ISSUE DATE: Dec. 6, 1982
Can a 57-year-old Westport, Conn., salad-dressing manufacturer find satisfaction as a hotshot race-car driver, successful political activist, prizewinning movie director, solid-state sex symbol, show-biz iconoclast and possibly the most commanding male presence in films during the past three decades? If that sounds just a touch overheated, never fear. We have Paul Newman to play the lead.
Can this be so? Are you telling us that Newman, old Cool Hand Luke, old Hud, old Butch Cassidy, old smoothie Henry Gondoroff from The Sting, is really a salad-dressing manufacturer? Yes, but we’ll get back to that. The title and credits are ready to roll, and our soggy opening scene is still unresolved. What’s going on? The facelike apparition turns out to be a face indeed, that of Newman himself. He has just finished plunging his muzzle into ice water, a ritual of his that, it is said, accounts for much of his eerie youthfulness. Newman was 42 in 1967, for instance, when he appeared in Cool Hand Luke, a character who looked about 28, and who would not have made sense as a man much older than that; he was 52 in 1977 when he played Reggie Dunlop in Slap Shot, an over-the-hill hockey player who looked 39½. In person now, without makeup, he might be a man in his mid-40s.
Read the full story here
Next Meryl Streep