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Paul Newman (1925-2008)

 

  1. Marlon Brando, On The Waterfront, 1953.  
    Director Elia Kazan was more upset than he let on by Marlon Brando’s point-blank refusal in August 1953 - because of Kazan naming names in the McCarthy witch-hunt era. This lead to Sinatra’s  handshake deal. Director Elia Kazan, The Boy Genius of Broadway, feared The Voice would split too  early for his next gig. OK, Montgomery Clift! Or, Newman. “He’s a wonderful prospect,  rugged, sexy and somehow turbulent inside.  He looks quite a lot like Brando,”  he wrote to producer Sam SpiegelAnd to help make Brando jealous enough to change his mind, Kazan had Karl Malden direct a test of Newman - and his future wife Joanne Woodward as Edie.Newman then met Spiegel, no longer calling himself SP Eagle. He advised the  young actor to change his name to something more phonetic. “You mean it sounds Jewish?” “If you want to put it like that…” “As a matter of fact, I’ve thought about changing my name.” “To what?” “SP Newman.”  That was the last conversation he ever had with Spiegel. “I could’ve destroyed my career.” Except Spiegel was not about to give up on Brando but it was the actor’s father who solved the issue.  He called his workshy son’s agent, Jay Kanter: “Isn’t there anything you feel he should do?”

  2. Scott Brady, Johnny Guitar, 1954.     Joan Crawford hoped to land him the role of The Dancing Kid. “It will de ,” she told him, “better for him than East of Eden.”
  3. Tab Hunter, Battle Cry,1955.     The one, the only time Newman was up for the same role as Tab Hunter!You’d think... butnot so. This was merelythe first time... (See #9). They were both up for Lafayette Escradille, 1958.Hunter was offered The Hustler by director Robert Rossen before it landed at Newman’s door. Hunter  also turned down an offer to succeed Newman in Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth on Broadway. They co-starred in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, 1972. (Battle Cry was a book by Leon Uris- as was Newman’s Exodus, 1960).
  4. Gordon MacRae,Oklahoma,1955.     From the outset, director Fred Zinnemann wanted actors rather than singers... Montgomery Clift, James  Dean or Newman as Curly, Rod Steiger or Eli Wallach as p’or Jud Fry. For a wee while, it looked as if  Newman and his future wife, Joanne Woodward, would be Curly and Laurey. However, the musical’s parents had casting approval. Rodgers and Hammerstein, agreed only on Steiger who’d tested in black-white and in colour with Dean and Newman (They didn’t know him at the time).  Dean and Newman became became friends, riding motor-bikes together. When Jimmy tried to take it to another level, Newman exited left. Hurriedly.    PS: Oklahomawas played by ... Arizona.

  5. Richard Davalos, East of Eden, 1955.
    During  their improvised  test as the brothers Cal and Aron for director Elia Kazan, James Dean was asked on-camera if he thought girls would go for the other guy and Newman quickly butted in: It’s a point of whether I  go for the girls, you know.Then Newman was asked the same about Dean. Ooooh….Great…They turn, face each other and Dean knocks Paul’s  socks off by saying: Kiss me!“ “Can’t here,says Newman.  And they laugh. End..   “On some days I’m in love with you,” Dean would tell Brando. “On other days, in love with Paul.”   Like Kazan’s  first idea (Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift!), Newman was too old at 29. He debuted, instead, in the forgettable Silver Chalice opposite Pier Angeli -  Dean's lover, after her affairs with Kirk Douglas, John Drew Barrymore, Brando (Dean's lover, as well) and Eddie Fisher before marrying fellow-Catholic singer Vic Damone.  (Newman made sure Davalos got  a part in Cool Hand Luke, 1966).

  6. Cliff Robertson, Picnic, In 1952, Newman was earning $200 a week on Broadway as  Alan (rewritten to suit his age) and being Ralph Meeker’s understudy As Hal.  (Janice Rule’s was a certain Joanne Woodward).  But found himself dropped  from the film.

  7. William Holden, Picnic, 1955. Having lost Alan, Newman craftily tested as Hal by offering to help Carrolll Baker with her Madge test. Columbia preferred her (she got a contract), but  (like Newman) not the film. He did not  have enough sexual threat, director Josh Logan told him.  “You’re not a crotch actor.”  He was when booked for Tropic of Cancerwith Baker. Alas, it never happened.  

  8. Dewey Martin, The Battler, TV, 1955DirectorArthur Penn asked him to be Hemingway ‘s autobiographca lhero, Nick Adams, in his meeting with punchy boxer Ad Francis - booked for James Dean.  Two weeks before the live telecast, Dean was killed in his Porsche on September 30.  End of project. Not. Quite. Both Penn and Fred Coe (who had produced Newman in Our Townalso for TV) reckoned he could handle the pugilist. “I was rocked by Dean’s death,” said Penn,“but Paul was a very interesting young actor and he was already involved. He knew the project.” Sure, but emotionally, he said at firsy, he couldn’t hack it. He  gave in and Martin  took over his role.  Newman felt inadequate, no matter how much Joanne Woodward told him the opposite. Reviews were not  hot but playing the bruiser directly led, of course, to playing boxer Rocky Graziano in the film of his (and journo Rowland Barber’s) book, Somebody Up There Likes Me: The Story of My Life, due for Robert Wise  directing, famous for another gritty square ring piece, The Set Up. Actor met champ and studied him. “His responses were immediate, emotional… a terrific restlessness about him, a kinda urgency and a thrust… he spits a lot, which I do to this day.”Marlon  Brando  told Newman that he also  studied Graziano for his Stanley Kowalski in Streetcar Named Desire… and sent thim tickets to the play. “That kid is playin’ me,” said Rocky. Both kids! 

  9. Christopher Plummer, Winds Across The Everglades, 1957.     Director Nicholas Ray, his star, Burl Ives, and their producersargued over Plummer. (Newman, Ben Gazzara, even Charlton Heston were discussed as substitutes). Ray, however, kept the faith. More than scenarist-producer Budd Schulberg did, taking over the final days of shooting and subsequent editing from the (equally) alcoholic helmer. Warners released film in 1958, despite it being incomplete.
  10. Gene Kelly, Marjorie Morningstar, 1957.      What were they thinking?!  Natalie Wood’s  Jewish lover was... 32. Kelly was 45 and Irish. Jewish Newman was ... 32.  Hey, ‘twas the fag-end of the 50s.

