Has there been a more blindingly handsome movie star than Paul Newman? After perusing the new coffee table book Paul Newman: Blue-Eyed Cool, a 252-page compendium of stories and photographs of the Cool Hand Luke star, the answer is a resounding ‘No.’
Available now, the latest page-turner from ACC Art Books boasts a number of rare and never-before-seen photographs of the film icon from the top celebrity photographers: Terry O’Neill, Milton Greene, Eva Sereny, Al Satterwhite, Lawrence Fried, and Douglas Kirkland. The photos capture various aspects of Newman’s life, from drinking at home to his celebrated films to his car-racing years.
“When I was approached by my valued colleagues at Iconic Images and ACC Art Books to write the commentary text to accompany the dazzling photographs for our book Blue-Eyed Cool, I knew that this was going to be a rich subject to explore and try and do justice to,” says author James Clarke. “As someone who has always been beguiled by American movie stardom, it was especially satisfying for me to work on this venture. In working on the text for the book, I endeavored to emphasize what each photographer was drawn to in presenting some essential quality of both Newman’s real character and his movie-star persona. Those two things dovetailed a little bit, I think.”
Over the course of his five decades-plus on stage and screen, the native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, featured in a number of cinema classics, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Hud, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Slap Shot, The Verdict, and The Color of Money, the latter finally earning him an Oscar for Best Actor on his seventh (of nine) acting nods. In addition to his acting chops, he was a race-car driver, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, whose popular Newman’s Own line of food products donated its profits to charity—including his Hole in the Wall Gang summer camp for the ill. He was also an ardent activist and lifelong liberal, attending the 1963 March on Washington and, before passing away in 2008, supported climate change initiatives. He was married to actress Joanne Woodward for the final 50 years of his life, with their union serving as a model for Hollywood love.
“A highlight of the project was speaking with photographer Al Satterwhite about the several occasions when he was commissioned to photograph Newman in his race-car life,” adds Clarke. “By contrast, we also have a range of images that capture that suave and handsome manner of Newman’s star quality. Then, too, in the photos from Terry O’Neill’s archive we have a wonderful record of Newman on set of those two aforementioned Westerns that he made in the early 1970s. My simple hope is that readers will be enthralled by what we have put together for this book. In its own modest way, I also hope that it might provide a contribution to our sense of what made Newman a movie star and, in certain regards, an aspirational figure.”
Below are a collection of rare—and never-before-seen—photographs of Newman from Blue-Eyed Cool, which you can see exclusively at The Daily Beast: