Tomorrow is the 89th birthday of Paul Newman. I think (at least hope) that we all have a similar desire for our life, a sort of State Park approach to humanity and the world: to leave it better than we found it. Paul Newman absolutely did. The work he did on film has made the world a more beautiful place and the work his charities continue to do is a legacy that we will all benefit from for generations. He is what I value as success and is one of my personal inspirations and style icons.NAME: Paul Newman
OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor, Race Car Driver, Entrepreneur
BIRTH DATE: January 26, 1925
DEATH DATE: September 26, 2008
EDUCATION: Kenyon College, Yale School of Drama
PLACE OF BIRTH: Cleveland, Ohio
PLACE OF DEATH: Westport, Connecticut
BEST KNOWN FOR: Paul Newman came to be known as one of the finest actors of his time. He also started the Newman’s Own food company, which donates all profits to charity.
Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing enthusiast. He won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for best actor for his performance in the 1986 Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money and eight other nominations, three Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy award, and many honorary awards. He also won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing, and his race teams won several championships in open wheel IndyCar racing.
Newman was a co-founder of Newman’s Own, a food company from which Newman donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity. As of July 2011, these donations exceeded $300 million.
Why He’s A Style Icon
Few American film actors transcend a role, character or film to become icons on the global stage. However, Paul Newman achieved his vaulted place in the pantheon of men to place somewhere between matinee idol/Academy Award winner, and even turned his focus to philanthropy and motor racing. You may not have seen his earlier films, but you certainly know his work in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the penultimate guy film Cool Hand Luke. Made in a time when stories drove actors to work harder and reveal more, these films secured Paul Newman as a star while ensuring his iconic status in fashion. In a sense, his is the one and only example of American minimalism in acting and fashion. Though he leans toward the traditional, he does not need wild hairstyles or facial hair to imbue his characters with pathos. Instead, he utilizes the clothes on his back and the way he moves in them to translate for all of us what a man should be.
Dress The Newman Way
You could choose a slim-cut charcoal suit with skinny lapels, a dark tie and cufflinks reminiscent of Newman’s Fast Eddie Felson from The Hustler, or the crisp Oxford button-downs from Cat On a Hot Tin Roof to emulate Newman’s fastidious on-screen look. Then again, you could pull on a denim Oxford in a pale blue much like the one he wore in Cool Hand Luke. We know you don’t want to work on a chain gang and tar roads, but the masculine and rugged casualness of the denim Oxford speaks directly to the hard-edged character that lies beneath all of Paul Newman’s portrayals. Long before Ralph Lauren revived this look for himself and his RL line with this denim western shirt, Paul Newman had men lining up to drape themselves in denim and to imagine themselves as tough and as cool as the man they saw on the silver screen.