  11. Elvis Presley, King Creole, 1957.   Imagine Presley’s rapture at winning a role once aimed at his idols: Marlon Brando and James Dean! Before the Harold Robbins’ hero was tailored to suit Elvis, other potential Danny Fishers were: Newman, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara, Gerald O’Loughlin. In his fourth, favourite and best movie, Presley never let his idols down. “Good comic timing,” noted the LA Times, “considerable intelligence and even flashes of sensitivity.” Sadly never again. After this, the US Army cut his hair and his manger, Colonel Parker, castrated the rest.
  12. John Gavin, A Time to Love and a Time to Die, 1957.    Director Douglas Sirk wanted Newman and was given  Universal’s contract player - Mr Cardboard. And made him a star.  “He was fresh, good looking, not pretty though - earnest. And he had this little dilettante quality I figured would be quite the thing for the lead” - in the WW11 film of the book by German novelist Erich Maria Marques -  author of the WW1 classic, All Quiet on the Western Front. 1929. He also played Professor Pohlman and celebrated by marrying  Paulette Goddard.
  13. Tab Hunter, Lafayette Escradille (UK: Hell Bent For Glory), 1958.    Paul withdrew over script hassles and Hunter, Warners’ new (and gay) tweenage idol, was drafted - proving the importance of director William “Wild Bill” Wellman’s final film!
  14. Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur, 1959.   “After The Silver Chalice, I’ll never act in a cocktail dress again,” he told scenarist Gore Vidal. “I haven't got the legs.” His great rival, Marlon  Brando (who’d had ther right legs for Julius Caesar’s toga,1954) also ran from the MGMighty $5m epic re-make. Director William Wyler (one of the original’s 1924 crew) also studied Italians Cesare Danova and Vittorio Gassman. Plus Montgomery Clift, Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, Van Johnson (no, really!), Burt Lancaster - and Edmund Purdom, who had picked up another epic dropped by Brando, The Egyptian, 1953.  Judah Ben-Heston  won his Oscar on April 4 1960.

  15. Marcello Mastroianni, La Dolce Vita, Italy 1959.
    Producer Dino De Laurentiis wanted Paul (or Gérard Philipe).Director Federico Fellini did not.“He’s star. Too important. I need common face...Like Mastroianni.”“No,” yelled Dino. “Too soft and goody-goody: a family man rather than the type who flings women onto the bed.”Dino quit and Fellini 
 asked his co-writer Ennioi Flaiano to pass the script to “cher Marcellino.” It comprised mainly the maestro’s cartoons- one of the hero swimming along the horizon with an enormous penis almost dragging along the sea bed.Said Marcellino: “Where do I sign?” Newman asked the same thing about The Voyage de G Mastorna when pushed by Dino to Manziana where Fellini was convalescing from “a diplomatic illness.” He also considered Alain Cuny, Steve McQueen, Marcello Mastroianni, Gregory Peck, stage director Giorgio Strehler and Oskar Werner before signing Ugo Tognazzi - for the best film Fellini never made!

  16. Alain Delon, Rocco e I suoi fratelli(Rocco And His Brothers), Italy-France, 1960.    Luchino Visconti’s first producer wanted Brigitte Bardot - one of the reasons the maestro quit and persuaded Goffredo Lombardo to produce And then he wanted Newman!
  17. Dirk Bogarde, The Angel Wore Red, 1961.     The Brit tried to pick up the pieces dropped by Hollywood’s elite. To no avail. The “priest and a tart” number  in blazing Madrid number, said Bogarde,  “opened to ten Eskimos in North Alaska  and sank without trace.”
  18. John Mills, The Singer Not The Song, 1961.     Cast as a campy bandito (or a bandito he made campy),  Dirk Bogarde fretted  that Mills would steal the (terrible) movie. The priest was the better role and, therefore, suggested to the A List: Richard Burton, Peter Finch, Laurence Harvey and the two Pauls, Newman and Scofield.
  19. Robert  Mitchum,Two For The See-Saw, l961.   To have see-ed with Elizaabeth Taylor. She was ill, so he was was free when Robert Rossen came a-calling with…The Hustler.  Mitchum saw-ed with Shirley MacLaine. Didn’t he though! Their affair lasted four years.
  20. Laurence Harvey, Walk On The Wild Side, 1962.    Newman had been set for the atrociously named Dove Linkhorn three years before. Maybe, he figured the whole shoddy shebang would be stolen in the opening seconds by Saul Bass’ prowling cat credits.
  21.  Kirk Douglas, The  Hook, 1962.  The 1953 Korean War peace talks have already begun when three GIs, led by Sergeant Doiuglas, are given orders to execute a POW - the Filipino Enrique Magalona giving all of them an acting lesson.   

  22. Cliff Robertson, PT 109, 1963.   JFK in WWII…  Robertson was said to be  the only actor hated by Newman - doubtless due to to him winning Paul’s Broadway role in the 1955  Picnic  film. Inexplicably, Robertson was to win  a Best Actor  Oscar in 1969 - eons before Newman in 1987.

  23. Steve McQueen, Love With The Proper Stranger,1963.     For the jazz musician awash with girls, Newman was ex-TV director Robert Mulligan's first choice. Newman was everyone’s first choice! McQueen was on $50-a-day  for a bit part in Somebody Up There Likes Me- top starring Newman in 1956. “He walked into the audition, “said director Robert Wise,  “wearing a beanie hat and that smile and within a few minutes, he’d got the part.”

  24. Sean Connery, Marnie, 1963.  After  Newman and Marlon Brando passed, Rock Hudson had a meet with Alfred Hitchcock about playing Mark Rutland.   Then, Cubby Broccoli showed Hitch some glimpses of Dr No.…and,  although, Sean hardly matched  the “American aristocrat hero,”the role was Sean’s.  Newman agreed to The Master’s next (and supposedly 50th) film, Torn Curtain.   Neither one was among Hitch’s finest.

  25. Kirk Douglas, Seven Days In May, 1963.   Wizard director John Frankenheimer wanted Newman as the heroic colonel saving the US from a seditious General Douglas. No, said Kirk, I’m the hero and Burt Lancaster is the villain general. No, said Frankenheimer, two films with Lancaster was enough... After much persuasion, he found they (finally) “got along magnificently and became good friends.”

  26. George Maharis, Sylvia, 1964.    Pinching the  Citizen Kane matrix,  Peter Lawford hires shamus Maharis to find the real story of his fiancee, Carroll Baker, a poet who used to be something else beginning with p… Newman passed.  So did George Peppard who made his screen debut win  in Bang The Drum Slowtywith Newman on TV in 1956.  And played, 17 years later, a vice cop called Newman in Newman’s Law!

  27. Tony  Curtis, The Great Race, 1964.   Newman would hardly be first choice for a movie dedicated to Laurel  and Hardy! Except he was. Well, he did a lot of driving, right? So who else was Blake Edwards gonna call for his send-up of the 1908 Greatest Auto Race,  from New York to Paris via Russia, across 22,000 miles of three continents.Second choice Charlton Heston was  too busy painting ceilings as Michelangelo  in The Agony and the Ecstasy.

