific loser. He made Hollywood more concerned with the heels of the world and less comfortable with the folks who run things, whether that meant the prison guards of *Cool Hand Luke* or the corrupt judges of *The Verdict*. There have been other movie stars—even other outsiders—but one way or another, they’ve all been copies of the same genuine article.

newman3_crop.jpg1961’s The Hustler
newman4_crop.jpg1980’s The Verdict
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—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom