Legend of the Wild, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Road to Perdition, Final Verdict, The Heist, Two Men and One Fate, Hud: Wildest of a Thousand, Absence of Malice, The Long Hot Summer… All those roles of Paul Newman are in the collective memory and certify him as one of the best actors in history. However, the always long-awaited Oscar took him for The Color of Money, by Martin Scorsese, Late sequel to The Hustler in which he returned to embody the character of Eddie Lightning Felson.In Robert Rossen’s 1961 film, his protagonist was a cocky young pool player who, at one point, ends up stumbling from drink. The interpreter could not suspect that su then eleven-year-old son, Scott, would end his life consumed in a spiral similar to the one that Eddie Felson had reached on his wanderings to beat the Fat Man from Minnesota: an overdose of drugs and alcohol would take him out of this world at the age of 28. Fourteen years after the death of the legendary blue-eyed actor, in September 2008 and due to lung cancernew posthumous memoirs have come to light that receive the title of Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man and in which Newman himself investigates how the death of Scott Newman affected him, a subject so hard for him that he always preferred not to talk about him in life and publicly.
The book is based on several interviews Newman gave for a project with several very close friends in the 1980s and in which the maxim that there was was to be “completely honest” with the answers that they were given That included, among other things, the theme of love: Paul Newman was married twice. The second of his wives, Joanne Woodward, was the great love of his life, since they married in 1958, having three daughters Elinor Teresa, Melissa Steward and Claire Olivia.The first, somewhat more unknown, was also the actress Jackie Witte, whom he met when he was very young in a small play and with whom he would walk down the aisle in 1949. The relationship was very complicated because they were almost always mired in financial problems given the precariousness of their jobs, which forced them to move houses with a lot of regularity. However, Paul and Jackie also had three children: their firstborn, Scott, and two other girls, Susan and Stephanie Kendall. Scott, who was born in 1950, he was also curious about belonging to the world of Hollywood and began working both as an actor -in small roles, coming to publicly disdain the roles that his father got him- in tapes such as The burning colossus, The carnival of the eagles, Nevada Express, Fire test or in an episode of The men of Harrelson. He had also worked as a specialist in some of Paul Newman’s films. However, his first problems with alcohol brought with them his first problems with the law, being arrested for minor offenses and having his father pay the fine. After a car accident in the fall of 1978, he began taking painkillers, worsening his drinking habit, working as a laborer and entering a depression that, as he confided in a family friend, the writer Aaron Edward Hotchner, came from his father: “It’s hell being his son. I don’t have his blue eyes, his talent, his luck.” He died on November 20 of that year due to a fatal dose of diazepam, alcohol and other drugs. “I kept thinking that I was going through the typical stage of bad decisions of a teenager. I never believed that it would be fatal,” says Paul Newman in the new memories. “Was there a way to tell him that he didn’t have to be like me? That he didn’t have to be macho and that he could be himself?” laments the actor, who admits that there were “many times” in which he got “on his knees” and asked “Scott for forgiveness”. “I apologize for that part of me that drove him to his own destruction”, states, before pointing out that there was “even something grotesque about saying ‘Forgive me'”. “The energy that gesture represents for that kid will make him say, ‘Well, what am I supposed to do with this?'” adds Newman, who blames himself for the two sides of fame. What would it have taken to prevent it? I’m not sure, but I don’t think I could have stayed in the movies and been a star. I couldn’t have been drinking myself,” adds the actor, who admits that “being a star spoils everything for me.” your children”. His daughter Clea, also present in the book, explains: “There is no greater loss. But he was able to suffer it in silence. It’s heartbreaking, but I think it also forced him to do some serious soul-searching.” That led Paul Newman to review his own problems with alcohol: “It’s an interesting challenge to know how far you can go with drinking without self destruction. There are terrible things that happen with alcohol. I am amazed that I survived them. In the early ’70s, I think I got as far as I could go, right before I realized I’d gone too far. For someone as restrained as I am, to experience the pleasure and luxury of feeling out of control and being kept at constant risk was pleasurable, plain and simple.”