  28. Dirk Bogarde,  Darling,1964.     Julie Christie’s husband had first been written as a  US journalist  wandering around Europe.  As the film was all Julie, director John Schlesinger found that  “no Hollywood star would touch it.”  When asked which role he wanted, Laurence Harvey said: “Julie’s”!

  29. Omar Sharif,  Doctor  Zhivago, 1965.   Preposterous idea. Epic director David Lean checked him out in The Prize. “I  can discover nothing of the dreamer about him.” MGM's pet Zhivagoduo, Newman and Sophia Loren, did Lady L, instead.  Equally preposterous.

  30. Peter O’Toole, Lord Jim, 1965.   Two years earlier, Newman was offered the lead. And he passed!  “It was a mistake and I made the mistake because I was conservative and played safe. And that way lies failure.”

  31. George Segal, King Rat, 1965.    Both Newman and Steve McQueen refused the Sammy Glick of American POWs. To Segal’s undisguised glee.
  32. Richard Burton, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, 1965. A crass, if obvious notion because  his mate Martin Ritt was directing; they’d already made five of their six films. But Newman as a Britsh spy… c’mon!   Burton was no better, said Ritt, calling him  (before the cast and  crew) “an old whore” delivering his “last good lay.” Author John le Carré (who’d wanted Peter Fi8nch or Trevor Howard) said. Burton was a literate, serious artist, a self-educated polymath “with appetites and flaws that in one way or another we all share.”
  33. Steve McQueen, The Sand Pebbles, 1966.  And a decade after the beanie ’n’ smile audition, Robert Wise called McQueen back when he couldn’t land Newman. “He was so real and so right.” And the  film was so boring.  Still, McQueen was now Then Big McCheese. He hated his performance. But loved his  his contract reflecting his post-Great Escape status:  $700,000 and numerous Italian suits.  Plus his his usual McExtras: ten pairs of jeans, ten electric razeors.  Huh?  Not for him but the guys  at his alma mater: the  Boys Republic correction centre.
  34. James Garner,Grand Prix,1966.   When Steve McQueen backed out, Newman's name entered the grid.  Obviously. Same thing happened a decade later for the saga of racing driver Bobby Deerfield. (Played by Al Pacino)

  35. Oskar Werner, Fahrenheit 451,1966.  James Garner, Grand Prix, 1966.    
    Introduced to Ray Bradbury's book in 1962, French réalisateur François Truffaut first considered shooting in America in 1964 with Newman. “He is very handsome, especially when he is filmed in colour, and I prefer him to all the Hollywood actors who have box-office appeal: Hudson, Peck, Heston, Brando, Lancaster.”  During the long financial delays, Truffaut interviewed Alfred Hitchcock, ten hours a day for six days, for their classic book, by which time Newman had cooled on the project and Truffaut felt Ray Bradbury’s story was too important to be shot in English! And contacted his past and future stars, Charles Aznavour, Jean-Paul Belmondo - and Oskar Werner as Montag’s boss. “It's very important that it’s the first European science fiction film.” Producer Lewis Allen got him back on track, offering Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Kirk Douglas or Sterling Hayden. Producer Sam Spiegel tried muscling in by promising Richard Burton bossing a Robert Redford and loving Elizabeth Taylor! To stay in charge, Truffaut ran for cover to Terence Stamp - whose ego proved jealous of Julie Christie having a dual role! Getting desperate, Truffaut made the mistake of his life by giving the fireman to Werner, originally booked as Montag’s boss. Any of the others asleep would have been better! The Austrian’s head had been turned by Hollywood since his and Truffaut’s Jules et Jim triumph. Werner argued constantly over (his dull) interpretation, refused one “dangerous” scene (as if a fireman would not have to deal with fire), even cut his hair to ruin continuity. If not for the six years of planning the film, Truffaut would have walked. Instead, he simply truncated Werner’s later scenes - and used a double John Ketteringham, in most of them!

  36. Yves Montand, La guerre estfinie, France-Sweden, 1966.    Paul topped the list of French cineaste Alain Resnais, followed by Montand and Vittorio Gassman for the role(based on Spanish writer Jorge Semprum) of a SpanishCommunist agitator - still loyal, but doubting. “My personal history,” said Montand, “gave Diego credibility.”
  37. Brahim Haggiag, The Battle of Algiers, Italy-Algeria, 1966.     Producer Saadi Yacef played his own role in the film of thebook he wrote in prison, but Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo wanted Newman as Yacef’s accomplice Ali la Pointe.“Non,” said Yacef,an NLF leader during the battle. “There was no Paul Newman in the Algerian war!”Hence the more (and highly praised) documentary approach, with mostly non-actors.
  38. Warren Beatty,Bonnie and Clyde, 1966.
  39. Albert Finney, Two For The Road, 1967.      Director Stanley Donen’s first choice to be Audrey Hepburn’s on-off husband. (Well, he did a lot of driving!).  Finney was third choice, after Michael Caine.

  40. Robert Blake, In Cold Blood, 1967. 
    The film of Truman Capote’s book needed anonymous actors as the killers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Columbia wanted names - as if Truman Capote and director Richard Brooks were smallfry!   “They wanted Newman and McQueen,” said Brooks. “But I never write for a specificactor,” he added, forgetting his Bogart beginnings, and penning The Happy Ending,1969, for his wife Jean Simmons. Newman preferred Cool Hand Luke.

  41. Steve McQueen, The Thomas Crown Affair, 1967.     McQueen was now Then Big McCheese. His contract reflected his post-Great Escape status:  $700,000 and numerous Italian suits.  Plus his his usual McExtras: ten pairs of jeans, ten electric razors.  Huh?  Not for him  but the guys  at his alma mater: the  Boys Republic correction centre.
  42. Cliff Robertson, The Honey Pot, 1967.       And writer-director Joseph Mankiewicz’s variation on Volpone sureneeded him opposite Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward, Maggie Smith, etc.   As Chicago critic Roger Ebert put it: “The leading actors are all competent, except for the wooden Cliff Robertson."
  43. Albert Finney, Two For The Road, 1967.      "No, it's a director's picture.Not for an actor."
  44. Burt Lancaster, The Swimmer, 1967.     Lancaster called it: “Death of a Salesman in swimming trunks” - as John Cheever’s tragic hero decides to swim home via the pools of his Connecticut friends and neighbours.  Burt accused producer Sam Spiegel of spending more time playing gin than on the production.  The result, after changing leading lady in mid er,  pool -  was Sam’s fourth  consecutive flop. He needed David Lean more than vice-versa. (Montgomery Clift (!), Glenn Ford, William Holden  and George C Scott had also been in the Ned mix).  
  45. Charlton Heston, Planet of the Apes, 1968.
  46. Rod Steiger, The Ilustrated Man, 1968.    OK, Ray Bradbury, the heavyweight champion of science fiction writers, told Jack Smight, Hollywood’s featherweight director (not even a contender), you can film my book as long as the lead is Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman or Steiger!
  47. Rip Torn, Tropic of Cancer, 1969.    Carroll Baker’s Carpetbaggers producer Joseph E Levine tried to set her up with Newman in a 1964 version of the Henry Miller book. Torn’s wife. Geraldine Page (their mail-box read: Torn Page), had co-starred with Newman in both the 1959 Broadway play and the 1961 Hollywood film of Sweet Bird of Youth.

