Friday, December 15, 2006

Paul Newman

My stepdad used to be an entertainment journalist, way before the days of US Magazine and all of those "Stars--they're just like us" photospreads. This was back when stars weren't like us--when they were bigger than Bigger Than Life, when they wouldn't be caught dead walking out of bathrooms barefoot while eating Doritos (hello Britney), when their affairs were, at best, blind gossip items, rather than gospel.

I'm not saying any of this to diss our current entertainment journalists (I have a subscription to US Magazine and I totally read Star at the grocery store checkout stand), I'm just trying to paint a picture of the type of entertainment journalist Joe was: he wrote for magazines like Life and Look and he would spend quality time with his interview subjects. He spent an entire weekend talking to Lucille Ball...he spent many afternoons at John Wayne's home in Orange County...he spent a long drunken night with Debbie Reynolds, talking about all of her husbands and romantic dalliances long after he'd run out of cassette tape. (About a month ago, Joe was in Laughlin and he noticed that Debbie Reynolds was performing in the hotel he was staying at. He decided to leave her a note asking if she wanted to get dinner--even though it had been several decades since they'd seen each other and he wasn't sure if she'd remember him. A few hours later, she left him a message, giving her regrets for not being available for dinner, and telling him she was happy to hear he was still kickin' around--"we've both survived all of these years!")

Joe recently found a box of old photographs, including a photo that was taken on the set of one of Paul Newman's movies. I think the photo's kinda cool, so I'm posting it. Here:

That's my stepdad with the white hair in the center of the photo. I don't know who he's talking to. And then, of course, that's Paul Newman doing the leg exercises. He looks lost in thought. I wonder what he's thinking about. The leg exercises seem to be the last thing on his mind, like, they're the easiest thing in the world. I would say he was showing off, only no one's even paying him any attention and you can't really show off if no one's watching you. (But maybe I'm just jealous because I'm so not in Paul Newman shape and could probably only do this exercise for a fraction of the time that Paul Newman was doing it before and after this photograph was taken.) (He was probably sitting like that for hours, just chillin', going through lines in his head.)

I have no idea what movie set this photo was taken on. Joe doesn't remember. (Though he thinks it was taken at Universal.) (If anyone wants to be a detective and figure out what movie set this photo was taken on, that would be pretty cool.) (I realize I haven't given y'all very many clues, but at least I've narrowed things down with the Universal Pictures detail.)


Anonymous said...

So cool. I LOVE Paul Newman, especially in his younger days. And I so envy you having access to all those great photos (and a step-dad with tons of star stories). Post more if you've got 'em.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I found three films released by Universal starring Newman: Winning (1969), Sometimes A Great Notion (1971), and The Sting (1973). Not sure if The Sting was Universal for sure, but I think so.

Anonymous said...

very cool. (but i think he's doing ab exercises.)

Anonymous said...

The following are all Universal films he worked on 1969 to 1980:

The Secret War of Harry Frigg 1968
Winning 1969
They Might be Giants 1971
Sometimes A Great Notion 1971
The Sting 1973
Slapshot 1977

Hope it helps.


TheDarkerUma said...

Paul Newman is my favorite actor of all time.
Joe is one of my favorites guys of all time.


Erik said...

Doug, the Paul Newman photo was the only hollywood pic in the box we just found, but I know there are more fun old hollywood pics somewhere. I'll look for them and post some.

Erik said...

Lindsay, I don't know anything about exercise, so I defer to you and accept that he's doing ab exercises. xoxo

Erik said...

Zack, thank you for the list of Universal films he made! I'll try to get Joe to narrow down what year(s) this might have been taken in. Hopefully that'll make this a process of elimination type dealio.

Erik said...

Urp, I knew you'd like the photo. How cool, right?

Anonymous said...


Okay, I'm breaking with the pack here because the person to the left of Joe in the photo looked to me like Michael which case the movie was The Hustler (1961) and not (I don't think) done at Universal, but 20th Century Fox. Ask Joe if that rings a bell! -Ilene

Erik said...

Ilene, I'm so bad at telling peoples ages (i.e. is Paul Newman 30 in this photo? 20? 40? je ne sais pas.), but Joe could very well be mistaken about the Universal thing, in which case I'll go with the The Hustler theory. It's a more exciting theory than the some of the other movies. Though The Sting would be cool too.

Anonymous said...

The man to Joe's left is the publicist of the movie, Arthur Wilde. I know Joe interviewed Paul Newman around 1979, but maybe it was another movie set--not Universal and not this photo. The interview took place in Malibu, I believe. Just some more fodder for you detectives out there.

aimie said...

the plot thickens. like paul newman's delicious pasta sauces.

Anonymous said...

Okay, the Keds sneakers on the man with his back toward us and Paul Newman's clothes and youth are definitely Pre-1979. I'm going to assume the other "anonymous" knows what she's(?) talking about in terms of the man on the left whom I think looks like Michael Constantine. Boy, this is a fun little puzzle,isn't it?!

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, why am I so obsessed with this?!!!!! According to several searches including IMDB there was no Paul Newman film on which Arthur Wilde was publicist! I need to let this go now...seriously. Is there some way we can know grilling Joe perhaps?!

christy said...

he's definitely doing abs. abs are most effectively worked out sitting upright.

jamaican zoologists hate petty ego games

Erik said...

Ilene, Joe has been out of town, but he'll be back tonight and I will grill him for more info.

Erik said...

Christy, you are my resident abs expert!


christy even just had underwear under this