  48. Robert RedfordButch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, 1969.
  49. Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry, 1970.
  50. Gene Hackman, The French Connection, 1970.     “We had a budget at the time of $2.8m,” said director Wiliam Friedkin. “And half a million of that was for Newman... or somebody like that. Richard Zanuck, the Fox production chief like his father before him, said: “You’ll never get Newman. Who else?” Writer Jimmy Breslin, Jackie Geason. Rod Taylor… Zanuck vetoed them all. And mentioned Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum and, cheapest of all, the Fox Batman, Adam West, Holy moley!!!!

  51. Robert Duvall, The Godfather, 1971. 
  52. Kirk Douglas, A Gunfight, 1971.      Western saga of ageing hired guns (Johnny Cash was the other one - don’t ask!).The budget was the first (and last) supplied by the Jicarilla Apache Tribe of American Indians.
  53.  Steve McQueen, The Getaway, 1972.   Newman’s agent (friend and later production partner and, finally, producer) John Foreman, did not like Jim Thompson’s  pulp novel.The same Foreman who - to  Paul’s delight - once said of him: “He gets up every morning, walks to the window and scans the horizons for enemies.”
  54. James Coburn, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, 1972.
  55. Roger Moore, Live And Let Die, 1972.
  56. Ryan O’Neal, Paper  Moon, 1972.      Before director Peter Bogdanovich rolled O’Neal pere et fille, in black-and-white, the iconic John Huston was prepping it as Addie Pray(the book’s title) in colour for Newman  pere et fille, Nell Potts. They quit when Hustion was replaced. Paramklunt chief Robert Evans wanted Warren Beatrty or Jack Nicholson. But neither  one had a young daughter… O’Neal said he wouldn't have made the film without Tatum. “No father and daughter can connect with the intensity of a movie, and in a way, the story is a parallel of our lives.” Oh really…  At age ten, Tatum remains the youngest Oscar-winner as supporting actress. In her autobiography, Paper Life, O’Neal said when her father hit her because he wasn’t nominated!

  57.  Michael Moriarty, Bang The Drum Slowly, 1973.  In 1956, Newman played basebell pitcher Henry Wiggen finding his close friend and player, half-wit catcher Bruce Pearson, hiding how he was dying of Hodgkin’s disease…A few year later Josh Logan planned a film of the TV play  with Newman repeating Wiggen.  Except it was 17 years before the actual movie was made.  With Moriarty and Robert De Niro.

  58. John Wayne, Rooster Cogburn, 1974.     The idea was fair - a sequel  to True Grit. But if Wayne proved too ill, what would be the point of someone else in his titular Oscar-winning rôle? Marlon Brando topped producer Hal Wallis’ eye-patch list of Newman, Charles Bronson, Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, George C Scott and several Duke co-stars: Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Rock Hudson, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn. This was director Stuart Miller’s second feature. The “6ft 6ins somafabitch no-talent, ” as Duke termed him, never made a third.

  59. Christopher Plummer, After The Fall, TV, 1974.     Before itwas made for TV, a cinema movie version had been aimed at the 1965 Lady L couple, Newman and Sophia Loren as... Arthur Miller and Marilyn. As written by Miller.
  60. Charlton Heston,  Earthquake, 1974.    The Big One hits LA. And Charlie Hero catches it… But only because Newman (and another Earthquake target, Steve McQueen) were at Warner Bros and Fox saving The Towering Inferno.   Both roles ear-marked for Newman were desk jockeys, an LA  building exec and a towering architect… and action men for McQueen, an LAPD sergeant and a towering  fire chief.

  61. Burt Reynolds, Lucky Lady, 1974.  
    “He was 24 and he rejected Paul Newman like you’d crush a fly!” said Richard Zanuck about his first choice director, Steven Spielberg. Well, obviously, he was (a) scared of working withbig stars - when out to make his name - and (b) felt Newman was unsuitable for such farce.  If Spielberg had made it, he would neverhave agreed to repeat the boats and sea headaches on Jaws.   Zanuck wasn’t so impressed when Spielberg rejected Mrs Z, Linda Harrison, for the police chief’s wife in Jaws, 1974 - and gave to the role to far more important wife. LorraineGary was wed to his discoverer and mentor, Universal studio chief Sid Sheinberg.   In 1982, he bought the film rights to what became Schindler’s List for Spielberg - it won him his first Oscar on March 21, 1994.

  62. Clint Eastwood, The Eiger Sanction, 1975.       Musical macho chairs... Newman was announced. Steve McQueen took it over for his company.  Eastwood made it for his.
  63. Robert Shaw, Jaws, 1974.      
  64. Elliott Gould, I Will, I Will… for Now,  1975.    Easy for Newman to bypass this lame comedy. Roger Ebert called it drek (“Try to imagine Elliott Gould vacuuming the curtains to music and you'll begin to understand the true banality of this movie”) and IMDb reported it was cited as a raunchier A Touch of Class (oh really?)…by director Norman Panama’s usual writing partner, Melvin Frank.
  65. Sean Connery, The Man Who Would Be King, 1975.
  66. Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, 1975.
  67. Robert De Niro, The Last Tycoon, 1975.       Passed on F Scott Fitzgerald’s Thalbergesque Monroe Stahr. Anyway, producer Sam Spiegel insisted on De Niro. For producer Lester Cowan this was the one that got way… He first tried when  hot  to trot after his 1945 hit, The Story of GI Joe, ironically starring Robert Mitchum,  who played a studio boss in this version nearly 30 years later.  Cowan tried again in 1967 - aiming for Beatty (who started writing Shampoo on Sam Spiegel’s yacht).
  68. Donald Sutherland, Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (Fellini’s Casanova), 1975.   When Fellini didn’t fancy anyone on his 1973 wish list (Brando, Newman, Pacino, Redford, etc), producer Dino De Laurentiis brusquely quit the project in high dudgeon. Or a passing cab... Andrea Rizzoli (son of La Dolce Vita producer Angelo Rizzoli)took over in 1974 before passing the (pricey) baton to Alberto Grimaldi and the (ten month!) shooting finally began on July 20 1975.
  69. Bruce Dern, Family Plot, 1976.   For what proved his last hurrah, Alfred Hitchcock considered  Newman for the lead - odd, after Hitch’s antipathy for him during Torn Curtain.  “I knew I was second or third choice,” said Dernsie. Fourth, in fact, after Newman,  Pacino and Nicholson. Pacino, in particular, was too pricey.  “But you,“ said Hitch to Dern,  “I can get cheap.”
  70. John Wayne, The Shootist, 1976.  Duke’s finale…  Newman, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman passed. George C Scott was signed but not sealed when John Wayne showed interest in the dying gunfighter JB Brooks... despite  suffering heart, lung and prostate problems – and dead in three years. Passing each other on the lot, Wayne used to say: “Hey, Paul, how’s the revotution coming?“ And Newman would answer: “How can we possibly win, Duke, with you on the other side.“

  71. Sean Connery,  Robin and Marian, 1976.    If you can get Newman, said director Terence Young, then you've got me...  Dick Lester got better - Sean and Audrey! 
  72. Peter Finch, Network,  1976.     After tenuous thoughts about real TV News anchors (John Chancellor and the venerable Walter Cronkite),  the film’s Oscar-winning writer Paddy Chayefsky wrote to Newman. “You and a very small handful of other actors are the only ones I can think of with the range for this part.”  The others were Cary Grant,  old pals Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, Gene Hackman,  Sterling Hayden and Robert Montgomery - for the  “mad prophet of the airwaves,” Howard Beale. (“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”).  Finchey won the first posthumous acting Oscar. Ironically, the second was also for an Aussie,  Heath Ledger, for The Dark Knight... 33 years later.
  73. William Holden, Network, 1976.      No? OK, then what about the middle-age news executive who becomes Faye Dunaway’s  mentor, lover and victim... Chayefsky (described by Women’s Wear Daily as possessing “the look of a satyr who has retired from active duty”) had written  Newman on May 21, 1975, to offer him “any part in this picture you want.”
  74. Robert Duvall, Network, 1976.       No? OK, then what about… the  executive who, when murder is suggested, insists he wants to "hear everybody's thoughts on this." No! 
  75. Ned Beatty, Network, 1976.     No, OK, then  what about… Beatty’s  sharp-edged cameo of the  TV exec with one of the film’s other famous lines.  "It's because you're on television, dummy."  Newman remained unmoved by Chayefsky’s prophetic vision of television’s future. It was unbelievable, dumb  dumb (or ill-advised) that  such a fine actor would blow off one  of the greatest  US scripts of the 70s.  And it wasn’t  as if he was still into Towering Inferno and When Time Ran Out disaster crap   at the time. He was, in  fact, making consecutive Robert Altman films. 
  76. Sean Connery, Robin and Marian, 1976.       If you can get Newman, said director Terence Young, then you've got me… Dick Lester got better - Sean and Audrey!

  77. Al Pacino, Bobby Deerfield, 1977.    
    Newman bought the rights because the book was about car racing. Alvin Sargent’s script was not.  Pacino’s decision made his manager-mentor Martin Bregman drop him.“He wanted a love story… For him to do this, after all the great roles he’d played, that stuck in my throat.” Pacino identified more with the Grand Prix driver than his first $1m salary. “Bobby Deerfield was lost... Ifelt very lost in my life. I just don’t think I had the acting technique to handle the part. I found myself too subjective. Yet I felt connected.” The film failed because it was difficul to accept Pacino (or the other contenders, Newman and Robert Redford) as a boring man. The flop crushed director Sydney Pollack - who then made Absence of  Malice with Newman, 1981.

  78. Charles Durning, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, 1976.    When he could persuade Newman to be his POTUS, director Robert Aldrich went to the opposite extreme with the bulky Durning. But then this was Burt Lancaster’s movie: hi-jacking a ICBM silo and threatening tol stary WWIII unless…
  79. James Caan, Un autre homme, une autre chance/Another Man, Another Woman, France, 1977.     Pretentious Claude Lelouch decided to make a Western. He didn’t, of course.  He made a Lelouchern. Complete with the hero riding to Beethoven's Fifth!  Caan talked his way into the mess, while the realisateur was chasing Beatty, McQueen,  Newman or Pacino. None  of whom, Lelouch said proudly, said No.   Nor yes.
  80. Alain Delon, Attention, les enfants regardent, France, 1977.  “Refused by Newman,”said Delon,“obviously as it's about 15 minutes in a 100 minute film. But it interested me.”  About his numerous foreign flm  offfers, Newman commented: “I know that I can function better in the American vernacular than I can in any other.  In fact, I cannot seem to function in any other.”

  81. Christopher Reeve, Superman, 1978.
  82. Marlon Brando, Superman,1978.
  83. Roy Scheider, All That Jazz, 1979.  “Dumb of me.” said Newman. “I was just so stupid. I didn’t take into consideration what the contribution of the director was going to be. A terrible oversight.” When director Bob Fosse was convinced (by his health) not to try and play his screen self, Broadway choreographer Joe Gideon, was chased and/or avoided by… Alan Alda, Alan Bates (“too British,” said Fosse), Warren Beatty (keen, but Gideon must not die at the end!), Robert Blake, Richard Dreyfuss (“afraid of the dancing”), Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Jack Lemmon (“too old”), Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, George Segal, Jon Voight. Scheider just grabbed the “outrageous, assaulting, melodramatic, very funny, stupid, silly, simplistic, vulgar… wonderful movie!” Exactly.
  84. Richard Harris, Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid, Canada, 1980.        Everyone passed.  Why? The subject. Sexual impotency.
  85. Nick Nolte,Cannery Row, 1980.  After reading four drafts he still said no - wisely.  Even though (or, because), Raquel Welch was due to co-star.
  86. Jürgen Prochnow, Das boot/The Boat, West Germany, 1981.       Bavaria Studios was trying to go international, with John Sturges or Don Siegel helming, perhaps, Newman...?
  87. Jack Lemmon, Missing, 1981.     Director Costa-Gavras also asked Newman (fulky booked) and Gene Hackman (not right) to play the all-American parent searching for his missing US journalist son-in-law, an obvious victim of the horrendous Allende regime in Chile. Said Newman: “I really wanted to work with [Z director] Costa-Gavras and I’m not above doing something that’s critical of our American society, politically, socially or morally. But if it’s going to be critical,I want it to be mycriticism... not to be the mouthpiece for somebody else’s criticism." Although winning Best Film and Actor at the 1982 Cannes festival, Missing was lacking the raw passion of Z. Instead, said, Chicago critic Roger Ebert, Costa “achieved the unhappy feat of upstaging his own movie, losing it in a thicket of visual and editing stunts.”   
  88. Frederic Forrest, Hammett, 1981.    UK director Nicolas Roeg backed out when distributors told producer Francis Coppola to go with a name like Newman for Dashiell Hammett. German director  Wim Wenders took forever (40 script drafts!) to make it due to continual Coppola interference. But called it  “a long, amazing experience - too good to be true.” And then Coppola re-shot the whole damn thing. Neither version was worth a nickel. The shoot lasted long enough for  co-stars Frederic Forest and Marlu Henner to fall in love, marry and divorce! 
  89. Harrison Ford, Blade Runner, 1981.       UK wiz Ridley Scott spent a long time sniffing out the perfect Deckard.  From top notchers Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman (the first choice was keen… on making it a totally different character, of course), Robert Mitchum, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino…  to such excellent journeymen as William Devane, Robert Duvall, Peter Falk, Frederic Forrest, Scott Glenn, Tommy Lee Jones, Raul Julia, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken.  Martin Sheen was too exhausted after Coppola and Apocalypse Now. In sheer desperation, choices lowered to Cliff Gorman, Judd Hirsch. Even the Virginian Morgan Paull stood a chance, having played Deckard in Scott’s tests of potential Rachaels. (He was given Holden for his pains). Plus Arnold Schwarzenegger, not yet seen as Conan, much less Terminator.  And for probably the last time in such an illustrious list,  the fading star of Burt Reynolds.
  90. Tom Conti, The Wall, TV, 1981.  He’d paid his due with Exodus. So Newman passed on Dolek Benson, the passive Jewish observer - our eyes - on the WWII Warsaw ghetto uprising (650 fighting Jews v3,000 German soliders) as per  novelist John Hershey.

  91. James Cagney, Ragtime,1981.    When Newman refused and Jack Nicholson had to quit as  New York Poilce Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo, Czech director Milos Forman (succeeding Robert Altman) decided to drag Cagney out of his retirement. “You can have any part you want - including Evelyn Nesbitt!” As to the vast age difference, Waldo was actually 32 at the time of the EL Doctorow’s novel - Cagney was 81. His doctors said rather than being detrimental at the time, a film was crucial to his health and well being.

  92. Kris Kristofferson, Rollover, 1981. “The most erotic thing in their world was money” was the weak pitch for the hi-financial drama… For Jane Fonda’s third outing with director Alan J Pakula, the choice was simple. Newman, 56, or Kristofferson, 45, - one year younger than Fonda.
  93. Sylvester Stallone, First Blood (aka Rambo), 1982.
  94. Jackie Gleason, The Sting II, 1983.       The Big One “did it for the money”and wished he had also steered clear of Fargo Gondorff.
  95. Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment, 1983.        Written for Burt Reynolds, rejected by Paul -another Oscar for Jack!
  96. Michael Caine, Educating Rita, 1983.   Apart from his 007 films, Lewis Gilbert’s biggest hit stemmed from a play: Alfie. Now he, or rather his wife, Hylda, had found another great UK play, a two-hander about a young hairdresser with a passion for learning and Frank, her condescending, alcoholic English Lit professor.  Fine, said another Frank - a certain Frank Price, surprisingly still in charge at Columbia after notoriously rejecting a Spielberg script called ET!  Now he wanted Dolly Parton and Paul Newman.  “Out of the question,” snapped Gilbert.  “With egg on our faces,” Price insisted on releasing the film after Gilbert did it his way. He nearly made a US re-tread in 2002 with Denzel Washington and Halle Berry.
  97. Robert De Niro, Once Upon A Time In America, US-France, 1983.     Early on in the writing process, maestro Sergio Leone decided to have his two Jewish hoods played as children, adults, and old-timers.James Cagney was flattered by the invitationto play the older De Niro, but was not up to the task. The maestro next called upon Newman…. For roughly the same role he played for Sa, Mendes in Road To Perdition in 2001.But in the 80s, “he no longer wanted to be associated with violence in films.” OK, said Leone, one actor will do…
  98. Harrison Ford, Witness,  1984.    Just wasn’t  enticing enough…  As Disney producer Peter McAlevey would discover  when offering the never made Monaco Cop (with Richard Dreyfuss as his son, William Baldwin as hisgrandson),”He was either going to work with the finest people on the best stuff - or he was just going to race.” 

  99. Michael Douglas, Romancing The Stone, 1985. With Newman, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson and Christopher Reeve refusing, the producer decided to play the hero, Indiana… er, Jack Colton… himself.  Huge hit. The sequel, not so much.

  100. Sean Connery, Der Name der Rose/The Name of the Rose, France-Italy-West Germany, 1986.   Newman as a monk... Nah, doesn’t work! Réalisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud was not keen on 007 as Umberto Eco’s medieval monk turned detective.  Columbia Pictures even refused financing if Connery was involved as his post-Bond star was imploding. Naturally, Brando topped Annaud’s further 14 ideas. Six Americans: Newman, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Frederic Forrest, Jack Nicholson, Roy Scheider; four Brits: Michael Caine, Albert Finney, Ian McKellen, Terence Stamp; plus Canadian Donald Sutherland, French Yves Montand, Irish Richard Harris, Italian Vittorio Gassman and Swedish Max von Sydow. Connery’s reading was the best and his career exploded anew. Two years later, he won his support Oscar for The Untouchables.
  101. Burgess Meredith, King Lear, 1987.        The contractor bilious auteur Jean-Luc Godard to tackle Shakespeare was signed (an hour after it had been mooted) on large napkin at the Majestic Hotel bar during the 1985 Cannes festival. The film was just as ridiculous; Godard, himself, detested it.  Shuffling his kings from Norman Mailer to Rod Steiger, Godard also contacted Newman - to make the film at the Actors Studio.  He also set about persuading  Newman into being Sigmund in something called Dora et Freud.
  102. Kevin Kline, Cry Freedom, 1987.  For the seventh of his dozen directing gigs, UK actor Richard Attenborough somehow managed to turn balck in to white - making the true story of the young black activist Steve Biko’s murder by the South African state into the story of how his white journalist friend,  Donald Woods, fled the coutry of apartheid. Newman was hardly alone is noting this unforgivable error in the script… which also led, eventually, have a higher billing to the Mrs Woods actress than to Denzel Washington’s Biko. 
  103. Bob Hoskins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988.   Mad as it sounds, he was considered along with Harrison Ford as the live ’tec in the cartoon world.
  104. Gregory Peck, Old Gringo, 1989.       Jane Fonda’s first choice - as way off-beam as her last. She thought he’d be overwhelmed by her. What an ego!

  105. Richard Dreyfuss, Always, 1989.    
    Steven Spielberg’s pet project ...  He loved Spencer Tracy (the father he never had) and was determined to re-make his 1943 weepie,
    A Guy Named Joe.   Spielberg finally  won the rights from MGM while going a step too far with his 1941 mess in 1979… and made much the same dog’s breakfast of his cherished project. Dreyfuss was Spielberg’s Tracy, but too young for Spence’s flying boots.  Butch  and The Sundance  Kid were called for the two leads.  Neither one bit.  Redford had done the pilot thing as The Great Waldo Pepper, 1974, and
     (Billy Wilder always said for a guaranteed hit, “ you need a love story  between Paul Newman and Robert Redford in a Boeing on fire flown by Barbra Streisand.”).  The project was postponed for a decade, until the director  (a) could land the right girl (b) Van Johnson’s successor (Brad Johnson!!!)  and (c) attain enough emotional maturity for a love story (he failed at all three)…  by which time Dreyfuss  looked, well,  older than his years!

  106. Harvey Keitel, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  107. Tom Berenger, At Play In The Fields of the Lord, 1991.  For ten years, one of the most famous unmade Hollywood movies. Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Czech director Milos Forman, among others, were involved before Saul Zaentz produced it with the young Butch Cassidy.
  108. Kevin Costner, JFK, 1991.
  109. Tommy Lee Jones, JFK, 1991.
  110. Tom Hanks, Toy Story, 1992.   Pixar’s  hyper-talented shirts (never suits!)  wanted Newman and Jim Carrey - old and new Hollywood - to voice Woody and Buzz Lightyear.  Except their budget was too tiny to pay such superstars.    Newman later voiced Doc Hudson in Pixar’s racing-car version of Toys - Cars, 2004.  It was his final work…  and his biggest box-office hit. Go figure!
  111. Ralph Waite, The Bodyguard, 1992.   Kevin Costner asked Paul to play his father.  “But the part wasn’t big enough,” admitted Costner. He won over Newman as his dad in a better script six years later, Message In A Bottle, 1998.  “Paul isa very handsome fella. My father is the most handsome man I know so I sometimes look at Paul and think of my father-they're very similar.”
  112. Gene Hackman, The Firm, 1992.  The early Sydney Pollack casting of Jeff Bridges and James  Whitmore became Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman  - in  the first of his three John Grisham films. This was the one where their law firm (ssh! not a word) was run by the Mafia.   “The book moved at turbo speed…, the movie crawls,”  complained Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. “[Sydney] Pollack treats it like scripture.” 

  113. Jeroen Krabbe, King of the Hill, 1992.  Based on the 1972 memoir by AE Hotchner, Newman’s  neighbour, friend and pal, and partner in Newman’s Own Organics.  They also co-founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp and year-round centre for seriously sick kids and their families. The King role was, in effect, Hotchner’s father - missing for most of the movie. Newman never  made Hotchner’s  Papa Hemingway, either.  (Nor did anyone else).

  114. James Caan, Flesh and Bone, 1993.        Too busy...  “Every time I get a script, it's a matter of trying to know what I could do with it. I see colors, imagery. It has to have a smell.  It’s like falling in love. You can’t give a reason why.”
  115. Kirk Douglas, Greedy, 1993.        After Newman refused, both Jack Lemmon and Anthony Quinn were suggested for Uncle Joe, a millionaire far removed from the other   Douglas’ Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is good.”
  116. Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption, 1993. Up for Stephen King’s veteran convict Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding: Harrison Ford, Sidney Poitier. Plus Eastwood, Newman and Robertt Redford who had already done jail time in Escape From Alcatraz, 1978, Cool Hand Luke, 1967, and Brubaker, 1979, respectively.  Clint and Newman won. Redford lost. Eastwood and Freeman  co-starred in both of Eastwood's Best Picture Oscar-winners Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby.
  117. Robert Duvall,The Paper, 1993.    For another of his tepid movies, director Ron Howard tried to add some punch by inviting Ndewman to be Bernie White,editor-in-chief the  New York Sun tabloid.  But he’d done his journalism movie  Absence of Malicein 1981.   And hated repeating himself.Besides he was into the Coen brothers’ Hudsucker Proxy.

  118. James Garner, Maverick, 1994.   Now too busy with Nobody’s Foolto provide a cameo opposite Mel Gibson as a guy named Zane Cooper (after author Zane Grey and, of course, Gary Cooper).  “We didn’t want to go to Jim Garner for risk of offending him,” recalled director Richard Donner. “What else could we ask him to play except Maverick - here's the guy who created the role [in the TV series]. And he came in and he was aglow... teaching Mel incredible one-handed card tricks.”

  119. Ben Kingsley, Death and the Maiden, 1994.  Talked it over in June 1993… For  his film of Ariel Dorfman’s complex play, Roman Polanski wanted Sigourney Weaver to tie Newman to a chair, stuff his mouth with her panties and prove he is Dr Roberto Mirandca who raped her 14 times when she was a poliical prisoner in an unamed Chile. Glenn Close and Gene Hackman had the Broadway roles. Jack Nicholson  and his former lady, Anjelica Houston, were also asked to make the movie.  Like Newman, they passed… Due to his Gandhi,Kingsley beat Newman to glory when The Verdicthad been adjuded by many as  Paul Newman’s Oscar  picture.

  120. Paul Scofield, Quiz Show, 1994.  A director by the name of Robert Redford   asked his friend to play the literay scholar Mark Van Doren, fatehr of the notorious TV game shgow cheat, Chartes Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes). Newman was touched but said:  ”I sould be struggling with that patrician quality. You can take the kid out of Ohio out you can’t take Ohio out of the kid.”

  121. Jack Nicholson,  Mars Attacks! 1995.   Tim Burton’s first two choices, Warren  Beatty and  Paul Newman,  absconded. So did  Tim Burton’s Batman, Michael Keaton, so The Joker took overtook over the US President  - and showing off with a second role of a Vegas casino boss.   Didn’t help. Too many stars. Not enough satire. 

  122. Donald Sutherland, A Time To Kill, 1996.   

    Wise decision.   From a wise man.   “I’ve been accused of being aloof.  I’m not.  I’m just wary.  But as he further  explained… Wherever I look, I find parts that are reminiscent of Luke or Hud or Fast Eddie. Christ, I played those parts once and parts of them more than once. It’s not only dangerous to repeat yourself, it‘s goddamned tiresome.

  123. Ryan O’Neal, Faithful, 1996.       Instead of Newman and Liz Taylor, it was O’Neal birthday gifting his wife, Cher, with a hit-man - Chazz Palminteri, who scripted from his own play and(naturally) co-starred.All to no avail.

  124. Jason Robards, A Thousand Acres, 1997. Shakespeare on a 1,000 acre Iowa farm…  Producer-star Michelle Pfeiffer asked Newman to be Lear, er patriarch Larry Cook,  about to leave  the farm to his three daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia, er that is Ginny, Rose and Caroline.In 2001, Pfeiffer said she was unhappy with her performance, particulartly after taking five years  film thge   film; a fact which saddened her given that she had been a part of the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel. Australian director Jocelyn Moorehouse reportedly tried to remove  her credit after test screenings. Newman knew best. This was the second time he refused Lear  - then again the first was a ridulous Cannon hodge-podge ”directed”by Jean-Luc Godard.
  125. Willem Dafoe, Victory, 1996.       Among Louis Malle’s 1978 choices for Axel inhis 20-year-old dream project - the Joseph Conrad classic. (The others were Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Jon Voight).But Paramount was not as keen as it had been for its 1940 version. Gradually, shooting was planned, a France-Australia-Germany-Canada co-production in Indonesia and the Philippines, for July-September 1979.   Malle and his new lover (and co-scripter) Susan Sarandon went to Atlantic City, instead.
  126. Robert Forster, Jackie Brown, 1997.    The backers wanted yet another name. Tough!  Writer-director Quentin Tarantino had created the over-the-hill bail bonds man Max Cherry for Forster and no one else.
  127. Bruce Willis, Icarus, 1997.    When David Willis found it for his brother's Flying Heart company, he had no idea that Robert Stitzel's script dated back to MGM, circa 1980, and had been set for Newman, before moving to Sylvester Stallone and, as the hero was a F-15 pilot (facing the trauma of retirement), to fly-boy John Travolta.

  128. James Caan, Poodle Springs, TV, 1998.    
    Sydney Pollack’s first choice for ageing private dick Philip Marlowe - from an unfinished novel by Raymond Chandler, a mere synopsis and four chapters cut short by Chandler’s 1959 death and finished 30 years on by Robert B Parker, creator of a later ’ted, Spenser.   After Redford also turned it down, it became bad HBO movie by director Bob Rafelson. “It sucked!” said the previous Philip Marlowe, Elliott Gould.  “Even with that wonderful British writer, Tom Stoppard, it was absolutely fucking horrible!”

  129. Robert Duvall, A Civil Action, 1998.  The legend saidauteur Steve Zaillianwanted Duvall, and no one else, as Jerome Facher.Except the rôle was also offered to  Marlon Brando and Newman.  The real Facher was thrilled by Duvall’s version of him in the drama,  based on a true court case about the pollution  deaths of 12 childen from leukemia. Chicago critic Roger Ebert nailed it as ”John Grisham for adults… The law is about who wins, not about who should win.” Sole surprise was the lightweight John Travolta appearing for the kids’ families.
  130. Kevin Conroy, Batman Beyond, 1998.       The toon idea was an older Batman passing mask and cape to a high-schooler…Great efforts were made to persuade Newman into voicing an older Bruce Bat, passing mask and cape to Keanu Reeves as the kid, Terry McGinnis, for 52 episodes. That, of course, was before either of them heard scenarist Paul Dini admitting the main reason for the series was to sell toys…   Conroy (a one time TV Ted Kennedy) was Batman’s TV toon voice (or voices, since he sounded different as Bruce Wayne) started his Gotham life in 1992. He was then 37. He is still at it at age 62 in 2017. (Batman Beyond: The Movie was a 1999 compilation of five TV episodes).

  131. William Hurt, The Big Brass Ring, 1998.  In the mid-80s, Orson Welles ran out offinancial gas while trying to set up his script of a Presidential candidate blackmailed over a gay affair with his main adviser.For The First Couple, Welles tried real couples - the Newmans, the Cassavetes...
  132. Burt Reynolds, Waterproof, 1998.Newman, Gene Hackman and Jack Lemmon were first sought for what becamethe unlikeliest role of all for the doldrummed Reynolds - Eli Zeal, the elderlyJewish owner of a little grocery store in what had become an African-American neighbourhood. Shot over 24 days in ’98, the film never found a distributor. The re-make rights were bought by Cloud Ten Pictures in 2010. But this was not The Pawnbroker
  133. Mel Gibson, Signs, 2002.     Originally, the pastor-farmer haunted by his wife’s death was older. This explains why sliding director     M Night Shyamalan offered the dog-collar to Newman and Clint Eastwood. But Depp…? Aw c’mon, Johnny can play any age - anything! - you want.
  134. Richard Gere, Chicago, 2002.
  135. David Kelly, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 2004.     Grandpa Joe was Newman’s last pass.   Two of Tim Burton’s other choices passed before passing (Gregory Peck, Peter Ustinov) and he gave it to the veteran Irish actor (“in three minutes”) on running into him at Pinewood studios on another film. The full Jo list also included: Richard Attenborough, Michael Caine, George Carlin (yes, not Carlin), Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, Richard Griffiths, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Lloyd (favourite of author Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy), Ron Moody, Peter O’Toole, Max von Sydow, Eli Wallach, David Warner.  
  136. Robert Redford, An Unfinshed Life, 2003.   An ironic title considering the health of the two original stars - Newman and director Robert Altman. (They died in 2008 and 2006). Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom took over,. Being somewthing of a dysfunctional family expert after What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and The Cider Houser Rules.  He brought in Redford and Jennifer Lopez,  succeeding Naomi Watts as his battered daughter-in-law. Not released until  2005. Altman died in 2006, 

  137. Nick Nolte, A Walk in the Woods, 2015.

    Billy Wilder always said for a guaranteed hit, “you need a love story  between Paul Newman and Robert Redford in a Boeing on fire flown by Barbra Streisand.” Both guys  wanted one last movie together.   Joining forces in Serpico, 1973,   was a crazy notion, John Fusco’s Highwaymen never planned out and The Front Runnergay athletics saga had long since faded from view and rumour.  However, in 2005 Redford bought Billl Bryson’s book about hiking ther Appalachian Trail with a grumpy old pal. ”There was a time when I could read ten scripts and find a film I wanted to do,” said Newman. ”Now I have to plough through at least 150.   I’m a dinosaur.  I’m on my last legs. Spaghetti sauce is outgrossing my films.”  Well, this script had it all: life, death, environmentalism, friendship. Perfect! Script was polished, directors sought (Barry Levinson, etc) and then in  the summer of 2007, they threw in the towel. It’s not happening, sadly,announced Redford.  They couldn’t decide if they were too old for it; Bryson and his chum were in their 40s, Redford and Newman were 69 and 80. Then we decded, let’s go for it. But time passed and Paul’s been getting older fast. Things deterioated for him. Finally, he called: ‘I gotta retire.‘ The picture was written and everything. It breaks my heart. Newman then told the world via  ABC’s Good Morning AmericaI’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to. You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for me. I’ve been doing it for 50 years [actually 60].  That’s enough.”  He died in 2008, at age 86.   Redford retired at 79 ten years later. after completing The Old Man & the Gun “Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?... And then just focus on directing.”

     

                                                                                    Tributes

    “He set the bar too high for the rest of us. Not just actors.  But all of us.” - George Clooney

    “He was always a hero of mine both as an actior and as a man.” -  Tim Robbins.

    “Sometimes God makes perfect people - and Paul Newman was one of them” - Sally Field

    “Everything  about Paul Newman was real.” - Gene Hackman

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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